Tiles, trams and tarts in Lisbon!
It’s hard not to get obsessed with all three while in this gorgeous city, certainly looking back and editing photos now all three featured heavily in front of our camera lens.
Lisbon was city number two on our summer holiday break after Mad Cool Festival and Madrid. Ben and I landed mid afternoon and made our way to the lofty Barrio Alto apartment that was to be ours for the next three nights. We found the apartment on Airbnb and booked it based on the glowing reviews received, here is the link if you’re planning a Lisbon break yourself – it will not disappoint!
Being right on dinner time when we settled ourselves in the apartment our host recommended, Noobai, a casual bar on the hilltop around the corner for dinner and drinks. A perfect place to soak in the view and start planning our Lisbon adventure.
Our friendly waiter was all too keen to help us plan too, advising that Belem, Sintra and Cascais can’t be missed. We made it to two out of three – we’ll have to go back to explore Cascais.
But first of course, a walking tour. We joined a Sandemans morning tour of Lisbon to find out a bit of the history of the city and wander the cobbled streets as the were just waking up for the day.
After the walking tour we went on to book a paid tour with Sandemans to Belem, a town just outside of Lisbon about 30 minutes on the train.
After a cooler morning, the sun soon came out baking hot and we were wondering why we hadn’t booked a beach holiday instead.
Dipping my toes in on the shores of the River Tagus in Belem was the closest I got to a swim in Lisbon.
Belem is home to the Monument to the Discoveries above commemorating the Age of Discoveries in Portugal. A time of great exploration and the begining of globalisation.
Oh and it is the home of the Pastie de nata! Wow that is a pastry. We had our first (three) from the famous Pasteis de Belem and continued to have them for breakfast for the next two days.
Our apartment was overlooking a tram route and so we woke up to drink tea on the balcony and watch the trams pass up and down below us.
A tram couldn’t go by without us lining up a picture of it, along with all the other tourists. I’m sure we must give the locals a good laugh, I know I roll my eyes at the tourists snapping pictures of the buses on Oxford street now.
Our last day in Lisbon was spent visiting the palaces and castles of Sintra. We managed to visit Pena Palace and the Moorish Castle. I would have loved to see more but we left a little late after having to sort out train tickets to Porto in person. I knew we couldn’t miss Pena Palace though, as the colours were so striking in photos I really wanted to see it in person. This is where my fascination with tiles really started, too. There are so many different textures and colours in this place.
You can tell I had the camera most of the day as I have dragged Ben in to pose for me.
Late afternoon we trudged up to the Moorish Castle. My feet were hurting by then but the discomfort was worth it for the views.
Getting back from Sintra quite late we opted for an easy dinner at a restaurant just below our apartment called Santa Bica. Being about 10.30 we were starving, but the meal was worth the wait. I had a beautiful steak, but Ben was the winner of the night ordering their signature BBQ octopus. The softest most delicious piece of meat you can imagine. I say meat as it was so chunky its hard to think of it as fish.
Oh, the dessert here was very good, too. I think this was their signature dessert a condensed milk and biscuit-y sundae. Devine!
Little did we know we were in for even more food heaven, our next stop is Porto.