It felt good to whip back out the BOOMMM DIA this morning on my flight to Lisbon. I had a few more days off before I started my internship so figured I should do something fun… So I’m taking on Portugal by myself.
I got off the plane and took the underground metro to the Anjos stop. I came out from underground and had my first shot of Lisbon.
It was beautiful. It reminded me so much of Brazil, but really Brazil was all based off of this magnificent country. I walked about a mile from the stop (minor confusion trying to get oriented) to a biweekly flea market, Mercado Santa Clara in the Feira da Ladra market. It was crazy and amazing, unlike any flea market I’ve seen. The kind of things that Americans don’t think twice before throwing out, these people bring to the flea market on tarps and find a piece of sidewalk and lay it out.
There was everything from marbles and GI Joe’s to play boy magazines, laptops, Pokemon, records, homemade products of all sorts, and I even saw a semi old US dollar bill being sold.
There was a school and a national pantheon right in the area, the whole site was fabulous.
The walk from there to Baixa and Castelo de Sao Jorge shouldn’t have been TOO bad but of course it turned into quite the show. I wondered down some beautiful little streets and got help from little old men along the way. It was adorable and my Spanish/Portuguese knowledge was actually SO helpful outside the center. I ended up walking along the coast and seeing the Museu Militar, also gorgeous.
I stopped along the way for some food, I could not stop resisting the pastels. I had to make them mine. Pastel de Nata is especially popular, some shops literally only make them. It. Was. Delicious. I don’t want to know what’s in it but it’s on the left and to die for.
For all of that it was a euro and a half, not even. That’s less than $2. Food here is ridiculously good and ridiculously cheap. But one should note- YOU HAVE TO TIP IN PORTUGAL! I did not know this and didn’t originally tip this wonderful hospitable man at that little unknown cafe. I feel so bad, he was so sweet. I would go back if I could but it was out of the central and I had no idea where I was and if it even had a name. Also on food, the fruit is insane. It’s everywhere, every block had a little mom and pop shop with incredible fruit. I don’t know if I’ve ever seen a kiwi this big…
I finally made it to the central and the first thing I found on my list for the day was the Se Cathedral. It was beautiful.
I only went inside for a little. It was really just a 10 minute kind of visit.
Next I accidentally ran into a site I was looking for.. Miradouro de Santa Luzia.
After more help from the Portuguese I found my way up to Castelo de Sao Jorge. It was 5 euros with my student ID. Honestly, the best part was just the view from the top.
The rest of the castle was okay. It was beautiful from the outside but really not all that great from the inside. Just a lot of stairs.
Through the castle was an archeological site. I didn’t totally understand but got these….
Last, on the way in/out there’s a “romance jardin”.
I found my way back to my hostel from there, the travelers inn. It’s right off the Main Street in Baixa and so friendly. The main man who runs it speaks 5 languages with the perfect accent for each and can tell you everything about everywhere in Portugal. I met up with some people there and hiked to another high point in the city to watch the sunset. From the viewpoint you could see the medieval castle on the left, the Cristo (similar to Brazil) in the middle, and on the far left bridges that reminded me of the golden gate.
On the way we walked through a couple squares with some cool structures.
It was a great day and I had a wonderful cheap fish dinner. Fish is everywhere and so popular.
I fell in love with Lisbon. One thing I have to mention is that this city is really the city of tiles. Is this a thing? It should be. The buildings were covered in beautiful art.