It’s said that Lisbon is built on seven hills. Indeed it’s a city that has many stairs and elevators to help pedestrians easily navigate the steeply cobbled roads.
If you want to avoid working your leg muscles it’s easy to take a tram, bus, taxi or metro. Me, I prefer walking.
Many years ago my sister and I walked down Calçada do Combro in our high-heels and were surprised when people looked at us strangely. It’s not easy to navigate those cobbles in stilettos, as we discovered soon enough.
There is a system of internal elevators that take you up (or down) from the city centre to Alfama, situated on the slopes of the nearby hill. It’s a lot of fun because you hopscotch your way up from one elevator to another, each elevator in a different residential building that has opened it’s doors and elevators for the elderly residents of the district to use, although anybody can use them. It’s like doing the Tarzan thing, elevator-to-elevator and terrace-to-terrace, until you get to the top – you’ve go to go and experience it yourself!
There are countless stairs throughout the city. I came across the Beco Do Quebra Costas, otherwise translated as “Break Back Alley” – it sounds much better in Portuguese, more colourful and descriptive – whilst walking about the Alfama district of the city.
Can you see why it’s named thus?