Last weekend I went to Lisbon. I admit there’s a bit of history between me and the city, you could say an unrequited love. Much like a youthful love, I opened my heart to this country and all I wanted was to be loved in return.
But unfortunately, life is not a Nicholas Sparks movie (nooo!) and emotions aren’t always returned, so it was more like the teen crushes you had on those way cooler guys all over again – we’re talking one way street. Maybe I was too eager and need to play hard-to-get with future cities/people/food.
Despite a lost taxi driver adventure, I received a warm welcome from my friend who flew in from Amsterdam earlier and had a few welcome pizza slices waiting for me. The apartment was super quirky, great location and Grandma themed – sadly there wasn’t a real Grandma to chat to and cook with (new business idea!?).
The first full day started with a quick breakfast on the go so we could make the early city tour. I’ve mentioned it a few times, but the Sandeman free-but-tip-based tours are a cheap way to find out more about the city and its history that isn’t on Wiki, and, if you are travelling solo it can a good way to meet people.
The tour trundled through some nice spots around the city and ended at the main square where the next tour would start. So we grabbed a quick bite.
We chowed down on Bolinos de Bacalhau (Portuguese Cod Cakes). I think they missed out the word ‘cheese’ in the description, as there was definitely more cheese than fish on these! So, despite not being a huge fan of seafood, I did give it a try as I’ll devour anything drowned in the yellow stuff.
The narrow streets of Alfama. Don’t fall for the ‘explore with a local’ shtick, the magic here is getting lost without google maps, plus you’ll save yourself €12, so more pastries for you!
Lisbon sure as hell knows hip street art.
A shot of Ginjinha, made by a old lady who sells it from her living-room window (I hope my mom won’t read this, but it seemed legit). Ginjinha is a traditional liqueur made of a cherry-like berry called (you guessed it correctly, ginja) that are fermented into a brandy and some added herbs. It was the highlight of the tour, and I’m hoping to do a local franchise here in London.
Tiled houses EVERYWHERE. It was one of my favourite things in the city and I couldn’t get enough. I won’t bore you with the 293 photos I made of them.
Dinner at Pistola y Corazon Taqueria, yes it’s Mexican and yes, we figured all we needed was anything with tequila and nachos. I can go on and on about how tasty the food was, but the place comes with bottomless nachos – need I say more?
The Bertrand Bookstore, selling small bits of tree with ink on since the 1700s. I snapped this at the world’s oldest book store just so I could tell you I had been to the oldest book store in the world.
I know there are worse Air BnB horror stories. I’ve been using Air BnB for a few years now, and Wimdu before that and never had anything bad happen. But then this happened the second (ok 3 seconds) after the light was turned off and I had put my head on the pillow. First we heard what best can be described as raindrops (which was weird as it was first floor and the actual drops and then it actually leaked for about 30 minutes. In the end it turned out someone was having a bath and wanted to share the bath experience with us. I won’t go too much into it, but the communication was … weird.