As I’m sitting here drinking a breakfast beer, I’m reflecting on how much this new place has changed my perspective. First of all, #prost because this beer is DELICIOUS. Sagres Bohemia is absolutely my favorite amber beer I’ve EVER tried. Second of all…my plane leaves in 40 minutes and I have no idea which gate it leaves from. Dan or Marcie would be panicking right about now… but I am a low stress traveler. I’m perfectly content sipping this beer, people watching and writing this blog post.
Lisbon surprised me because the people here are so kind. Especially since my friends and I have experienced some not so friendly vibes toward Americans traveling Europe. The airport was bustling and crowded this morning. ALL of the chairs at the cafe were taken except one. It was at a table with a group of 5 gorgeous ladies speaking Portuguese. It felt like I was in the movie Mean Girls, trying to sit with the beautiful crowd. They saw me looking for another table and waved to me so I would sit with them. I think they were intrigued by my breakfast beer haha. Living in Europe I’ve learned that improv sign language is a universal language. I’ve also learned to ignore people staring at you. (And let me tell you they stare!). However, it doesn’t really bother me any more and if you ignore them eventually they stop looking at you.
So first impressions are important but my first impression of Portugal was doubtful. There was a lot of graffiti…A LOT. It was an old looking city with cramped streets and anxiety producing traffic. Marcie and I were looking at each other with wide eyes during the entire cab ride. The closer we got to our Airbnb the more charming the city became.
When we finally arrived, we walked up 5 flights of old stairs (the first flight was marble 😍). When we got to the top we were really impressed. The lighting was perfect and this two bedroom apartment didn’t disappoint. The owners even left us a bottle of local wine for our stay.
We dropped our bags and went exploring. The first day we wandered into a craft fair that was selling sangria. We sipped sangria from the market and enjoyed the music of the city. We leisurely walked through the city and plazas. Occasionally stopping to shop for summer dresses, swim suits and coverups for summer. I loved shopping with Desiree and Jaden. They make me laugh constantly. We worked up an appetite shopping, since we were starving and missing home so we stopped at the Hard Rock Cafe Lisbon. That comfort food hit the spot!
The second day we got up ridiculously early. This is the easiest way to get the best photos. We honestly just got up early due to the time change. We planned our first stop, Comercio Square. I snapped a picture of this tram and then realized it was the one we were supposed to take to see the Bélem tower 😳 so we sprinted to make the tram. A nice older man stuck his cane in the door to prevent it from shutting. We laughed as we sat down. Running before 7 am is not the norm for me on vacation. We thought it would be a long ride so we weren’t paying attention and got off on the wrong stop. However, we got to see the Jeronimos Monistary and the Monument to the Discoveries. It was so beautiful watching the sun come up. Believe it or not the silence of the mornings brings me so much peace. I talk wayyy to much for the average person so we just enjoyed this slow and quite morning. Eventually we walked down to the Belem tower and had breakfast.
After breakfast we used our navigation skills and with the help of Google maps we figured out the public transit system. We took trams, trains and buses in order to get to Cintra. It was a beautiful place and I loved how everything was covered in multicolored tile. EVERYTHING. Including the window for the guy selling train tickets! I would highly recommend going there if you’re ever in the area.
After a doubtful first impression, I have to say that Lisbon was a very charming city. The kindness of the locals made an impression that will stay with me forever.
Ps. A special thanks to Marcie and her family for the friendship and love we share. I’ll miss you dearly 😭 but I know our paths will cross again. 💕💋