Let me just start off by saying that this was one of the best weekend trips I’ve taken since I got to Spain. The combination of the beautiful city, friends I was with and lots & lots of laughs all came together perfectly. This trip was the last few days we would be spending with Jackie’s two best friends, Sally and Meg, who had been visiting from the US since the weekend before. Although it was short, the two-hour long flight really made all the difference. We had nearly the whole afternoon on Friday, plus all day Saturday and Sunday to explore.
After a few minor mishaps at the beginning concerning the apartment we were staying in, we were all a little on edge. Jackie, Meg and Gabby went out to buy some snacks, wine and breakfast for the next morning while Sally, Lauren and I stayed back and started getting ready. Worried they would return with even more woes, I was delighted when they came back in wonderful spirits and very excited to get our first night in the city started. Between Friday and Saturday night, we managed to explore a large part of the Portuguese nightlife here in Lisbon. We started out in Barrio Alto, one of the many hills of the city, lined with bars and filled with just as many locals as tourists. We also got to see a Fado show, Portuguese flamenco, which was really beautiful. Lastly, we went to two different clubs in the city, Urban Beach and Luxe that were both really fun.
Scenes from the trolley car.
We spent Saturday doing a little bit of shopping, taking the local trolley up through the Alfama neighborhood and strolling back down, taking in breath-taking views of the riverside and the city-side of the city. Sunday was a little more relaxed (if that seems possible); we headed over to Belem, for the Pastéis de Belem, a very famous egg custard pastry. It was really good, although I don’t know if I would say it merits being as well-known as it is. Then we headed over to the beach town of Cascais. There we relaxed on the beach and enjoyed the best gelato in Portugal. I chose chocolate chip and lemon raspberry in a cup, which was so yummy.
Besides the wonderful sweets, we also tried many traditional Portuguese dishes. Friday night we tried a tasting menu with Portuguese chorizo & blood sausage, baked cod in a thick cream sauce, kale soup, roasted potatoes and pork with a variety of seasonings. If we thought the service in Spain was bad we had no idea what we were in for in Portugal though. We had been to the southern beach towns of Albuferia and Lagos two years ago, but had completely forgotten the services issues we had there (we ordered four English breakfasts for four people, and for some reason the waiter had only written down an order for three). Here, we got lucky though with a free sampling of chocolate and fruit mousses for dessert to compensate.
Saturday for lunch we had the funniest waiter I have ever had. His broken English and radical change in mannerisms through out the course of the meal had me crying and falling on the table laughing. Jackie and I shared a huge piece of fresh sole fish (although we had ordered swordfish… oh, language barriers) and roasted chicken. Lisbon was such a beautiful city, and, just like with every other city I’ve been to, I really hope I have the chance to go back someday. A lot of parts of the city reminded us of Prague; the style of the buildings and architecture was just very similar. Every trip I go on, I hope to cross somewhere off the list, but unfortunately, that list is just getting longer and longer! I hope you guys enjoyed your weekend just as much as I did! Ciao, amores:)