A Glimpse of Lisbon, Portugal

Submitted by mumunmumun on 2 February 2014   •  Abroad

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I promised my friend, Aci, that I’d visit her in Lisbon one day. It took me 8 years to finally make this come true. I didn’t have high expectations for Lisbon, except to snack olives with Aci’s first born. Yeah! Olives are cheaper in Lisbon than in Jakarta. After getting that done, it was time to explore Lisbon, which is apparently a really nice town.

 Lisbon landscape

Lisbon in Portugal is not too modern, yet not far behind from the rest of Europe. It has a slower pace than the usual capital city, which is nice for travellers that like small towns like me. There weren’t many skyscrapers so it didn’t feel metropolitan. It’s location on the coast and on a hilly terrain made it pleasant for the eyes. Yep, Lisbon is nice.

I only had less than 3 days there, which pretty much means I didn’t see as much as I should. My highlights of the city had to fall to 4 points:

Trams

For some reason, I’ve always wanted to go on the Lisbon trams. Well, they’re cool looking ‘cause they’re really old. But honestly, I though they were the only old trams around, which isn’t true. It was a joy to make that come true, hopping on the wooden transport device that climbs the narrow and steep hills of the city. Watching the tram driver was also really entertaining, considering it’s looks like a mix of driving a car and a train. It was like traveling back in time.

 Lisbon trams

Belem Egg Tart

I knew about this egg tart, thanks to my companion, Vindhya, who really likes to eat. She did her homework and insisted we try this tiny cake. Yup! I have to agree, it was so good. The first bite was so so, but as I kept on eating, I realized the subtle taste of the filling combined with the crunchiness of the crust is awesome! It’s not too sweet and is just right. I crave for one right now!

 Portugal - Belem Egg Tart

 

Meeting Aci and her family

From walking her kids to school, using the public bus, and catching up on how the recession has impacted her life, I enjoyed every bit of the ordinary life of the Lisbons. Well, I can’t say Aci is a Lisbon local but after 8 years as a resident, I think I can assume she’s close to one. It was nice to enjoy non-touristy settings once in a while.

 With Aci and daughter

Laundry

After traveling about 10 days, with Lisbon as my 6th stop, free laundry is a highlight!

But being able to stay with a friend and enjoying an itinerary that was very loose and free, I have to say I might miss a lot of what the city had to offer. There was a castle on top of a hill that I failed to visit, which looked pretty cool. There were also other local dishes I should have gulped. So much could be done. Of course, I could have more covered with the help of organizers that could arrange great cheap holidays to Portugal (http://www.co-operativetravel.co.uk/holidays/portugal/) I guess that’s just another reason to come back.

Lisbon - old but beautiful building

Although I lost my phone on the 28 Tram, most commonly known as the gold mine for pickpockets aiming for tourists, it didn’t back me down to wanting to see this city again. Lisbon! I’ll see you one day soon.


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