Okay, I’m behind again. I know we aren’t surprised, but in my poor defense, I was really sick. Not only did I not write this post like I said I would, I also missed work and what was supposed to be my first rugby game on a really beautiful day. It was a sorry weekend in deed. It was also the first weekend I didn’t like living alone because I had to be an adult and buy my own sick gatorade. Confirmation: Being an adult is over-rated. Not a fan. Also not a fan of Gatorade flavors in Hungary; they’re just not the same.
But Lisbon was great. I met Ani at the airport for my first non-solo trip in quite a while. I really missed my friend that CETP brought me and was also happy to not be traveling alone for once. We both agreed Lisbon had a really good feel to it and we liked it from almost the moment we landed. It was an unusually rainy weekend for Portugal and while that did put a damper on the plans, it was still a great city.
Our first order of business was dinner after we found our Airbnb. We had tapas at a small restaurant near us, I think this was everything we ordered, but I’m not sure. We also had a shot of cherry liquor that is quite popular there and it was pretty good as well. I have a verrrry small amount of this that I’m bringing back to the states with me so hit me up early to try it before it’s gone.
We woke up the next morning to a really nice sight outside of our flat- Orange trees! and also tons of clouds which was our warning to bring umbrellas for the rest of the day.
We started with a walking tour from Sandeman’s of course. Frederico was our tour guide this time and while the tour started off rough from the weather, he did everything he could to carry out the best tour in terrible conditions. At one point while we were on break, there was thunder and lightning so loud and simultaneous that I thought it was a bomb, not kidding, it was a really unfortunate weather weekend to be there. still warmer than PA though. It takes a pretty good tour guide to salvage a day like that. Fred still got us familiar with history in Lisbon – there was a terrible earthquake which was followed by a horrible fire. 80% of the city was destroyed. And the revolution which caused zero bloodshed and the symbol of the carnation of this day, originating because a soldier asking a woman for a cigarette and receiving a flower since the woman didn’t smoke.
One thing that Fred taught us was that everything is 80% Portuguese. Example: Harry Potter. JK Rowling spent most of her time in Portugal writing and as a result many things are Portuguese. The robes they wear in Hogwarts are similar to (I think) college robes, the Hogwarts staircase looks like a very famous bookstore’s staircase, and so on. And Fred did this for many things, such as James Bond and other pop culture items. So basically, whatever you enjoy, you should send a big shout of thanks to Portugal for according to Fred. We also had lunch with him and a couple of Italians after the typical tour ended. It was interesting to hear that more about Sandemans from a guides perspective as well more about Portugal from someone my own age’s perspective as Fred was 24(?). What makes a country so good is not just how it looks or how nice the food is, it’s the people and the interactions that make it stand out. It is so nice to sit down and really talk to other people and get their perspective on the world and their opinion about their countries and just life in general.
We saw Alfama, we saw Baixa chaido, elevator de Santa justa, LX factory, estacao do rossio, and so many things in between. It was nice to be somewhere that my Spanish knowledge meant something. While Portuguese and Spanish are of course different, they’re similar enough to figure it out. Going to Portugal and at time communicating in Spanish really made me feel confident that if I go somewhere Spanish speaking I could be fluently after not too long. It was a really good feeling as this is one of my biggest goals for myself.
Lisbon was really beautiful and I’d love to go back with better weather to get to see everything I wasn’t able to in the monsoon we got to experience. There isn’t a ton to do and I think a weekend is perfect to experience this city, weather cooperating.
One thing I loved about Portugal was the tiles. I loved them so much Ani probably hates them. Every five feet when a new tile pattern showed up, I had a new favorite tile. I think about what I would do if I were to win the lottery or somehow come into a lot of money sometimes. Currently, my dream would be own a flat covered in tiles with a balcony for flowers in Portugal. With my bank account the way it is, I could afford to take home a tile from Nunes to hang on my wall. Almost the same…
The food round up – a typical bakery in the left, a pastel de nata in my hand which was the typical pastry to try and quite good and filling. some cod for lunch which was pretty average but I don’t generally like fish so I suppose it was quite good with that in mind. Sunday we went for lunch to a restaurant Ani’s cousin recommended to us and we tried octopus salad and had some very excellent steak. It was a definitely a meal to remember at Restaurante Carvoeiro de Palma.
Here’s a few views from and to and in between on the trip.
And lastly, my favorite street art of Lisbon, the irony of it being in one of the most touristy street really gets to me.