One of our convictions as travelers, tourists and adventurers is that the only way to truly absorb everything that foreign travel gives us is to get to know our country first. In fact, as you may have noticed in other articles, we like to be tourists in our own country, and in this case, in our own city, Lisbon.
In truth, almost always what we think we already know can be explored again and allow for the discovery of something new, even if it is a simple different way of looking at something. Considering this way of thinking, we wanted to know the Lisbon that we already knew, but in a different way! We thought “Why not see Lisbon from its eternal companion, the river Tagus?”.
Already said in his poem Adília Lopes in 2006 “Lisbon, silver city, sown in the Tagus.” In fact, the relationship of this city with the Tagus river is part of its existence. In the beginning, it was a natural element of defense, later as a link to other parts of the country and now an important ally in Lisbon tourism.
All this being taken into account, one Sunday afternoon, we went to Bom Sucesso dock in Belém. The day was warm, the sky clear and the whole riverbank full of activity and life. Waiting for us was a boat that stood out from all the others, of great dimensions, with its tall mast and all its well-cared and typically Portuguese structure. It was the boat of Senhora do Cais, the company we chose to take us to the Tagus.
Senhora do Cais Boat Tours
The trips aboard the Senhora do Cais boat are really different from all the others that are available, especially since they take us to travel not only in the Tagus, but also in time. The boat is one of the typical boats of the Tejo that daily circulated between margins until the middle of the 60s, taking people and cargo.
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The route designed for the experiences allows to observe all the panoramas and angles of the riverside zone of Lisbon and also of the zones of the south margin and is guaranteed that the best photos and the best moments are obtained. There are several experiences available: The 1h trip, the sunset and the extended trip of 2h. The Experience vs. Value ratio is very good and as you can see here, ours and most of the reviews are excellent!
The trip in the river
As we slowly leave the marina, we begin to realize how different the city that we know so well look from the river. Starting at the tower of Belém, the way we see it is very different and it is from the Tagus that we understand why it was a centenary stronghold protecting the entry into the estuary.
After a quick pass near the Champalimaud foundation, we turn around and then start up the river. The first monument after the inversion of direction is the pattern of the Discoveries. Here too we have a very different view of the monument itself, and the prominence of the monument into the river is very noticeable.
The journey continues and quickly we have to our left the museum of electricity and the MAAT. The view that we have of these two buildings, so different and contrasting, becomes in fact a very aligned painting of two “Lisboas”, the old and the modern, the past and the future, the Portuguese nostalgia and the future hope.
We continue along the river towards the north and when we notice we are now passing under the 25 de Abril Bridge. This is undoubtedly one of the highlights of the course. Really, if we have already impressed with the beauty of this bridge from any of the banks, the view from the river and its foundations is truly amazing and memorable!
After passing the bridge, the zone that follows is not as beautiful as the previous ones once we enter the zone of the Port of Lisbon, and therefore, the offered scenario is of freighters and containers with the sunny city as background. However, we quickly enter the area of Cais do Sodré, and we are waved by tourists passing in the renewed Ribeira das Naus.
Before we made a further turn, we were given a unique moment in which we passed by the dock of the columns, with the Paço terreiro as the background. In a certain way, we were able to feel the enthusiasm of the one who sailed there in Portuguese ships towards the unknown.
Finally, the trip ended with the arrival to the dock next to the Cais de Sodré station, with the entire city of Lisbon above us shining in the sun.
We can clearly say that this was a truly fantastic experience. From the moment we left the marina to the arrival at Cais do Sodré, the scenery that came into our eyes was always unique, different and impressive, not because it was more or less beautiful, but because it offered a new reality to the reality we already knew.
We want to thank Senhora do Cais for the offer that was given to us and for all the sympathy since the first contact. A word of appreciation also to the skipper and the ship’s helper for all the cordiality and attention shown. We are sure that our experience repeats itself on all the trips they do which makes them clearly the best.