Lisbon. Lisbona. Lisboa.
There’s something magical in the air when we wake up. The morning light cuts in two the small alley where our window opens on. The city still sleeps, the air is crisp and promising. The colour of the sky and the buildings, the smile of the people, the smell of a sunny day make me want to stay here for longer. Maybe one day I will, who knows… I fell a bit in love with this area, Graça, where we stayed. So bohémien and with such a breathtaking view all over the city!
Breakfast is a thick layer of chocolate cream over a slice of bread with milk and coffee and some orange juice. Am I the only one who desperately needs carbs when travelling? It’s definitely my travel comfort food. I love bakeries, pizzas, breads. Anything like that. And I love breakfast more than any other meal. I dig into that marvellous feeling of freedom and discovery that only a morning in an unknown city can give you. One of the things worth living! (Remember I had just lost my wallet.. isn’t it amazing how travel serotonine is working well on me?)
One of the best thing about staying in a Hostel is the amount of information you easily get about the city. In This is Lisbon we found a helpful staff and a blackboard with the day highlights. We noticed there was a Flea Market nearby, the Feirda da Ladra… So our first stop was set.
A mix of memories, historical documents, trash, jewels, toys, vintage clothes and funny things: that’s what we found in Feira da Ladra. All presented and sold with that laid back, happy Portuguese attitude which I love. It was a mix of tourists, locals, families, young couples. The athmosphere was happy, the sky was blue, what else could I ask for?
Going downhill towards the Centre we stopped in Santa Engracia Church, Lisbon Pantheon, where many Portuguese presidents are buried. Solemn, charming, majestic.
In the same area there’s one of Tram 28 stop, one of the most iconic tram-lines of the city.
We wandered around Alfama before going to Baixa and Rossio. It was impossible not to notice some kind of happiness and relaxed atmosphere all around us. When I travel, I am truly mindful. I am in the moment, I notice everything and I try to savour every single bit of my day. The smells, the taste, the shape, the details… everything is so clear and vivid. Travelling is my kind of meditation.
And Viola? Well, when you travel with kids you can’t expect them to behave well all the time. You also have to find the right balance, the right pace. We didn’t limit our itinerary but we took it slowly, with frequent stops when she could eat, rest, play, relax. Therefore we took a break in a lovely place along the way.
Our break at Pois, Café was lovely. I had a watermelon and mint smoothie while she had some salad and eggs. We checked the photos, read a story, chilled a bit.
When we started walking again, one of the most iconic Lisbon view was waiting for us.
After my smoothie I started to be a bit hungry so I entered one beautiful bakery and had a Pao de Deus, a sweet bread with butter, eggs and coconut. Here a recipe, should you want to try.
We arrived to the crazily big Praça do Comércio. It takes you back a few hundred years ago, when Lisbon was a maritime power. You could easily picture the ships coming into the harbor loaded with sugar and spices, exotic animals and jewels from the Colonies.
To know something more about the great history of this city we visited Lisboa Story Center. Thanks to a great storytelling through scenes, videos, objects and atmosphere, we travelled back in time, from the first stone of the city to the great dramatic earthquake of 19th century. Viola loved it and we really enjoyed it too.
We then climbed the Arco da Rua Augusta. Probably the best panoramic view over the city center.
Back on Rua Augusta, even more fascinating with a light rain that made the pavement shine, we slowly walked towards Rossio.
Another stop (at Créperie da Ribeira) this time for some coffee and play.
We took some time for some shopping too. Loja das Conservas, is amazing if you love sardines.. or design! I bought some boxes just as kitchen decor, I admit…
Of course, in the shops round the center you’re also going to find some good old (smelly) bacalau…
Best time to have a walk in Rossio? I’d say right before sunset. The sky was clear and the last rays of sun gave the fountain and the purple trees a fantastic glow.
Our dinner was perfect. Taberna da Rua Augusta is a small restaurant near Rua Augusta. It is not really kid friendly, therefore I wouldn’t recommend it if you have small children or a big family, but it’s cozy and charming, plus the food is so good.
This is how a long day in Lisbon ends (actually, with a night walk). I hope you enjoyed my post! See you soon with the last post.
Read other post about Portugal.