Óla, Lisbon!

I read somewhere that when they found Ghislaine Maxwell, she was hiding away in a rural farmhouse on a 156 acre property that she had purchased in New Hampshire. She had wrapped her cell phone in aluminum foil, thinking that that would put FBI agents off of her trail. Silly, silly Ghislaine. If she had been smart, she would have hidden away in the Lisbon neighborhood of Alfama. Eighth century Moors planned labyrinthine streets that outsmart 21st century Google maps. Go figure.

After my 5th “rerouting” trying to find breakfast, I am no longer finding this funny. Especially when it turned out my 20-minute uphill walk could have been a 5-minute walk but for Google’s evil sadism that led me on a nonsensical route…

Also, remember how you used to roll your eyes when your parents said they walked to school in 6 feet of snow, uphill both ways? Ridiculous. Unless they were from Lisbon, then yes, totally uphill both ways, and 97 degree heat instead of snow. There are no downhills in Lisbon.

The above are just a couple of photos of the hills that are everywhere here.

Our first day in Lisbon day started in Porto’s famous São Bento train station…

…and 3 1/2 hours later our taxi driver was dropping us in Alfama (“That’s as close as I can get you…no cars allowed,” he said). As they dragged their big suitcases up the infinite stairs of the pedestrian-only Alfama walkways, the girls were regretting all their life choices (“I’m staying in a hotel next time!” “I’m packing lighter next time!”), but once we got to the apartment, the view was worth it.

Looks like the sea, but it’s the Tagus River.

Phoenix is a super-planner, so the girls* have had tours planned almost every day, and they hit the ground running with a food tour as soon as they got to Lisbon. I prefer free exploration, so I wandered off to find lunch and discovered this oasis around the corner from our apartment. Best vegan melt everrrr!

*I say “girls,” but one is in her 20s and one is in her 30s, which just shows you how OLD I am relative to them.

See that church across the way? That’s the church of Saint Michael. I accidentally ended up attending Mass without planning on it, because I went inside to take a look and then sat down for a few minutes because it was nice and cool, and suddenly Mass started and it seemed too awkward at that point to leave! Luckily it was a weekday so it was a short mass…

Post-lunch wandering I discovered what a perfect neighborhood we were in…our apartment is one (long, of course) flight of stairs below Miradouro de Santa Luzia.

Plus easy walking distance from the Cathedral, the castle, St. Anthony’s, and more. Phenomenal. Worth every step.

Mmmmmwwwellll…check back with me in a couple of days on that…

3 thoughts on “Óla, Lisbon!

  1. Ah ah ah… sounds like Ferrazzano and Lisbon were designed by a medieval torture expert. All the stairs go up up up… but oddly, none of them ever go down. Gary and I have had the same experiences with bags. Next time I am NOT taking my CPAP. And even with spending two months in Italy, I haven’t worn more than two of the six skirts I brought. I’m mostly wearing my four dresses. And of course, my sweaters have been useless because even at night, it’s still in the 80s.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I always pack super light. I only have a carry-on duffel and an under seat backpack for 5 weeks, and even I could have done with only 2 shirts instead of 4 and 2 dresses instead of 3… especially in the summer if you pack things that dry quickly.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I’m accustomed to renting cars when I travel, so bag sizes don’t matter as much. This is my first time using the trains, which I’ve learned is a whole different animal.


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