Lisbon

Warm weather, here I come! For my third adventure on the continent, I chose Portugal. The weather, the food, and a native-speaking travel companion all made this the perfect destination. So with great anticipation, we boarded a late flight out of Heathrow bound for Lisbon…

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British Airways flight 504, approaching Lisbon

Day 1: Roadtrip to Leiria

The first day in Lisbon was actually spent outside of Lisbon in the town of Leira, two hours north. The drive was filled with rolling green hills, topped with windmills and castles. The sun peeking through light clouds had a mediterranean warmth very different to the UK’s.

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I was lucky to spend the day eating food, laughing, and attempting to understand the conversation, which was mostly in Portuguese. The laziness of our afternoon was interrupted only by a walk in the forest to visit the neighbours, who happen to be bees…

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Day 2: Walking Around The Old City

After the long day in Leiria, we decided to take things slow on day two. Making our way down the winding roads to Baixa (downtown Lisbon), passing statues, churches, and castles along the way…

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São Jorge Castle overlooks Lisbon

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We were greeted by a local resident!

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I’m admiring the local home decor.
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Lisbon Cathedral dates back to 1147 and rests on the side of a steep hill with trams and roads winding around the base.

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The peaceful interior was such a contrast to the busy streets outside.

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Statue of King José I by Machado de Castro, 1755. The horse is trampling over snakes in his path.

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Octopus salad
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Pastéis de Bacalhau (Cod fish balls). Why haven’t I ever eaten this before?!

Day 3: The Jerónimos MonasteryBelém Tower, and Custard Tarts…

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The Jerónimos Monastery

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Mike from America. It’s tradition to point to where you come from
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Jorge from Portugal (and the U.K.)

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Padrão dos Descobrimentos
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Henry the Navigator leads the group to new worlds.

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Belém Tower was constructed in the early 16th century as a defence system at the mouth of the Tagus river. It’s a great example of the Portuguese Manualine style.
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Exhausted travellers take a break by the water

The Belém district is home to more than just two UNESCO world heritage sites, it’s also where you can find the most famous Pastel de Nata in Lisbon. These custard tarts have a delicious and distinct flavour from the egg yolks, the crispy/chewy pastry cup, and the cinnamon which you sprinkle before eating.

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The rest of the day was spent making our way back home by tram and on foot. With so many options for food, it was nearly impossible to settle on a restaurant but in the end, seafood seemed the right choice. Speaking of food, the prices and quality may come as a shock for anyone who has been living in the United Kingdom. Prices are half of London’s and quality cannot be compared.

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Octopus, chickpeas, and potatoes
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Snails- delicious!
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This carafe of Portuguese wine cost only €2.50! We’re not in London anymore…

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Back in Baixa, where we hopped on a Trolly to take us through the windy streets…

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Back home!
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