Portugal- Lisbon (part 1)

After another train ride back into the city, we called a cab to take us to our next Airbnb in Lisbon. The cab driver was very friendly, and told us which areas to avoid, and what was worth seeing. We had encountered several people during the course of our travels that have been incredibly friendly. This guide talked about a beer museum, a couple city squares, some old cathedrals and monasteries, and nightlife in the city. He also talked about the Time Out market, which ended up being 1 block from our Airbnb (intentionally I might add, I wasn’t kidding when in an earlier post I eluded to food is life). We were dropped off outside of the Airbnb and were told that we were to meet someone to grab the key. After a minute of bumbling around, we figured out which door we needed to be at and met the lady who gave us our key and showed us to our apartment as there were 2 different keys and they looked rather complicated and 1 was definitely old. 1 key looked like it was well over a hundred years old, and the other was something out of a science fiction movie. It was cylindrical, with 3 different jagged sides.

Once inside, we saw what a cute little place this was, with a nice old timey vibe, but updates appliances for modern convenience. It was across the street from a couple of cafes, about 2 blocks from the ocean, and around the corner from the Time Out market. That was most of the reason that we chose this particular place was proximity to the time out market, and other amenities. The first day we were there, we decided to relax a little bit as we felt like we had been going the entire time we had been in Portugal.

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The next day we went out and walked around the area we were staying in. The architecture is GORGEOUS and made me want to move to Europe ;). That first night we walked around the corner to the Time Out market and boy were we not disappointed! It was like a high end food court, with all different kinds of cuisines from around the world, so you could try a couple of different things in one sitting, especially if you were sharing. On this particular night, we decided to try a place that was essentially just tartar of several different varieties. We decided on a beef tartar and a vegetarian tartar. The vegetarian one we wanted to try more to see how a vegetarian tartar is not just a salad on a plate. Let me tell you, it did NOT disappoint, it sounds nuts, but it took raw veggies to a different level.

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The next morning I wanted to sleep in a bit, so Ethan got up and went to get breakfast. He found a place near by that sold coffee and Pastéis de Nata, the wonderful little custard tarts that were breakfast pretty much every day.

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Afterward we went walking around in the city, and the tile work everywhere made me want to redo a bathroom I don’t have. One day maybe. Then we walked to the Praça do Comércio, one of the main squares in Lisbon and walked past a little beer museum which we felt compelled to go in. We learned some interesting things about the history of beer, and the history of beer in Portugal.

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We continued walking around and saw a couple of cathedrals, and walked by the cutest little chocolate shop with some of the best chocolate I’ve ever eaten. After strolling around most of the day we decided to head back to the Airbnb and get a mini nap in before dinner.

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For dinner we went to Loco, a Michelin star restaurant. Hands down one of the best overall experiences both Ethan and I ever had. So good in fact that we took 1 photo the whole time we were there. There were so many things that were so delicious, but 1 think that stuck out in a major way was fresh baked SMOKED bread, with 4 different sauces and spreads for it. I was afraid with the added smoke element that it would be dry, but this bread was perfection, and then the steak sauce that they brought out in a little pan to dip it in, I’m salivating just thinking about it as I type this. I also took zero pictures since I am obsessed with food and was definitely more focused on that.

The next day we decided to grab a tuk tuk and get a tour around the city and be true tourists (check out the major cheesin). We learned about a lot of history of the city from our guide, and he was able to show us a lot of the highlights in a shorter amount of time than we would have been able to on our own. We went to Santa Maria de Belem, which is this beautiful monastery that has been there for centuries. Later that evening, we hit another restaurant, this time Alma. The vibe was very different in this restaurant, but the food was excellent. The dessert that came out was a beautiful work of art with a bunch of small samplings of different desserts that were just so delicious.

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The next day we were moving to the hotel we were staying in for the final leg of the trip, which I will elaborate on in the next installment.

 

~Niki

 

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