Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Cityscape on Camera: Lisbon, Portugal

The final big European city on our backpacking trip was Lisbon. Abby, Jonathan and I took an overnight train from Madrid to Lisbon for a few days in the Portuguese capital. Unfortunately, we didn't book our tickets much in advance, so there were no beds left. :( We just sat in regular train cars for the 9-hour trip. It was still way more comfortable than a plane, though!

Welcome to Lisbon on Instagram on Semi-Charmed Kind of Life
Patterned leggings are a cultural experience in Lisbon. ;) via @mcstroup on Instagram


Our hostel in Lisbon, We Love F. Tourists, was pretty awesome. It did have a wicked set of stairs, though, so don't stay here if you have bad knees or plan on not being able to walk when you get back to the hostel at night. You can also climb out the window onto the roof for these amazing views of the city and St. George's Castle on top of a nearby hill:

Rooftop view of Lisbon on Instagram on Semi-Charmed Kind of Life
Rooftop view of Lisbon on Semi-Charmed Kind of Life
Rooftop view of St. George's Castle in Lisbon on Semi-Charmed Kind of Life

Does anyone want to guess what we did on our first morning in Lisbon? If you said free tour, you'd be right! It was sprinkling a little while we waited for the tour in Rossio Square, but during the tour itself the rain (mostly) held off.

Rossio Square Fountain in Lisbon on Semi-Charmed Kind of Life
Portuguese man caricature in Lisbon on Semi-Charmed Kind of Life
Street art in Lisbon on Semi-Charmed Kind of Life
Graffiti in Lisbon on Semi-Charmed Kind of Life
View of Lisbon on Semi-Charmed Kind of Life
Tiny car in Lisbon on Semi-Charmed Kind of Life
Ceiling in Lisbon on Semi-Charmed Kind of Life
Smallest bookshop in the world on Semi-Charmed Kind of LifeSmallest bookshop in the world on Semi-Charmed Kind of Life

Portuguese flag in Lisbon on Semi-Charmed Kind of Life
25th of April Bridge and the Statue of Christ the King in Lisbon on Semi-Charmed Kind of Life
Cathedral in Lisbon on Semi-Charmed Kind of Life

That afternoon, we braved a plate of snails for lunch and took a stroll down the length of Eduardo VII Park. I also snapped a few pictures of the gorgeous and varied cobblestone patterns that cover all the sidewalks and squares in Lisbon.

Snails and wine in Lisbon on Semi-Charmed Kind of Life
Eduardo VII Park in Lisbon on Semi-Charmed Kind of Life
Eduardo VII Park in Lisbon on Semi-Charmed Kind of Life
Cobblestone patterns in Lisbon on Semi-Charmed Kind of LifeCobblestone street patterns in Lisbon on Semi-Charmed Kind of Life
Cobblestone patterns in Lisbon on Instagram on Semi-Charmed Kind of Life

We happened to be in Lisbon at the beginning of their big week of festas, so the nightlife was like:

Street festa in Lisbon on Semi-Charmed Kind of Life

We tried going to the famous club in the city, Lux, but honestly, the festas were way better! They also had delicious, cheap food. Abby and I were a little wary of the sardines, but after Jonathan de-boned them for us we thoroughly enjoyed the 2-euro snack.

Unsure about sardines at Lisbon street festa on Semi-Charmed Kind of Life

On our next day, we ventured out of the city to Belem to see the Monument of Discoveries, the Belem Tower and the Jeronimos Monastery.

Monument to the Discoveries in Belem on Semi-Charmed Kind of Life
Monument to the Discoveries in Belem on Semi-Charmed Kind of Life
Belem Tower on Semi-Charmed Kind of Life
Jeronimos Monastery in Belem on Semi-Charmed Kind of LifeJeronimos Monastery in Belem on Semi-Charmed Kind of Life
Jeronimos Monastery in Belem on Semi-Charmed Kind of Life
Jeronimos Monastery in Belem on Semi-Charmed Kind of Life
Jeronimos Monastery in Belem on Semi-Charmed Kind of Life
25th of April Bridge and the Statue of Christ the King in Lisbon on Semi-Charmed Kind of Life
25th of April Bridge and the Statue of Christ the King in Lisbon on Semi-Charmed Kind of Life
Cyclist in underwear in Belem on Semi-Charmed Kind of Life
This was a fun little treat to observe while strolling along in Belem.

Of course, we couldn't visit Lisbon without touring the Castle of St. George. The highlight, though, was probably after we left the castle, when a street musician outside let us play with his puppies. (He probably made more money than any street performer I'd seen in Europe. Those puppies were a smart investment!)

Jonathan in St. George's Castle in Lisbon on Semi-Charmed Kind of Life
Something makes me think Jonathan's Portuguese ancestors were a little smaller than him.
Inside St. George's Castle in Lisbon on Semi-Charmed Kind of Life
Puppies outside St. George's Castle in Lisbon on Semi-Charmed Kind of Life
Jonathan and a puppy in Lisbon on Semi-Charmed Kind of Life

We also took a short train ride to Sintra, which I had heard was beautiful. We did explore a park and had a delicious seafood lunch, but unfortunately the weather was not cooperating that day so we didn't do too much.

Sintra, Portugal, on Semi-Charmed Kind of Life
Liberty Park in Sintra, Portugal, on Semi-Charmed Kind of Life

After returning from Sintra, we made a quick stop to the Stadium of the Light so Jonathan could get his soccer (I'm sorry, futbol) fix, and then we rode the train across the 25th of April Bridge to see the Statue of Christ the King up close.

The Stadium of Light in Lisbon on Semi-Charmed Kind of Life
Tile sign in Lisbon on Semi-Charmed Kind of Life
25th of April Bridge in Lisbon on Semi-Charmed Kind of Life

Of course, we arrived at the park containing the statue a mere 15 minutes after closing, so this is as close as we could get to Jesus' face:

Statue of Christ the King in Lisbon on Semi-Charmed Kind of LifeStatue of Christ the King in Lisbon on Semi-Charmed Kind of Life
"The back of yo' head is ridiculous, Jesus!"

The next morning, Abby flew back to Switzerland to be with my mom, and Jonathan and I boarded a flight to visit his cousins in the Azores, a Portuguese archipelago in the Atlantic. (Personally, I like to describe the islands as "the Hawaii of Portugal.") Check back next week for pictures of Terceira, the first island on our Azorean journey!

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2 comments:

Jenn @ A Country Girl's World said...

Portugal is definitely on my list. I have seen pictures of Sinatra and want to go so badly!! Looks like a great end to your trip :)

Allen Fletcher said...

Great art work done on various historical places as in pictures you display. I love to visit again .It is not easy to visit all these places in 2 or 3 days need a car or travel guide to seen each and every sites of Portugal For the next time click here for more information
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