This post is long overdue and as my friend Heather said, “It’s cruel to say you’re back and then not actually be back!” So without much further ado, let me tell you that this post is going to be largely pictorial coz my brain is still too scrambled for coherent thought 😛 and because if I don’t get this down now, I fear I never will! So here they are – 10 things that made me fall in love with Lisbon 🙂
The Architecture – so familiar from seeing it back home in Goa and yet uniquely special in the way an original is from its copy. Robert Langdon would love it here 😉
The Tiles – vintage, hand-painted, exquisite! I stopped several times just to touch them and feel their history speak. Also the iron-work and masonry wastonishing to say the least!
The Tagus Riverfront – a wonderful promenade by the banks of the river Tagus where local fisherman try their luck, while locals and tourists alike stroll around breathing in the crisp air, taking in the many sights in the area – an old brick lighthouse, the Pont de Vasco de Gama, the Tower of Belem, the grand, imposing beauty that is the Monastery of San Jeronimo, a war memorial that serves as an observation tower offering spectacular views – there’s a veritable feast of stimuli for the senses here!
The quaint charm of Lisbon’s hip and happening neighbourhoods – The Chiado, Rossio, Bairro Alto – yes I know they’re everywhere in Europe and no that doesn’t make them any less miraculous here! Their impossibly tiny cobblestoned streets, quaint boutiques, and profusion of cafes and restaurants made them well nigh irresistible to the romantic in me 😉 Although I confess with a 5-yr-old in tow, we didn’t really do them justice! Still there’s always next year 😉
The Gardens &the Roses – Lisbon has gardens galore! Little ones and grand ones, places where families can picnic and children can play and us visitors can prowl with our cameras on the look out for whatever might catch our fancy 😛 I remember my delight on spying the gigantic roses! I can’t remember ever seeing such large ones! Blood red, dainty pink, pretty salmon…luscious blooms!
The Tram – Yes I know they are pretty much ubiquitous in Europe, but that for me just adds to their allure! I don’t quite know how to explain it – but the sight of the little box on wheels climbing its way up a steep incline is just exhilarating! Or perhaps I’m just grateful for the ride and the photo-op 😉
The Burnt Custard Tart – A Lisbon staple and rightly so! A perfect balance of bitter-sweet deliciousness! Had too many to count and I don’t even like dessert 😉
Vinho Verde – I was skeptical about trying this ‘Green Wine‘, until I finally did with predictable results – LOVED it and drank nothing else for the rest of the trip except for the Caiprinhas at Cabana Fresca in Albufeira that were just out of this World!! If you get your hands on a bottle of Muralhas, you’ll know what I mean! The light, fresh & fruity flavour is right up my street 🙂
The Zoo & Oceanarium – Both excellent places to visit even if you don’t have kids along! I love animals and I go dangerously crazy with my lens in Zoos much to the horror and embarrassment of the Hubby! Not that that bothers me 😉 Loved the Zoo – especially the aerial views from a rope way that travels its length, the abundance of peacocks, the Tigers and the Chimps! Refreshingly non-commercial too 🙂
The Gulls – I fell in love with these gutsy birds! Their squawking calls, yellow beaks and piercing gaze made for some fun bird-watching 🙂 Another bird to add to my collection!
Lisbon charmed me with its relaxed vibe, quaint neighbourhoods and warm people 🙂 There is an enchanting blend of ancient history and modernity here and a refreshing lack of the overt commercialism that runs rampant elsewhere in the world. Many of the sights are free for children and Junior had a blast playing cricket in every park we visited! That’s a LOT of cricket 😉 There’s a sense of underlying whimsy and a languidness that permeates; a ‘je ne sais quois’ that is endearing. Visiting Lisbon allowed me to understand the idiosyncrasies of my own tiny state of Goa better! About time too 😉 I will certainly be visiting again – that’s a given!
P. S. This one’s for you Heather! Hope you liked it and THANK YOU for the much needed nudge 😉 🙂
- Adventure Travel Tips: Lisbon (magazine.fourseasons.com)