I was really looking forward to seeing Lisbon in winter time. After visiting at the beginning of September 2012 – still summer – I was excited to see the city in the shades of another season. Mother nature, however, had other plans: it barely dropped below 18 degrees (65 Fahrenheit) during the day – all weekend. I wasn’t complaining.
The trip began with a bit of an unsteady start. I was travelling with a large group of friends, flying out of Gatwick. As we were waiting to board, we realised that the majority of the group hadn’t arrived at the gate: the boarding system had crashed, and their information had to be manually processed before we could fly. Or so we were told. It wasn’t until we landed in Lisbon that we learned that the whole of Terminal two had been evacuated – as we were taking off – after a rifle was found near security. Nobody was hurt, but this was a little close to home for comfort.
After a big, long (and very late) lunch, we took a slow walk down to the coastal area and the city’s main square, Praça do Comércio. We were just in time for sunset, and French busker really set the mood.
The evening kicked off at the Time Out Mercado da Ribeira, an enormous food hall serving up grub from around the world – and a delicious selection of Portugese wine (hello!). One of the things I love most about wine producing countries in Europe is the low cost of delicious glasses of wine, and the availability of wine from regions that just don’t market so well over here. Oh, and the generosity of the portion pours…
…which may have been one reason why I had such a great time on Lisbon’s famous Pink Street. Formerly the city’s red light district, the whole road is now painted pink. During the day it is pretty sleepy – but then at night… less so. We found ourselves in the awesome Pensão Amor. It used to be a brothel, but is now a much more classy establishment, pole and sex shop excepted. No photos, because gin. So much gin.
Hangovers out of the way, day two was all about exploring in, around and the views from Castelo de Sao Jorge (Lisbon Castle, if you like).
Ok, I’m cheating. That last one is from 2012 – but none of my snaps from this year quite matched it.
We concluded the evening with a tapas style dinner at Taberna Tosca. (Top marks!)
This was walking tour day – just to make sure that we hadn’t missed any “must sees”. We went with Wild Walkers, who I would strongly recommend.
We concluded the day with one last Lisbon-must-do: Eating a custard tart from the district of Belem (it’s official name is the Pastéis de Belém)
And damn it was good.
With that, our Lisbon trip came to an end: a small and beautiful three days of summer. In the middle of November.