Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Lisbon: an Architectural Wonder

I fell in love a couple of weeks ago. She's older, but with lots of character. Sweet, too.

I'm referring to Lisbon. I literally couldn't walk one block without coming across an amazing facade of a building, or a cool store, or a museum, or... there was way too much to see in only a few days. With the sweetness, I'm referring to the amazing Portuguese desserts. I've said it before: Spain is lacking in baked goods. Portugal rules.
San Geronimo
After my last visit to Portugal, I decided to learn a few words before arriving. I'm not sure if it's because my Spanish fluency is extremely high, but I could slightly understand what the Lisbon people were saying to each other. Their level of English and Spanish is high too, so speaking wasn't too difficult.

Mercado da Ribeira, with 30 food stalls
When I left my hostel, which was located in a neighborhood so sketchy [Intendente] that a policeman told me it problematic, it would take me forever to meet my friends because I had to stop constantly and admire something: a building, pastry display, a cute Portuguese man... taking the symbolic tram once in a while helped me manage the hills and daytime heat. At night, it was so cool I had to put on pants and a sweater.

Fado in the street
Things I discovered:
  • bring your student card. My residency visa states I'm a student, and it garnered me half-price admission to museums and monuments.
  • Compare prices. During a hot climb to the castle of Sao Jorge, I popped into a fancy cafe called Belmonte for a juice. I almost paid 2E, but I didn't have change, so I waited until I'd bought my castle ticket and popped into Cafe Sao Jorge, where a juice cost 1.20E. F*** you, Belmonte.
  • Don't wear heels or shoes with a slippery sole. There wasn't a single piece of sidewalk in Lisbon that wasn't covered in dangerous, neck-breaking tiles. After a few close calls, I wore my ugly, but safe, suede boots.
  • If you thought Spain's eating and store schedules are weird, wait until you get to Lisbon: the stores open early but shut early, as in 8 p.m. Some monuments close at 6 p.m. Kitchens close at 11 p.m.

There were so many places I didn't see, that I've already started planning my next trip to see my lover; Lisbon, te quiero, y nos vemos pronto.

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