Favourite places,  Portugal

Lisbon Story

She鈥檚 warm, bright, joyful and tipsy on young wine. She smiles when others are angry or melancholic. She likes freshly grilled sardines, dances when others sleep and has snails with her beer. She鈥檚 my soul mate.

She tempts her guests with the mouth-watering aroma of coffee and pastries. When she opens her windows in the evening, you can hear the nostalgic notes of fado. She spends her weekends on the beach, sometimes surfing, sometimes resting with a book in shade. Lisbon loves the sea. And she understands it like no one else.

Visit her and stay for a week, a month, a year. Get to know all the places described by the wise guide books: Bel茅m, Alfama, Pra莽a do Com茅rcio, Rua Augusta and the route of the famous tram 28. And then find out that Bel茅m has the most stunning dusk view over the Tagus river, one of Alfama鈥檚 corners hosts the remarkable聽flea market, Feira de Ladra, twice a week. Behind the doors to one of the buildings in Pra莽a do Com茅rcio, in Vini Portugal, you may participate in wine tastings from all regions of the country. A bit after the last stop of the tram 28 there鈥檚 an old, unique, magnetic cemetary 鈥 Prazeres. And you need to climb a steep cobbledstreet starting from Rua Augusta to find your new favourite restaurant that didn鈥檛 really splurge on an interior designer, but serves fantastic bream.

Go have a drink in Bairro Alto around 8pm and be surprised that no-one鈥檚 there. Come back at 11pm and be surprised that you can鈥檛 squeeze your way through all the crowd. Observe the sun flash the ginger rooftops with the red setting light, every evening from a different view point 鈥miradouro. There are enough to choose from. Order a glass of bitter almond liquor with lemon in a kiosk that looks like a newsagent鈥檚 stand. Watch the Brazilian expats practise capoeira, the most dangerous of dances and most beautiful of martial arts. Receive contemptuous looks while you munch on lupine beans without having a beer with them. Go to see a football game, even if you鈥檙e not the biggest fan and only heard about Benfica there. Count how many bottles of Moscatel de Set煤bal and cans of squid you can fit into your luggage and get sad that it鈥檚 only that few. Don鈥檛 worry, you鈥檒l be back sooner than you think.

Pictures courtesy of Magda from聽pyszne-to.pl, who is even better at baking than at taking photos.聽

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