WANDERLUST; Lisbon

Life slowed down once I arrived in Portugal.

It was a warm humid night and riding through the city in a taxi confirmed that I’d reached the chilled out part of my holiday. I had been away from home for nine weeks but arriving in Lisbon meant it was time to properly unwind and gear up for the European summer.

The Portuguese are kind and relaxed with a very witty sense of humour.

I explored Lisbon on the first day with two South Africans I’d made friends with at breakfast.

A ride on the number 28 tram is a picturesque way to start exploring Lisbon.

They also have a cable car that goes up and down the mountain.

We spotted lots of street art.

I visited Belem and went to the Jeronimos Monastry which was built in the Gothic style.

I finished off my Belem visit by going to the Berardo Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art. The exhibitions include installations that combine video, sound and use of lights in order to mess with your senses. I love mixed media art so much.

I stayed at Travellers House on Rue Augusta. The building has only been used as a hostel for about 4 years so everything is new and vibrant. I have never encountered hostel staff so helpful and informative. Every one of the Travellers House team truly wants you to experience and enjoy the Portuguese way of life, and they go out of their way to ensure this.

On Tuesdays there is a wine tasting night and I was taught about green wine, which is from an area north of Lisbon and is absolutely delicious.

The Baro Alto area is the hub of Lisbon’s nightlife and I went to some bars with new friends on Thursday night. As per what always happens, I met a heap of Australians and we boogied until mid morning. I will admit that free shots fooled me into thinking absinthe was my friend – never again.

On my final full day I did the hostel organised day tour to the Sintra area. We went in a mini van of eight people plus the guide – who is a beautiful, hilarious and slightly crazy Portuguese man who conducts tours by day and DJ’s by night. (Yes, a dream man indeed!)

We first visited the Parque da Pena gardens, which incited thoughts of magical adventure. There is a castle and the surrounding gardens are unusual because they includes about 400 species of plants which normally only exist in disparate places.

Quinta da Regaleira is an estate a rich Brazilian built with his family money and it includes tunnels under the ground and caves!

Cabo da Roca is the most western point of mainland Europe. It was breathtaking and I would have loved to stay there to watch the sun set.

Here is flowers that a Portuguese & Canadian boy picked for me at Cabo da Roco, how adorable.

The tour concluded with a visit to Cais Cais beach. It was the first proper beach that I saw on this trip and made me so excited for Spain!

Lisbon, thank you for treating me so kindly and showering me with perfect sunny weather. I promise I will be back soon to Portugal soon to visit Porto and Lagos.

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