Lisbon: Tiles, Tapas & all the ocean vibes
I must have a thing for seaside cities...
Seriously. I loved Lima. And I loved Lisbon too! Something about being near the water just makes me really really happy. Though there were definitely some big differences between the two cities, they still are among my favorite stops this year. Though, you can probably tell, I was just pretty happy with everywhere we've gone this year so far. What can I say? I'm a silver-lining person.
All the tiles.
Seriously, from Day 1 that we set foot in Lisbon, I was obsessed with the tiles. Like all the buildings in Lisbon are ornamented with this gorgeous tiles. It's a part of the cities aesthetic and it's freaking beautiful. I probably took more pictures of or in front of the sides of buildings than I have in my entire life because the tiles were just gorgeous. They have a whole museum about the Tiles of Lisbon, which I wish I'd had a chance to go to! But alas, you can't always do it! Just, mentally prepare yourself for the gorgeousness that is Lisbon's tiles.
I love this place! We stopped here at the end of our Lisbon street art tour and I basically fell in love. It's a converted industrial complex in really not the sexiest part of Lisbon, but the vibes of this place is just soooo cool. It's got all of these quirky, artsy, fun shops and so many great restaurants. Of all the places I've seen in all the places I've visited this year, this is one of the few that I've returned to multiple times while staying in a city. It is just a cool place with an even cooler vibe!
arrabida - Kayaking & an unreal beach day.
I paid extra for this, what we call a "Plus event" because it's not included in our remote year monthly fee and it was SO worth. Arrabida is a secluded area away from the city that locals will often frequent on the weekends. We headed here mid-week to take advantage of the beautiful beaches and seaside awesomeness. We spent probably two hours sea kayaking and checking out some of the caves along the water before getting a wonderful lunch and then heading to a very secluded beach, which our guide said was one of the best beaches in Europe. I haven't seen enough of Europe to know, but I'll tell you this. It was gorgeous! Don't let the grins fool you though, it was cold as all hell! The Atlantic Ocean is no joke!
CAscais & the general accessibility of so many places in portugal by train.
There are so many great places that you can see in Portugal and what is so awesome about Europe is how accessible everything is by train! And it's cheap too! Though many people in my community traveled all over Portugal by train, fully utilizing this accessibility, I was sadly only able to get to Cascais! But it was worth it! We took a very inexpensive train out to this quaint and adorable seaside city, walked around a bit, checked out a couple shops, snapped all the photos, got a great tapas-inspired meal for lunch, before cozying up on the beach for a little R&R. It was a wonderful, simple day and I thoroughly enjoyed it!
Alfama & Fado music.
The evening I got back from Cascais, a group of us headed to the neighborhood of Alfama for a night out with a local guide. He walked us through the neighborhood, told us a bit about it's history and then we ended the night sipping wine and listening to Fado, a famous Portuguese style of music. It was unbelievable. Think Spanish guitar background music, but with the most gut-wrenching vocals layered on top of it. It was fascinating to hear the different styles. I definitely found myself partial to the women singers, whose emotional resonance with the music they were singing was next level. It makes sense - this musical style originated because fishermen's wives pioneered it to sing to their men who were gone, out at sea, sometimes never to return. And when these women sang it, damn. You could just feel that passion! Definitely check out some Fado music in the Alfama area if you have the chance while you're in Lisbon.
Being in Lisbon for the World Cup.
It was a blast being in Mexico for the World Cup, and I wrote all about how it really colored our experience in Mexico City. But I was pretty freaking blown away by Portugal. Their team was no longer in the tournament, but you wouldn't know it by all the World cup festivities that were going on. They had a full-blown World Cup watch screen and park in the middle of one of their most popular squares and I remember walking by it after the semi final match - it was insanity! Seriously, being in Europe for the World Cup is unbelievable!
Belem, Jeronimos Monastery, Belem Garden, the Belem Tower, & Padrão dos Descobrimentos.
We had a pretty great day in Belem. It started off by going to watch some new friends of ours play in a soccer tournament in the area, which was amazing in and of itself, but it ended with us playing tourist in the Belem area. We started our expedition checking out the absolute beautiful monastery, which was ornate and absolutely massive! Then, right across the street from the monastery is this beautiful garden complete with fountain, which, given the hot day, locals and tourists alike huddled around and stuck their feet in to cool off. It was another pinch me moment in the grand scheme of Remote Year. After relaxing by the fountain for a while, we then proceeded to check out some of the monuments and tourists attractions along the water, including Belem Tower and Padrão dos Descobrimentos, two of the attractions that I'd driven by in Ubers God knows how many times! It was a wonderful, beautiful day of making new friends and sightseeing.
Pink street and the bar scene.
Our friends wanted to take us out that night and after some shenanigans with a club not being open to the public, we ended up on Pink Street! I hadn't even heard of this area of Lisbon until this night. It is literally a Pink street with every kind of bar or night-out scene that you could possibly want! We had a great time dancing and enjoying the late-night Lisbon culture that thus far I hadn't taken advantage of! Sometimes as an introvert, you just need some new friends (ie. cute boys!), great music and tequila to take advantage of the nightlife of a new city! ;-)
All in all it was a great month in Lisbon! Unfortunately, this is one of my shorter reviews because I definitely spent most of the month sick, including an emergency trip to the hospital to get antibiotics for a bacterial infection that was reeking havoc on my immune system and my general health! But all in all - it was a very solid month on Remote Year, illness be damned, and I'm definitely planning on returning to Portugal in the future!
THINGS I MISSED, BUT YOU SHOULD TOTALLY CONSIDER CHECKING OUT:
- Sao Jorge Castle. I saw this from afar, but didn't have the chance to go check it out!
- Sintra & Porto. The people in my community did a lot of travel and side-tripping this month. And I didn't. I didn't make it to Sintra, the home of these colorful, Disney-esque castles, nor did I make it to Porto, it's amazing beaches and the home of port. But don't worry...I still drank plenty. When in Portugal...
- Christ the King Statue. I didn't make the trek out to this statue, but you can basically see it anywhere on the Lisbon waterfront.
- The Museum of Tiles. I heard that this museum was wonderful, but Lisbon has many wonderful museums and I just couldn't see them all!