Introduction – After the concert from the night before it seems the celebrations hadn’t finished. Lisbon was absolutely crazy all day!
I was given the impression that there was little happening on the day and it was all the night before leading into the early hours of the morning.
However at 2pm I heard drumming from my balcony and followed the noise to Marquês do Pombal. It was crazy, it took me a while to work out that it was the start of a procession. I was actually watching this from on the statue. Then followed it all down to Praça do Rossio. I met some poor tourists who were completely lost in the procedings.
Arriving in Avenida
From what I had seen and heard I wasn’t expecting much and as it was a beautiful day I was sitting on my balcony enoying the sun when I heard drumming in the distance. It continued for 5 minutes. I kept telling myself if I left then, by the time I got there it would have passed. In the end I thought I might catch up and there might be more so I left my flat there and then.
The sound seemed to be coming from Marquês de Pombal so I thought if I walked to Avenida de Liberdade I could walk up from there. When I got closer to Avenida it was apparent that more people were heading up the Avenue to Marquês do Pombal, however it was only when I got round the round I noticed to what extent. It was absolutely crazy! There were literally thousands of people streaming up. It actually took me a few minutes to realise that the road was closed to traffic (which is strange as it is one of the main roads in the city) and there were police everywhere.
My first view of the road looking down to Praça de Restauradores
A little further up the road, approaching Marquês do Pombal
The craziness in Marquês de Pombal
Marquês do Pombal
I was completely lost when I arrived in Marquês do Pombal. There were people everywhere. There was a square almost cornered off by the use of banners and I couldn’t work it out at all.
I continued to wonder around. I started to notice that everyone had the red flowers which on the 25th April 1974 they put in the barrels of the guns. I bought 2 while I was there. People were selling them in the street.
I also noticed that Avenida had people almost waiting on the side once they had streamed up and people standing in groups with banners around them.
I headed to the middle; a) to explore and b) to get a better view to understand what was going on. The statue itself was covered in people like Benfica celebrations.
The area which seemed cornered off
One of the groups; complete with flags and banners
There was press everywhere: Some were film crews and some just journalists with cameras and dictaphones
The view into the middle of Marquês do Pombal
The Statue in Marquês do Pombal
I headed straight for the statue. I did get a lot better view from there. In the end after seeing a girl in a short dress sucessfully climb the statue I decided to join in my skirt. I didn’t come dressed for this, only for the sun.
I met 2 students and got chatting to them. One was actually Portuguese. He explained to me about the political part of all of this. To me it almost seemed ironic that this was a day celebrating democracy but they used it as an excuse to complain about the democracy they had. It suddenly became obvious to me that all the banners were about pensions, salaries, taxes, etc. He actually expected more than what was happening as apparently they had been a lot of talk about fighting and wanting to get what they wanted.
However, from on the statue there was a great view of everything going on.
The people of the statue who I decided to join. Yes, health & safety doesn’t seem an issue here.
Me on the statue in Marquês do Pombal
My cliché photo which I copied: Sitting at the end of the photo with a red flower and the craziness in Avenida in the background.
A view of the craziness from the statue
Even the press was on there
When everyone started to slowly move (I mean slowly move) I said goodbye to my new friends I started to head down and follow everything towards to Praça do Restauradores.
On the way of course I took lots of photos of some of the groups and general scenes of everyone leaving Marquês do Pombal.
Actually taken from the statue but this is a group of traditional folk dancers who randomly started dancing in Marquês
The same group again as they were about to leave for Avenida
See you would never guess what this was for
The queue they had around the inner roundabout
The view from Marquês de Pombal down Avenida de Liberdade
Walking down Avenida de Liberdade
I followed it all the way down the road (which is about a mile or so long). There were various groups playing music, chanting, etc. As always I took lots of photos and filmed other parts.
Looking back to Marquês de Pombal from a bit further down the road
Half way down the road looking to Restauradores
Exactly the same place as the previous but looking up the opposite direction
Just made me laugh what film crews would do to get the best shot. Poor traffic light!
Praça do Restauradores and past Rossio train station
The guy I met on the statue thought it would finish at Restauradores. He wasn’t quite right. It continued around the corner to Praça do Rossio.
Also in Praça do Restauradores were people playing drums in the middle and dancing. Also, like Marquês do Pombal there were people on the statue.
Approaching Praça do Restauradores; please note the temperature 😉
The group singing and dancing in the middle
People on the statue (this was a bit too high for me)
Praça do Rossio
In the middle or Rossio was a stage with a film crew. It was just basically one lady going on and on. This seemed to be where everything finished.
I also got chatting to a British tourist. They all looked so confused and she stopped behind her friends looking the most confused. They had no clue what was going on they. They just booked a long weekend to the city lol.
The stage in Praça do Rossio
The film crew in Praça do Rossio
The rest of Baixa
I walked around a bit more of the Baixa and Rossio area. There seemed to be not much on apart from the same food market thing Lauren and I ate at the night before in the neighbouring square of Praça de Figeira.
The view of this square – I got a strange look from the police so I was trying to look at touristy as possible
What I missed
As my battery was getting low and there seemed to be little else happening now I headed home. I called by the supermarket which was open. Surprisingly everything was still open as normal.
When I got home I put on the TV. Of course it was on TV not just of Lisbon but all over the country. Porto looked just as crazy. Then they went to Praça do Comercio and I realised I hadn’t gone far enough in the city. There was a helicopter tipping literally thousands of red flowers over the square. They described it as rain of flowers. Also throughout the city was apparently big photos taken at the time back in 1974 which I had missed.
The following day in Praça do Comércio
As I had missed everything in Comércio I decided to go and still if some was still there. It was strange that the first thing you see at the moment as you enter is a tank. There were lots of soldiers walking around and there were tents up with different things, some were for children, some had simulators, some just seemed like mini museums. One even was for taking photos with some soldiers. I didn’t do that.
This wasn’t only in Praça do Comércio but everywhere which played a big role in the Liberation. They put big board of photos of that place on 25th April 1974 which I caption in Portuguese and English. I did find it funny though that the ‘English translation’ on each one contained random Portuguese words. Even like ‘e’ rather than ‘and’.
I won’t caption these, I will just share the photos.