Tuesday, August 16, 2016


Lisbon and Barcelona are two of my trips that will be very special for all of time. The reason is - I had the chance to visit with my parents!
Landing in Lisbon airport and taking a taxi out, I felt like I was in India. It could have been the weather or the natural landscaping that gave me that feeling. Lisbon itself takes you back in time once you are in the  heart of it. Its vintage colours and semi-developed city remind you of the Europe in old movies. My journey here started as a tribute to my parents. We stayed here in Bairro Alto which is at walking distance from Chiado - the place known for its night life and food.
Our home was called My Suite Lisbon and boy! was it sweet. A neat home upstairs in an old-style lodge, it came complete with living room (with bunk beds), a kitchenette, large master bedroom and bath and beautiful furniture and windows. It was one of the highlights of our trip.

On the first of our 2 days here, we unpacked and took a light stroll down Bairro Alto. We mounted the famous tram (yes, the yellow one) and went as far as the last stop - noting places of interest along the way. Portas Do Sol caught our eye. We got off close to Portas and had a drink sipping in the beautiful view.


Walking all the way back along tiny streets lined with shops and souvenirs, we felt a light rain. Strolling along Baixa downtown (Praca do Comercio), we treated ourselves to an Indian restaurant making Italian food in Portugal. Ha! Needless to say it wasn't the greatest of meals.
I was coming down with something and the rain wasn't helping - so we decided to stop at a "Pharmacie" on the way. The rain continued and we waited in Baixa for a long time till we caught the tram back to Bairro Alto.

The next day was sunny and welcoming. We started with a short walk to Chiado and photo sessions in the town square. That was followed by a hearty breakfast of croissants, fresh orange juice and coffee in A Padaria Portuguesa close by. From there, we walked down the Chiado centre (lined with big brand stores) trying to make it to the seaside. We soon realized it was quite far and instead took a taxi to see the Belem tower, Jeronimos monastery and the Monument to the discoveries.
The Belem tower is a naval structure which looks like a Disney Castle without paint. It is beautiful nevertheless. Instead of waiting in a line of a 100 people, we sipped some rum and tea at a stall. That's one thing I noticed in Lisbon. The vendors here get really creative with their stalls/trucks.
And by the way, auto rickshaws are called tuk-tuks here. And they look as cute.


Bright colors and petite vehicles is the name of the game. Across the street from this is the Jeronimos monastery - it was closing time, but we managed to get a glimpse of the tomb of Vasco Da Gama here. From here, we went to get lunch nearby in the beautiful downtown-like area laden with shops and restaurants. I even had a row with my dad regarding what restaurant we should eat it - which I feel bad about now..


On from here, we went to the weekend market and shopped a couple of interesting jars and wall decor. Crossing the street back to the side of Belem tower we went to the adjoining Monument to the Discoveries. This is an edifice commemorating all the sailors who set forth from Portugal to different parts of the world, discovering a lot of it - including India. Vasco Da Gama, Christopher Columbus, Bartholomew Diaz - to name a few. We could take an elevator up to the terrace of this structure and get a 360 view of Lisbon and it was well worth it to see the sunny skies, sails boats and the colourful city.


Finally we made our way back to My Suite Lisbon and packed our things with an aching heart. 

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