San Francisco? Rio de Janeiro? No, Lisboa. The 25 de Abril Bridge in Lisbon looks exactly like the Golden Gate bridge and was even created by the American Bridge Company that build the San Francisco Oakland Bay Bridge. And The Sanctuary of Christ the King statue located across the bridge from Lisbon was inspired by Christ the Redeemer in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
It was our final, and favorite destination. I could go into extensive detail on the couple of short days we spent there, but to be completely honest, I’m on a tight schedule these days and I just don’t have the time I would like to go into all the details.
So, for the sake of time, this blog is going to be written a bit differently. Below, I’ve detailed our itinerary with some travel notes.
We arrived in Lisbon later than expected after a three hour delay on the tarmac in Budapest. Being hungry, we quickly stopped at our AirBnB and our host suggested that we walk back up the massive hill to find food, and that we did. We stumbled upon Chicken Mafia, not traditional Portuguese cuisine, but nonetheless, tasty.
The temperature stayed around 75 degrees while we were there, so it was perfect for our daily adventuring. So, our first day schedule in Lisbon looked a little like this!
In the morning…
Belem Tower: Closed the day we attended, oops.
Jeronimos Monastery: Also, closed.
A walk along the river to have lunch at Mercado da Ribeira, also known as Time Out Market. This place was packed with traditional food and amazing smells. All the choices were overwhelming. Seriously, we walked around for over an hour because I couldn’t decide.
In the afternoon …
Walked through Rua Nova do Carvalho, also known as Pink Street. The street isn’t the only thing colorful about Lisbon. Most buildings in Lisbon are painted brightly or covered with elaborate tiles. In Portugal, the use of azulejos, tiles, to cover walls and floors was used as a way to make spaces more aesthetically pleasing, and dates back to the end of the 15th century.
Castelo de S. Jorge: This was the highlight of the day for me. Located in the beautiful Alfama District, this castle sits on top of a hill overlooking the city. It was the perfect location to take photographs, sit, and ponder life. As I looked out and saw the sun pier through the clouds, it brought me to tears. In that moment, it was the most beautiful thing I’ve ever seen.
Miradouro (viewpoint) Sophia de Mello Breyner Andresen : We headed up the hill to watch the sun set beneath the city. The clouds rolled in, but we didn’t mind. We were just happy to be there, be present, and enjoy the street guitarist playing.
Dinner at Medrosa D’ Alfama, an oh so tiny restaurant with the best tapas in town.
We finished our evening at Topo Chiado, a location that isn’t easily accessible via Google Map directions. Located near the top deck of the Santa Justa elevator, we had to walk past Largo do Carmo, through an alleyway and up some stairs until we found the entrance. We sat again, overlooking the city, this time from the other side of town.
The second day was shorter, but still enjoyable as we roamed the streets of Lisbon. And yes, unfortunately, we were only able to stay in Lisbon for two days, but we have plans to return in the future.
Our last morning…
Walked through Rossio D. Pedro IV Square, one of the main squares from the Middle Ages.
Our last afternoon...
Lunch at A Cevicheria, where the restaurant's decor was better than it’s food, but still a fun experience! A little word of advice though, I wouldn’t recommend seafood before an international flight. That’s all.
After lunch, we packed our bags and headed back home. And yes, we packed everything into backpacking daypacks. Traveling light may take some thought, but it’s the best way to go!
So it may not be my traditional travel novel, but nonetheless, you get a glimpse into our adventure.
We cannot wait to set sail again in 2020!