day 1, Sé Cathedral, Lisbon to Parque Nações, 8km

2 May 2014

Elly and I had decided to take it easy on our first day. We returned to yesterday’s breakfast scene of the pasteis de nata and then decided to use the remaining credit on our daily travel cards to ride the tram down the very steep hill just along from the cafe, and then back up again.

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We returned to the apartment to collect our packs and walked to the tram stop to get a ride to the cathedral to start our camino. We had already walked there twice from the apartment and didn’t feel the need to do it again. But as it happened, the first two trams that arrived were full to the gunnels and we didn’t feel we could squish in with our packs, so set off on foot after all. So our initial day’s walk was between 10-11 km rather than the official 8km.

It was hot. Not much breeze and it took me a while to get used to my pack. The practise walk that I took recently left my collar bone bruised from the pack shoulder straps. I had seen a photo somewhere of a female pilgrim who had placed washing-up sponges under her straps to protect her collar bones, which I thought was a very good idea. But I didn’t think that washing up sponges were so great because I might get lumbered with the washing up in the albergue kitchen. So I purchased a couple of bath sponges and stuffed them inside the feet of a pair of opaque black tights, knotted them off and wore them under my straps. I have to say, it made a lot of difference, so I shall sew them on some time soon. A good idea if you suffer from bruised bones!

We were very glad that we had already visited the cathedral and seen where the first yellow arrow was situated, because when we arrived today, there was a group of people sitting on the ground in front of the arrow and we would not have been able to find it. As it happened, we came across an American couple who are starting their walk tomorrow who had been making an advance recky of the route and they said that they did not find the arrow at the cathedral. We are very grateful to Laurie’s very precise instructions that we had to consult on a couple of occasions when we could not readily see an arrow at a cross-roads.

There is a very insignificant yellow arrow at low level to the right of Elly.  Although I have to say, it is not insignificant to anyone starting the camino from Lisbon!

There is a very insignificant yellow arrow at low level to the right of Elly.
Although I have to say, it is not insignificant to anyone starting the camino from Lisbon!

After about 3km we came to the tile museum (Museu Nacional do Azulejo)
which I was very keen to visit. It is set In a beautiful building that was once a convent and is full of the most wonderful panels of hand painted tiles from over the ages. I took many photos but shall just reproduce a few here.

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The museum has a lovely cafe with good reasonably priced food and a pretty covered courtyard garden with a pond that has some very acrobatic turtles. A beautiful place to visit.

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The rest of the walk wasn’t so nice, industrial areas with narrow pavements, but mostly with occasional interesting period properties to admire.

We eventually arrived at Parque das Nações, the site of the Expo 98, (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Expo_’98) and located the youth hostel where we have booked beds for the night (tel 00 351 218 920 890, lisboaparque@movijovem.pt). My first experience of a youth hostel – at age 60! And unfortunately my second experience of the top bunk, hey ho, I shall just have to get on with it. We are sharing the hostel with, well, youths – lots of them – but quite well behaved. And there is dinner for 6 euros which was actually quite good. We are in a female room for four, sharing with one evangelist preacher who is about to spend a few days street preaching (good luck!) and a delightful Portuguese student of wine. The hostel is fairly new, very large, and seems to be well run. The cost for the night 15 euros. Only problem is that the internet connection has just failed so I might not get this post out tonight (and I have still to write yesterday’s post of the wonderful day we had exploring Lisbon).

Here I am showing off my new penknife, complete with attached fork

Here I am showing off my new penknife, complete with attached fork

I seem to have fallen in with an organiser. And I see no point in duplication of effort, so whilst I am walking with Elly I am leaving the route planning to her.

An easy first day – long live the easy days!

About magwood

Trepidatious Traveller - camino blog is about preparing for and walking the Camino de Santiago. Many future pilgrims have found the blog useful and inspiring, and many who have no plans to walk the camino have simply enjoyed the dialogue http://www.magwood.me
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43 Responses to day 1, Sé Cathedral, Lisbon to Parque Nações, 8km

  1. Lyn says:

    Hi girls, I walked the Camino France last September and am keen to take on the Portuguese Camino this time next year. I will be following your journey with much interest !
    Burn Camino!

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  2. Tammy says:

    My friend and I are coming to Lisbon from Vancouver, Canada to walk the PC to Santiago in August (I know it will be so very HOT). I’ve been looking forward to reading of your adventures on the caminho, and now it’s started…all the best to you and thanks for doing this blog.

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    • magwood says:

      Hi Tammy. It will be hot – it is really hot at the beginning of May. But you never know with the weather these days. Thanks for your support.

      Like

  3. Jo Bryant says:

    What an adventure you have begun…can’t wait to hear more as you progress.

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  4. Kristina Wilkening says:

    What an awesome start! Really look forward to each and every post. You are a good writer! And love how you just go with the flow.

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  5. annieh61 says:

    The tiles are amazing. The second one would be a beautiful quilt pattern. You tell your story so well Maggie.

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  6. Janice Tyler says:

    I love the wonderful tile photos and also the penknife with fork attached!

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    • magwood says:

      I’m loving the penknife Janice. Have already used it a few times. I shall have to post it home so that it doesn’t get confiscated at the airport.

