I must admit, big cities are usually not our favourite, however with Lisbon we just can’t seem to put our finger on exactly why, but we could stay here for a few more days. Hum …could it be the sardines, (which were simply yummy) or the fact that we saw many people eating soup for breakfast. 😊
We sure had our share of sardines this week. It brought me back to my childhood days with my dad eating sardines and watching hockey. By the way, sardines in Portugal are different from what you would get in Canada. They are fatter and more succulent.🐟
What a week! We have been very busy but have seen and done lots. I think the first amazing thing was feeling the heat penetrating into our bodies. Man, does it ever feel good! Especially when a week ago we left Canada at -18 Burr! This is our first experience for getting away to warmer weather in winter. A +15 degrees feels like +25 for us right now! So here’s the +15 proof in the photo below! Nice!
So the very first morning we found this gem! An amazing café (see photo below) in the Alfama neighbourhood. Le Pois Café. So for all our expresso addict friends be sure to bookmark this café for when you come to Lisbon. We could have spent all day here.
So let’s go back to our arrival last Sunday and our first impressions of this city. At first we were a bit taken aback by the city’s dirty streets, graffiti and construction everywhere. But then as we started exploring we discovered so much more. The city has a lot to offer, great character, it’s people, the art and as well the fact that we feel totally safe here. On the first day we briefly visited the waterfront area (home of the Aquarium) which is the newer part of Lisbon, but we were quickly drawn back to the historic center. Don’t get me wrong there is still that hustle and bustle of big city life here but maybe not as “quick a pace” as most big urban cities we’ve visited so far .
Since we were only here for a few days we had to do a bit of a priority list of things we wanted to see and do. We got to most of them. Here goes…
Our apartment was just a short walking distance from the Time Out Market. We had a great time there and had great food and delicious wine. One of our favorites at the Market was at MARLENE VIEIRA LDA. Fish Galore – Bacalhau (codfish like I love it) Here’s a few pic’s.
On our second day we did a little side trip to Belém. About only a 20 minute train ride trip. This was an amazing day as the weather was perfect and this little town is so laid back this time of year. It actually only took us a big 40 seconds in line to get our famous Pastéis de Balém. We hear that in the peak season people stay in line here for quite some time waiting for those famous little custard tarts. We heard actually as well that some people get discouraged and leave as the wait is so long. Oh my, my my for those who left you do not know what you missed! These were so yummy! 😊 I guess these tarts in Balém are suppose to be the best as they are made from the original secret recipe going back many years ago. I know nothing about that, I only know they were absolutely amazing!😋
Here is what is written on their website-
“In 1837 we began the manufacture of Pastéis de Belém, according to an old recipe of the Jeronimos Monastery that is reborn daily in our factory by the same handcrafted processes. Pastéis de Belém offer the palate of the old Portuguese sweets”
So I was trying to hide from Bernard in order to eat my Pastéis but he caught me in the act! I’m not sharing Bernard!
The next day we headed to the little town of Sintra. Sintra is a picturesque, charming little hill town that is a must to see when you come to Lisbon. We had heard lots about it before coming here and we were not disappointed to have made this side trip. It takes about 45 minutes by train and you need to go there preferably on a beautiful day as you do a lot of walking around. You can either just visit the quaint little town or take in as well some of the historical sites around by using a bus. We opted to visit the little town on foot and also the hop on bus to reach and visit the Palace da Pena.
Here’s a few pic’s of our day in Sintra…
Now back to the city to roam around Lisbon! Hope these photos below will help us remember later this fascinating city.
This cafe (see below) was well reviewed and is one of the oldest cafés in the city. Cafe A Brasileira It’s time to take a café Bernard at this Pastelarias. A Pastelarias is not only where you can get coffee, but you ca get many choices in pastries and a main meal (prato do dia) and oh yes alcohol too. We had all of it!😊
Below here I am strolling the Praça do Comércio.
The tram below brings you to the Santa Caterina lookout . There are a number of lookouts in Lisbon and we managed to see a couple. Trams can take you to the top of various lookouts in the city. Remember that Lisbon is HILLY!
The number 28 yellow tram (see below) passes through the popular districts of Graca, Alfama, Baixa and Estrela. This classic tram journey is fun and believe me it screeches and rattles as it travels through the narrow streets of the city.
Today, was our last day in Lisbon and we spent quite a bit of time again in the Alfama district. It is one of Lisbon’s most genuine neighbourhoods. Strolling through this district we got lost among these charming streets and alleyways. Alfama is one of Lisbon’s oldest neighbourhoods. You can also stop to admire the fantastic view from the Santo Estêvão lookout. What an amazing day!☀️
One final stop before heading back to the apartment, a visit to the oldest bookstore. This bookstore has actually won a Guinness record for being the oldest bookstore in the world! Fun looking through and thinking about the fact that with all the technology that is upon us , people still love to actually hold a real book in their hands. That’s how I guess this bookstore has survived the test of time through all these years. Mathieu on pense à toi!
You can get a rechargeable metro card
We would do a day trip to Cascais.
Do some museums & art galleries.
Do a Fado concert.
Eat at A Cevicheria . It’s closed for renovations this month.
Hop on a few more trams to see a few more lookouts.
Go back to Cafe Pois.😊
Do a few more cafés.☕️
adeus lisboa! ❤️