Lisbon 2023

Tuesday, September 12th 2023

Arrived in Lisbon with an hour to kill before being able to get into our VRBO, so found the closest local bar – Queen’s Ale.

OMG! I read about the hills in Lisbon, but OMG! Not sure I’m going to make 4 days here! After we got settled in, we started with a walking tour of Lisbon (who’s idea was that!?) Very informative and the tour guide, Claudia, was amazing! The group was very diverse, mostly couples from all over the world.

After the tour, we went to a rooftop restaurant recommended by the tour guide that had amazing views – a little difficult to find as we had to go through a closed home decor store to get to the lift.

Wednesday, September 13th 2023

First full day in Lisbon. Not loving these hills or cobblestone sidewalks!

Went to Quase Café for breakfast, highly recommended, did not disappoint!

Then we continued upward to St. George’s Castle – an interesting reproduction of a castle on top of an old site. Battlements were completely wrong for a castle of that period and cannons were mostly positioned towards the town! 😆

From there we went back down the hill to the Lisbon Cathedral and Santo Antonio churches. Both had beautiful stained glass and cloisters!

For lunch we went down the street to Crafty Corner and sampled a few craft beers (ok, ALL of the craft beers!).

From there we went down to the old Alfama neighborhood which is the only region to survive the 1755 earthquake and fires. Not much to see there, just an old neighborhood 🤷‍♂️ The whole story of the earthquake is interesting though. It happened on November 1, 1755 – All Saints or the Day of the Dead. Most people were in church, with candles burning in remembrance of their loved ones at home. The earthquake hit and destroyed most buildings, so they gathered down by the port, where they found that the water from the channel had receded. They started crossing over to Almada just in time for the tsunami to hit! Meanwhile, candles honoring the dead were starting fires in all the buildings. The only location to survive was Alfama, because that’s where all the criminals, prostitutes, and sinners lived, so they were home instead of at church. Not a good day for the Catholics.

After that, we came back to rest and change before dinner at a Fado restaurant. Amazing players and singers in an intimate setting.

Thursday, September 14th 2023

Got out of the city and to the beach in Costa da Caparica today! Toes in the sand and a pitcher (or two) of sangria.

Friday, September 15th 2023

Last day in Lisbon. A little too much Sangria on the beach yesterday made for a slow start this morning. We took the Verde Train to the E15 Tram out to Belém. Instead of breakfast, we ended up having lunch at Pastéis de Belém, the origin of the legendary egg custard pastry. Very rich!

After lunch, we headed down the street to the Jerónimos Monastery and Cathedral – great gothic architecture!

We then headed down to look at the Belem Tower. A quick dinner at Portugália Cervejaria and a look around the Monument to the Discoveries before checking in for a sunset sailing cruise.

The cruise was awesome, it was a bit chilly, but they offered blankets and bottomless wine to keep us warm. The skipper and first mate were great and we got some good sunset photos. Betsy even got to pilot for a bit.

We stopped off at Time Out Market on the way back and sampled a few Ports (we didn’t realize that all Port wine is from Portugal) and a glass of ginjinha (a local cherry-flavored liquor).

Saturday, September 16th 2023

Time to go home! Flight from Lisbon to Boston, then Boston back to Cleveland.

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