The ice cold winds, constant grey skies and rain have pushed me to throw my posting schedule around. Posting a new outfit simply is impossible when you can’t be outside to shoot the photos. But for once, my empty concepts folder didn’t cause a panic. Last Wednesday my boyfriend and I boarded a plane to Portugals’ capital to re-energize after our January exams. I originally planned to share all about our mini-trip on Thursday, but I really didn’t mind editing these photos a little earlier. Flipping through them in my editor made me feel like I was right back in the coastal city of Lisbon.
This is clearly a happy post. And as if travelling isn’t happy-making enough I have more happy news to share! While waiting at the gate to board our plane, I received a text message from a friend to inform me our grades were available online. I have never been more grateful for free wifi. Guys, I passed all my exams! I celebrated with liters of fresh orange juice, tens of pastéis de Bélem and two new nail polishes. Because being a good student is not an excuse to break your shopping ban. But for €2.90 each, they were a steal!
And now… Pictures!
We arrived in Lisbon at noon, and our hotel was easily reached using the metro, which left from the airport. Less than an hour after landing we had settled in our hotel room, changed our clothes and were well on our way to the cities main tourist attractions. We walked to Praça do Comerçio first, because it lies somewhat central-South of the city and therefor seemed like a good spot to start our unguided journey of discovery. We hadn’t done much research about Lisbon or Portugal, and basically only knew what our friends had told us. The day before we left, I remembered Hannelore had been on Erasmus to Lisbon and had written an fantastic city guide for her readers. I took great inspiration from her list of must-sees, so muito obrigado Hannelore! I loved the fresh juices and appetizers at Bar LostIn (website), and after our quick pit-stop here we enjoyed the amazing view over the city from Miradouros, just a few meters from the bar. Sadly, None of the photos I took from that view are blog worthy. My camera was still in manual, and I hadn’t changed the settings, haha.
Breakfast of champions! Fresh juices, €0.95 lattes and a whole lot of Portuguese pastries. At A Padaria Portuguesa (a local variant of the Belgian Panos) we payed €6 for a delicious breakfast for two. There was a venue right across our hotel, and considering the hotel price was €6 for breakfast p.p., where we’d be eating was an easy decision!
On our second day in the city, we took tram 15E on Praça do Comerçio to visit Santa Maria De Bélem. As you can probably guess from the above photos, the weather was crap. There’s just no other word for it. I had hoped for clear skies allowing a beautiful view on the Abril bridge, but the tall red construction was hidden by a layer of mist. It stopped raining for a moment, so we walked around the Padrão dos Descobrimentos, then followed the seawall to the tower of Bélem. But before long, the rain came pouring down with buckets again and we sought refuge in the maritime museum. The entrance fee for students is€2.50, and my boyfriend really wanted to see the boat models and hydroplanes inside. I gently let him, knowing he’d buy me pastéis de Bélem afterwards. These custard pies taste so incredibly good! At the official pastelaria of Bélem, the pastéis are served slightly warm and with cinnamon on top. Finger-licking good.
On our last full day, we took a metro to the Oriente Station. We walked along the seaside, enjoying the views on the Vasco Da Gama bridge and the scenic board walks. It was beautiful out, very windy but sunny and warm. We were a bit bummed that we had planned an “inside day” that day, with a visit to the Vasco Da Gama shopping center and Océanario (€13 entrance fee). You might think we’re a little too old for an oceanium, but it was so. much. fun. They had puffins! And penguins! And otters! And a very ugly fish of the Mola Mola sort. I could have looked at the aquarium with exotic fish for hours. They were so beautiful. Alas, we only had a short time to visit, and K lured me back to the city with the promise of yellow trams and scenic views over the city and ocean.
I hope you enjoyed these photos! I wasn’t really feeling it photography-wise on this vacation, but I’m still happy I could capture parts of the beauty that is Lisbon. My favorite places were in the historic town part. I am a sucker for viewing points and picturesque squares, so the route of tram 28 was a treasure for me. We didn’t take the tram itself, but we walked past the line for a good distance so that I could take pictures easily and we had the chance to hop into the little gift shops along the route.
Lisbon was everything my friends had told me it would be. May it be a little less sunny because we visited in February, but the rain didn’t spoil all our fun. Not at all! Fresh juices being cheaper than cola, and pastries for every lunch: Portugal is the country of my dreams. Next time we fly down south it’ll be to visit the lovely looking city of Porto!