The different areas of Lisbon are as a puzzle, but I remember pieces from my journey here years ago, as I celebrate the present, still at peace. Across hills, stairs and elevators, I am rewarded with viewpoints, sunshine, water reflections, many pastéis de nata, coffee breaks, as I explore the narrow streets and enjoy the city in my rhythm.
And just like that, I overdid it and I would do it again.
Remembering the past
Favorite sight in Lisbon were discovered in 2015 on purpose and some by accident, in Alfama, Mouraria, or Baixa-Chiado districts. Plus many Miradouros. And azulejos. See, I could speak Portuguese, as it feels so close to my native language! Pasteis and Bica. Fado. Saudade. Cais de Sodre 🙂
Even though this time I didn’t visit again the neighborhood Belém, I remember that piece of history and the Monument of the Discoveries. As a visitor, in order to understand the city today, I know how important is to acknowledge the explorers past and the role of Portugal in the globalization. Fado, the traditional portughese music is conected with the age of discoveries and is profoundly melancholic.
Back to the present
Food. After the sunset at Miradouro de Santa Catarina, a priority on the first evening back was the Time Out market, that I wanted to visit ever since I saw the episode shot in Lisbon of Somebody feed Phil. After traditional Caldo verde soup, grilled sardines and many bolinhos de bacalhau (codfish) later, I am ready for best pastéis de nata at Manteigaria and typical Sintra queijadas.
‘Um café?’ Classic Café Martinho was frequently visited by Portuguese writer Fernando Pessoa, and his usual table has been turned into an homage to the writer. While the modern Copenhagen Coffee Lab & Bakery already expanded to 5 locations across Lisbon.
Next day, across hills and stairs, you are rewarded with incredible viewpoints or miradouros. Favorite panoramas are still in the oldest past of the city, Alfama – Mirador Santa Luzia and last, for more views, Mirador das Portas do Sol – literally the gateway to the Sun.
Vintage tram 28 from Martim Moniz square, through historic Alfama until Graça, passing Sé Cathedral and Praça Luis de Camões. The yellow tram is crowded even in February, but the ride was one of kind, busy and quite stressful in the same time. I would do it again.
Also, the unique azulejos, from Alfama and Mouraria, to Chiado and Baixa, are as colorful and impressive as I remembered. Portugal always showed me there are never enough tiles in my life. Overall, I was happy to enjoy sunshine and 20 degrees weather. In these years, both Lisbon and myself have changed, but somehow, some parts are still the same.
Full circle. Carmo Convent
During my first visit, while searching for the Santa Justa Elevator, I inadvertently found the ruins of an ancient Catholic convent, destroyed in the 1755 earthquake, today a museum. The Elevator, also called Carmo Lift, connects the lower districts of Baixa with the upper town.
That moment I also discovered the first viewpoint by mistake years ago, I fell even more in love with the views of this city and shed tears of happiness. Last week, this part was the last viewpoint I saw, and even though I didn’t experience the same strong emotions, I do feel I closed a circle of my own exploring.