Across the Tagus
Almada is just across the Tagus River from Lisbon. It’s accessible by ferry, bus, train, and car, the last three quite simple by crossing the Ponte 25 de Abril, also known as Lisbon’s Golden Gate Bridge. It’s a large suburban area with several urban and village centers, beaches, and a fishing area.
Taking the ferry from Lisbon’s Cais de Sodré to Cacilhas lands visitors at a seaside area that has some restaurants and a dockside area with people fishing. It also has a beautifully run-down set of buildings along the water. They’re all falling down and going inside would require a hard hat as they seem to decay regularly.
There are two directions to go form the Cacilhas ferry terminal. One is towards the bridge and offers a terrific view of Lisbon from a glass elevator that goes up the rock face. The other direction is into the city of Almada. Almada isn’t known for historical landmarks in general, but does have some excellent restaurants, a nice church (what city or village in Portugal doesn’t have a church?), and a relaxed feeling.
Not that far from the center of town is an area known as Romeira. Romeira features decaying industrial buildings, including some spectacular towers that once held flour, some of the best street art in Lisbon, and a small number of people living in makeshift homes. There’s traffic through it but not many people walking, giving it a somewhat edgy feel. It’s a photographer’s paradise.
Some of the best street art here is by well-known artist Styler.
Another ferry goes from the Belém district of Lisbon to Trafaria, a bit west of Cacilhas. Trafaria greets visitors with a small beach with boats haphazardly strewn across the beach and moored in the water. Looming over the beach is more industry, dominating much of the landscape.
The village by the water is typical of Portugal, with narrow streets and alleys lined with small houses, and restaurants that grill sardines outside. Some structures, especially the industrial ones, are decaying, like in so many other places with dead industries. The only signs of life in these buildings are feral cats and kittens.
Old buildings including forts can be found around Trafalgar. The structures closest to the water are fenced off and the ones inland are difficult to access. Those are being saved for a return trip, along with a visit to a long-closed water park, once local assistance is enlisted.
Thanks to Anabela Melo de Carvalho for information about Almada.