Blog Archive

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

My unforgettable weekend in Lisbon

A whole lot of gorgeousness

First off, my biggest regret is that my trip to Lisbon was only for a weekend.  What was I thinking?  I scheduled it in between an extended stay in Barcelona and knew rather quickly that was a mistake.  I did, however, make the best of it and saw as much as possible.

Love the narrow, cobblestone streets

Lisbon is a picturesque city rich with history, warmth and rareness.  Bring good walking shoes, as there are lots and lots of hills.  Don't hesitate walking though, because you will stumble upon many unique treasures.

Isn't this piece fantastic?
Laundry day 

I was very fortunate to have a fantastic Couchsurfing host who is extremely passionate about his fascinating city.  I also had the pleasure of getting to know a wonderful friend of his staying with him while I was there.

These two lovely people introduced me to this magnificent street art, and you can learn more about the talented artists right here -

My host also took me to a Swans concert, with none other than Michael Gira at the forefront.  I didn't know who the Swans were at first; however, realized it was my lucky day!  The show was a resounding success and Michael Gira couldn't have been more personable.  Check out this great video of the band -

The first full day of exploration was in the Alfama District, mainly because that's where I would find St. George's Castle.  I'm quite enamored with castles and get goosebumps when I arrive.  The castle grounds are phenomenal and offer breathtaking views of the city. 

I recommend stopping at the Lisbon Cathedral while in the neighborhood.  I was so fascinated by the ironwork doors.

So cool, right? 

There are numerous places around the castle to grab a bite and drink (unfortunately, I don't remember any names).  In addition, there are trendy shops everywhere to fulfill just about every desire.

My first licor beirao

A colorful presentation

This next area is where I did a lot, as there is so much to see and do.  It's called Belem and is considered to be the city's most historical quarter.  There are many attractions here and most of them are closed on Monday, so pick another day to do some exploration.

Beautiful grounds at the Berardo Museum

Belem Tower

I recommend Jeronimos Monastery, Belem Tower, Belem Palace, the Berardo Museum, and Pasteis de Belem.  I have a little story to share about Pasteis de Belem.  My host said I had to get pastries at this cafe.  I told him I'm not a big fan of pastries.  He insisted and when we arrived, there was a very long line out the door with people actually "policing" the line to keep it orderly.
Extreme yum factor right here

I came to the conclusion they must be pretty awesome.  He wasn't kidding.  I bought one to eat immediately and two for the following morning.  I took one bite and inhaled all three at once.  Didn't even get a photo of these outrageously delicious tarts, so check them out on the cafe's website -

Belem Palace, where the President of Portugal lives

A palace guard

Chillaxing with some local brews
I also recommend checking out Praça do Comércio near the Tagus River, where you can capture some great shots.

Arco Triunfal

Estatua de Don José

Now you see why my trip was too short and I need a return visit.  I ♥ you Lisbon!

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