LISBON, PORTUGAL

IMG_2058

Go

Right away, I wish I’d decided (and researched more) to spend more time in Lisbon and not as much in Spain.  Spain was beautiful, but as a tourist, I found it less friendly and easy to navigate than I’d hoped.

Lisbon is just wonderful.  It is a big city, with Train, Metro, Bus and Trolleys, if you don’t feel like walking the seven hills.  Public transit is easy to navigate, with English options on the kiosks.  But I recommend walking.  It’s charming, with interesting little alleyways and small cobblestone streets.  The people are so friendly.

When I arrived, my flight from Madrid landed late, so I did uber to my AirBnB, just so I didn’t keep my host up till after midnight.  The I had a hard time finding the uber driver at the airport, so I called him.  He answered with a Ola!  But I soon realized he spoke English.  Once I found him and got in the car, I said a few things in Spanish, and he said “I don’t speak Spanish”   I was confused.  And, a little embarrassed.  To be honest, I added Portugal to this trip because I’d heard good things about it, and because of the proximity.  It was an add-on to Spain, before I flew to Germany.  I realized I had wrongly assumed they spoke Spanish here too!

My AirBnB was a small private apartment, downstairs from my host.  The uber driver could not drive down the narrow steep street, which made me smile, and immediately fall in love with the location.  I walked down, climbed in through the doorway which was more like a window, and met my host, who let me in, gave me the key, and left me to crash.

IMG_2035.JPG

The back patio has a dog, who lives there full time. He never comes inside, apparently.  He’s sweet, quiet and seems to like his life under the lemon tree.

Eat

I set out In the morning to explore Lisbon.  I skipped going for a run, knowing how hilly this city is.    I first walked down to the main, stopping at a small coffee shop in my neighborhood, for a coffee and pastry.   One of the must-try pastries here – and there are many – are the Nata pastries.  They are so good, and I sampled many!

For lunch I stopped at Faz Figura, which was a little more high end than I was looking for, but it was close and I was hungry.  I’d probably recommend it for dinner more than lunch.   I loved the breads and the mussels I had.  The breads here are so good, sweet, soft, and such variety.

Do

Lisbon is a great city to just wander with no plan, so that’s what I did. I had my fill of grand old catholic churches in Spain, so I decided if I was going to see any of the “must see” sites, I wanted to see the old Castle Jorge.  It is no longer a residence or in use, but it’s still a beautiful property to explore for an hour.

 

I walked around Chiado and Baixa neighborhoods.  There were so many cute shops and restaurants.  I then wandered back to my Airbnb, to get ready for my first Airbnb experience.  I was getting tired of my boring photos with landscapes, and I am not a selfie-taker, so I scheduled myself a photo shoot!  For a few euro, I was able to meet a local photographer, who would spend time showing me some scenic spots, and taking a few pictures for me to remember my vacation.

Eat (again)

After my photo shoot, I found a place on the edge of the Barrio Alto – Meson Andaluz,   The friendly owner greeted me and showed me a nice table in the corner, where I could see everything. The food was great, I realized how hungry I was when I ate the entire bread basket and then a whole leg of Lamb.

I wandered back to my Airbnb through the Barrio Alto. I bumped into a fun group of Americans from the company Talkdesk.  They invited me to join them, and I didn’t.  Later I kind of regretted not hanging out with them for a bit.  It would have been fun to have some folks from home to chat with.  And the neighborhood was full of fun buzzy bars and restaurants, it seemed to be a nice mix of locals and visitors.

Sadly, I had to leave Lisbon.  So far, I think it is my favorite of any European cities I have visited.

I booked a train to Porto, and even that was a breeze.  Unilke Renfe in Spain, Portugal’s railway – CP – has a friendly easy to use app, that takes US credit cards!   My ticket was electronic, on my phone (no stress about printing!)  and the booking process was a breeze.  The metro getting from Lisbon city center to the main train station was also very easy.  I’m just loving Portugal.  Looking forward to the next stop!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s