      Like

  7. And Elly looks lovely too!

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  8. Keith says:

    Great start to your walk. Lovely pics of those tiles. Looking forward to your next installment

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  9. Pat and John says:

    So glad you have company for your walk. Seems as though you have made a great start to your new adventure
    Pat and John

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  10. judy blight says:

    i want to do this camino so its great to follow your diary–good luck to you both

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  11. Lyn Harrison, InsightWind says:

    Adored the tile photos and now can’t wait to visit the museum. Now feel very embarrassed about my Philistine sniff of the nose at your excitement about the tiles last week. I also feel embarrassed that your quiet mumbling about your rucksack straps on the practise walk was your way of telling me you were in quite a lot of pain, to the extent you ended up with a bruised collarbone. Not only am a Philistine but also unfeeling, it seems. Some friend I’m proving to be! Eli sounds wonderful and a super starting-out companion. Is it Eli or Elly? Missing you, but enjoyed my “forest ride” on Liana two days ago. Just been up to feed her and she’s fine — peed in the bucket, sends her love and grudgingly nods an acceptance of me as a substitute for the real thing. Hugs, Lyn

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  12. AMSimoes says:

    Hello Mag and Elly.

    The Tile museum in Mother of God (Madre Deus) Church is unique. Unfortunate that few tourists know. In my opinion is one of the highlights of the visit to Lisbon.
    Thanks for sending the picture of us in Bairro Alto.

    I want to recommend some more Portuguese sweets, like this:
    AZAMBUJA – “Queijadinhas” the Pastelaria Favorita, Eng R. Moniz da Maia, 38.
    SANTAREM – “Pampilhos” in the entire city. Compliments to Mario’s Hostel Santarem.
    TOMAR – “Stars” and “Take slices of” Pastelaria Estrelas do Mar to the stone bridge.
    COIMBRA – Santa Clara pastels and pastels Tentugal. (Elly when you return the path to Sintra we eat the “Travesseiros” and “Queijadinhas” and see which ones are the best).
    BOM CAMINHO

    AMSimoes

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  13. Marianne says:

    What a small yellow arrow marking the start of the Camino …. amazing! Thanks for the great tip about padding for backpacks. The simplest ideas are often the most effective 🙂

    The tiles are so beautiful in Portugal.

    Buen Camino, ladies and have fun!

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  14. What an exciting adventure for you and thank you for sharing with your readers. ~(*_*)~~

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  15. Eric Redeker says:

    Have a great walk. Are you doing the coastal route from Porto? I will follow more closely when you get there! I am doing the Porto to Santiago walk in late September, Eric

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  16. Such lovely murals… =)

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  17. John Hussey says:

    I suggest that you are either wearing your pack incorrectly or that it is not a correct fit for your torso length.
    A pack’s shoulder straps should serve only to keep the pack loosely against one’s back and not flopping about. These straps should carry no weight of the pack. Instead, almost all the pack’s weight is held up by the pack’s hip belt, firmly affixed around one’s waist, at the top of one’s hip bones. An easy guide is that the hip belt buckle should cover one’s navel. So if you are having collar bone pain, instead of using sponges to cure the symptom, cure the disease by adjusting your pack to the correct length. Although, at this date, I guess its a somewhat belated suggestion…but for the next Camino perhaps?
    Good bloq. I am reading it now for my Camino from Lisboa starting next April 2015.
    Thanks,
    John Hussey

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    • magwood says:

      Hi John, many thanks for going to the effort of writing such a detailed comment. I take on board all you say. I am pretty sure that I am carrying the weight on my hips. I think this collar bone problem is an issue for some women – I have not heard any men complain of this discomfort (maybe a macho, suffer in silence thing!). Perhaps our collarbones are more prominent.

      I hope you enjoy the camino Portuguese as much as I did. Take good insoles to provide some essential padding against those cobbles.
      Bom caminho!

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    • Marilyn van graan says:

      I am starting my Portuguese camino on the 23 march anyone starting around that time

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      • magwood says:

        Take a look at the pilgrim forums Marilyn. There are links on my ‘camino resources’ page. I think both of them have a calendar of starting dates.
        Bom caminho!

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    • Jo says:

      John I also had this problem with my collar bones and bruising on my hip bones whilst doing the Francis Camino last year. This is a common issue with slender females as they tend to jut out more than a mans. I have a correctly fitted bag and I will be doing the Portugues Camino in few months and dreading the bruising. What a great idea instead of using my second pair of socks, as I was always conscious of losing one.
      Can’t wait to read more.

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      • magwood says:

        Hi Joan, many thanks for taking the time to comment and I hope you find some more useful info on the blog. Bom Caminho!

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  18. Danielle says:

    I just joined the forum and so happy to have found your blog, as I am planning the CP for ealy September 2016, not sure what the weaher is at that time. Also alone, 66 yrs and hoping to find a buddy like you did. I am a quilter so a visit at the tiles Museum will be a “must”!!! I will savor reading your posts sloly and take notes. Thanks! And Buen Camino for your next one at the end of April. I will follow it!
    Danielle

    Like

    • magwood says:

      Hello Danielle. Thanks so much for your comment and I am very glad that you are finding the blog useful. The forum is such a great place to research and meet people. I’m hoping that I might get to meet a few forum members in person during my next camino. I am sure you will find the tile museum a real inspiration for your quilting and the weather should be lovely in September.
      Bom Caminho!

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