4.28.2013

Lisbon, Portugal: Babymoon Part I

Pin It To kick off our babymoon, Paul and I jumped on a plane to Faro, Portugal, where we then jumped in a car and headed to the oldest city in Western Europe, Lisbon, Portugal.  Lisbon is a beautiful city, which (in parts) still has that old town feel, something not a lot of big European cities still have....
Starting with the vintage trams that connect the city.  It is mandatory, when in Lisbon, to take the famous Tram 28.  Unfortunately, as this is not a little known secret the tram is pretty packed (like Portuguese sardines).  I suggest to take it later in the day, after the cruise ships have left and you might have better luck snagging a seat.  Fortunately for me, the Portuguese are very kind to pregnant woman, and the second I walked on a mother and child scooted together so I could share their seat with them (I have yet to see this kind of courtesy on the Brussels Metro).
As people cleared out, we got a chance to sit together.

Showing it's Moorish influence, its still common to see buildings covered in mosaic azulejos or tiles.  The ones shown below, are typical Moorish fashion, consisting of geometric shapes.  Some of the facades can get really fancy, as shown here in this post of Lisbon Lux Magazines most beautiful facades.  I think I prefer the geometric shapes.
No where in Lisbon feels as original as the typical Alfama district.  This is where the streets are still small enough that one needs to walk single file, where the houses could be too small to contain a shower and you will meet your neighbors in the public showers nearby (talk about getting to know your neighbors!), where people use laundry-mats from a different time (without washers and dryers, shown below), and where everyone knows your name.  Our guide José, from Lisbon Chill Out Tours, showed to us the real Alfama.  As we walked through the area, he greeted everyone, it seemed by name and explained to us the ins and outs of the area.  We even (well not me) got to try some homemade Ginja (a Portuguese licquor made of sour cherries) from Tina, a woman who sells her homemade concoction outside her living room window in the Alfama district for one euro.
We spent the afternoon walking around Lisbon with  José.  Not only did he show us the Alfama district, but he showed us the main non-tourist attractions Lisbon has to offer, sometimes taking us back in time, by having us close our eyes and painting a picture for us.  At one time, I felt like I was really at the Onion field market, being introduced to an onion for the first time as an adult, eyes watering, wondering what this strange item is (as this is how items from all over the world were introduced to the people of Lisbon hundreds of years ago).  If you are in Lisbon and want to see the sights from the perspective of a local, I highly recommend Lisbon Chill Out Tours!
Stay tuned for our day trips to Sintra & Cascais from Lisbon or check out how we spent the second half of our babymoon glamping in the South of Portugal at the Yurt!


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2 comments:

Lisbon Chill-Out Tours said...

Thank you, we love what you worte about us :D all the best

Ricky Hanson said...

Ricky Hanson says, Lisbon is amazing, thanks for sharing your pics. Can't wait to visit there again someday soon.