Lisbon is a city that was never on my bucket list. Paris I dreamed of as a little girl. I can’t wait for the day we go to Prague. But Lisbon? It wasn’t even on my radar.
And then we were planning this trip. We knew we would be spending a week on the Balleric Islands off of Spain and that we wanted to spend 3-4 days in another European city in addition to the time we’d be spending in England. We looked at so many options but after a bit of research and chatting with my cousin (who has been living there for a few months), Lisbon seemed like a great choice.
Here’s a little bit of our first two days in the city:
We flew out of Mallorca early Sunday morning and made it to Lisbon around noon. We took a taxi (which are very reasonable in Lisbon) from the airport to my cousin’s apartment in Baixa. After a bit of catching up and a light lunch, we walked (more liked hiked) around the city for a bit –
^The pastel colors on all the buildings were so surprising to me! Everything was so picturesque and I had to stop myself from snapping pictures of every single street.
^We walked straight up a steep hill (the whole city is incredibly hilly) to get to this beautiful lookout.
^Sneakers are a must – I lived in these for most of our time in Portugal.
^travel day = air dried airplane hair – but who cares when you have this kind of a view?
^the buildings that aren’t pastel are covered in this gorgeous painted tile
^Monday morning we got up and took the train to Sintra, about half an hour outside of Lisbon and a World Heritage site. This is Pene Castle, the summer palace for the Portugese royal family and basically something out of a fairy tale.
^Lincoln is a little dazed – probably only half an hour passed his nap time at this point
^I’ll take this kitchen, please and thank you
^30 something weeks pregnant
^my cousin/ tour guide, Liv
^After a morning at the castle we grabbed some pastries for the train ride home and I have never seen Lincoln SO obsessed with a food item.
^Later that night we met up with my cousin and her husband for dinner. It happened to be Portugal’s independence day so there were red carnations everywhere and people celebrating the end of fascism.
^The tables were set up in the middle of this pedestrian street, with a beautiful view overlooking the city.
^I ordered salmon and Ben got a more traditional salted codfish (which seemed to me like a delicious mashed potato dish that Lincoln couldn’t get enough of)
^three cheers for cousins who take the baby to walk stairs during dinner (Lincoln’s all-time favorite activity while we were in Europe)
A few more memories of the day:
- Sintra was incredibly hot and exhausting (albeit beautiful). But there were kind Korean tourists who gave up their seats on the bus so the pregnant lady could sit (whose wives then told me how handsome my husband was ;). And there was an even kinder bus driver who, although we were at the end of the line, stopped the bus twenty feet early and motioned for the me and Ben to get on with Lincoln before pulling up to the regular bus station and letting on the crowds (he explained he wanted to be sure we had somewhere to sit before it got too crowded). Lisbon was a continual reminder that people are kind and good and thoughtful.
- We also got a hold of some regular milk (Porto Cristo only had this highly pasteurized stuff that didn’t need to be refrigerated) and indulged in some kind of nutella stuffed cereal for dessert after the babies had gone to bed.
- Curling up on my cousin’s couch, in a city I had never been, felt a bit like being home. I remember feeling grateful for this network of love that is family (and for a cousin in law studying in such a gorgeous city). There is little more wonderful than ending a hectic and exhausting morning of traveling, after 10 of living out of a suitcase, with homemade soup and the best company.