Thursday, April 20, 2017 | Germany – Bavaria, Nuremberg | Petra
CITY OF SEVEN HILLS
Lisbon, the city of Fado and light, isn’t very far. Today the famous bridge Ponte 25 de Abril takes us over the river Tejo to the vibrant center of the metropolis. The parking situation of Lisbon is far from ideal. Therefore we prefer to park it at the local camp ground outside the center in the green field. The next days we will take bus and train to plunge into the fascinating atmosphere of this city and explore its surrounding.
We are very much looking forward to it!
Lisbon is built on seven hills, which we can feel clearly when strolling around the city
It definitely is a fantastic city! Old and modern, vibrant and versatile, entertaining and very romantic.
Granted, the morbid charm of the old houses is nice to look at, but it doesn’t make it easier to live in Lisbon, for sure. There are probably more construction sites than seagulls. The structure mostly is rotten, the situation of housing is difficult and the traffic bursts at the seams. For the residents it’s constantly challenging. The many tourists every year do one more thing.
However, Lisbon has that certain something, residents and tourists equally are in love with. In spite of all hustle and bustle there is an incredible nonchalance. There is always time for a smile, a friendly salute, a chat or a glass of wine.
Suddenly even the sun decided to make our stay at Lisbon as nice a possible. Curiously we stroll trough the streets and alleys, uphill and downhill, upstairs, downstairs, we have a look here, we have a look there. Any symptoms of fatigue we easily can overcome in one of the many bars enjoying the sun.
We stroll through the charming quarter of Alfama, listen to wistful sounds of Fado, we nosh on the divine delicacy Pastel de Nata (several times), we trudge uphill to the sweeping Castelo de São Jorge, allow ourselves dinner in a very special restaurant, drive to the picturesque city of Sintra and spend a da at the posh spa Cascais.
Time flies until I will go home at the beginning of April. Win is very much looking forward to see Lisa and I am looking forward to come home. I wonder how it will be to return home after eight months of absence. If it will feel strange?
I will let myself be surprised.
At Praça Príncipe Real there is a department store of particular kind. Embaixada, the embassy, is accomodated in a splendid city palace from the 19th century. The rooms are not renovated and survived in the original state. They act as a scene for premium design products and arts and crafts from Portugal. Not only design lovers can’t stop marveling anymore. Inside and as well outside the palace is richly ornamented and offers an extravagant shopping experience. The fancy bistro of Embaixada offers a good chance for visitors to enjoy the luxury rooms extensively.
Even in the houses next door you can find outrageous boutiques for fashion, design, furniture and accessories. A perfect place for delightful shopping!
Pastéis de Belém – fresh from the oven the lukewarm pastry melts in one’s mouth by itself
Pastéis de Nata or Pastéis de Belém are little puff pastry tartlets filled with custard. You can buy them of different quality at each corner in and around Lisbon. The best you can get are the original ones from Pastelaria Casa Pastéis de Belém (Win’s favorite) or from Manteigaria (Petras Favorit). In each and every case they have to be fresh from the oven, then they are drop-dead delicious.
The sweet little tidbits have a long tradition in Belém and probably were already baked before the 18th century by the monks of the local monastery.
The singular of the tartlets by the way is Pastel de Nata. But let’s be real, who on earth wants to eat just a single tartlet? You can’t go wrong with two!
Aristocrats, international artists and industrial families felt at ease at Sintra in the 19th century, already. The beautiful landscape surrounded by green hills, the panoramic view, the magnificent palaces and the beautiful houses of the pretty folk draw many tourists, and us, year after year.
Palácio Nacional da Pena of Sintra is a touristic attraction and often labeled as the Portuguese Neuschwanstein
The pretty coastal village with its marina is located at a sandy bay about 25 km west of Lisbon. We take the train from Lisbon to Cascais. That’s very convenient and just 3,60 € for the return ticket is quite reasonable, as well. We like the beautiful beaches right next to the city, the small roads and the good appearance of the city very much.
Since the last century Cascais is considered the hot spot of the upper class. Down to the present day it has kept its affluence.