After a great morning exploring the castle and the Alfama, we went from the highest part of Lisbon back down to the lowest to catch the ferry to the other side of the river.
I had read all about Lisbon’s Christ Statue, we had a reasonable view of it from Commerce Square and it looked impressive but I was keen to get closer and see it properly. We picked a day when the weather was clear and bright and made our way to the ferry terminal. The ferries run about three times an hour back and forth across the river with more at rush hour. We enjoyed the fifteen minute ride and I loved the Lisbon views from the water.
On the other side of the river and right outside the ferry terminal we easily found the 101 bus, bought our tickets and settled down for the twenty minute journey to the Christ Statue. The bus ride ends at the statue so no worries about getting off at the correct stop. It was seriously packed with people though, we had lucked out by getting on first and had seats.
From the bus stop it is just a short stroll to the statue and you can’t miss it anyway, it is immense. Erected in 1959 by the Portuguese people grateful to God for escaping involvement in WWII it was (clearly) inspired by the famous statue in Rio and both hold the same open arm position. It faces the city of Lisbon on the opposite bank and symbolises Christ opening his arms to Lisbon.
An elevator takes you right to the top, we chose not to do this, the lengthy queue put us right off. Anyway it was actually just as much fun to wander around the base, look more closely at the statue and take in those incredible views across the river to Lisbon.
You also get a superb vista of the April 25 Suspension Bridge. It reminded us more than a bit of the Golden Gate Bridge.
This beauty spans the river at its narrowest point and the name commemorates the Portuguese Carnation Revolution of 25 April 1974.
It was noisy too with all the traffic – 150,000 cars on average pass over it every day. It is tall enough for cruise and container ships to pass underneath – an impressive bridge indeed.
After all that it was back to the bus, back across the river and back to our hotel, ready for a rest to set us up for more evening explorations.