Up and down

To make up for my grumpiness in the preceding post, here’s a pretty picture.
Elevador in Bica
The Lisboetas have a love affair with their trams. The ancient number 28 creaks its way from Martim Moniz to the Basilica da Estrela and back again, invariably packed with tourists and sporting sponsorship from Heineken or Coke. The locals are more likely to be found on the modern number 5 "bendy tram" which whizzes its way out to Belém and beyond.
But Lisbon is a city of hills, and the trams come into their own when they take the form of elevadores, trams built to match the slope of a steep hill and operating in pairs – one going down whilst the other comes up. Thankfully, the authorities seem to have taken the decision to retain the authentic yellow colouring in place of sponsorship, sullied only by a discrete logo for Carris, the public transport firm that operates them. There are three tranvias (the tram-type elevadores, as opposed to the Elevador da Santa Justa, which is a fancy lift) – this picture shows the most picturesque of the three, which operates up and down the hill in Bica. Here the tourists fight for seats with the elderly locals, usually weighed down with dozens of bags of shopping.
Whilst Bica is the longest and most picturesque, the most useful is the Elevador da Gloria, which links the Barrio Alto – the home of trendy bars and restuarants – with Restauradores, adjacent the main railway station and linking in to the metro. Having walked up the hill at Gloria after a very filling meal, I can vouch for the merits of travel by elevador. And only EUR1.10 each way too.