Tag Archives: Tram

Sandia Peak Aerial Tramway and Ten-3 on Valentine’s Day in ABQ

About 10 years ago, we marked Valentine’s Day by doing something nutty — we went zip-lining high above a ravine in Boquete, Panama. Never again. Today was much better. We also went high, this time into Albuquerque’s jagged Sandia Mountains, but we were inside a large glass tram that climbed 10,378 feet to the crest, where we ate lunch, tried unsuccessfully to hike (too icy) and glided back down into the valley in our glass cocoon.

The weather was clear and not too windy, the temperature was the warmest it’s been during our stay here, low 60s, although as promised it was 20-30 degrees colder at the top of the mountain and icy snow kept us from a short hike to a CCC cabin on the ridge. At 2.7 miles in horizontal length, the Tramway is reportedly the world’s longest passenger tramway. The tram came very close to the mountain at times which took some getting used to and the guide pointed out the debris from a TWA plane crash long ago, but we could see only jagged granite and limestone peaks, dotted with ponderosa pine and oak trees, scrubby pinyon juniper, dusted with snow.

Tram view
Tram arriving up top

We had a good lunch in the restaurant Ten-3 (a reference to its elevation, at 10,300 feet above sea level) at the top, an attractive contemporary space with huge picture windows offering spectacular views from on high of the valley and mountains in the distance north of ABQ — part of the 11,000 square mile panoramic view.

The food was very good in the casual restaurant. The fancier restaurant was being readied for Valentine’s night diners. The contemporary artwork, including large thickly coated oil forest landscapes by Frank Balaam turned out to be from Ventana Fine Art, a gallery we visited earlier this week in Santa Fe. (Some prints of southwest ruins, in bold unnatural colors, by Mary Silverwood that we are still considering buying were hanging in the women’s restroom).

Sandia means watermelon in Spanish, a reference to the stunning pink of the mountains at sunset.

Yes, that is a tram employee riding outside atop the tram. We don’t know why.

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Alfama, #28 tram, Castelo, Menino Deus church — Lisbon


#28 Tram Ride!

Great day. Fantastic breakfast on the third floor terrace of our funky hip hotel, then we took a taxi to the western end of the # 28 tram to secure a seat the entire route though the city. Not to be missed! Great to rumble through the narrow streets and hills past pastel-colored facades and the occasional faded tile facade.

We found a cute cafe Pois Cafe for a light lunch (sardine crumble) near the cathedral, then we wandered up and down the hills of Alfama, the charming 18th century post-earthquake neighborhood with terraces looking out across the red tiled roofs to the river in the distance. A highlight was the Menino Deus church, which we happened upon on the very first day it was open to the public. (It  used to be FNO…for nuns only). Didn’t look like much from the outside — a flat stone facade but inside, stunning baroque church with intricate marble and tile and trompe d’oille paint work. We didn’t go onto the castle grounds but walked around the little hillside village beside it and stumbled upon a great little cafe that replicated a tram inside and had surprisingly good pastries, ice cream and quiche.IMG_0870.JPG

Another tram ride (our 3 day Lisbon card was a good investment) and another walk near the theater where we sampled some cherry liquor and then walked past the fabulous Art Deco Edens theatre, where people were hanging out on the top near the fantastic glass towers. This city  has such charm and verve!

Francine and Russ

Francine and Russ



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