Lisbon: The San Francisco Twin
We really liked Lisbon. Our first introduction to the city was the gorgeous aerial view we had flying into the airport. From above we could see the entire bay area and even the giant Christ the Redeemer statue that looks just like its twin in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil. Lisbon is a city built on hills with many similarities to San Francisco, including a red bridge spanning a similar bay and old wooden trolley cars that are still in operation (see our video below). The hilly landscape makes it very difficult and tiring to get around.
Getting into the city was a piece of cake, we hopped on a bus at the airport that took us directly to the city center and dropped us off in front of our hostel. Our hostel, Hostel Rossio, was rated the ‘best hostel in the world’, but we still thought it was overpriced for not having an attached bathroom. After checking in we explored the Rossio Square and some of its beautiful old shops. We then took a long walk to find a Vegetarian Restaurant, desperate to offset all the heavy meals in Spain. We ate at Restaurant Terra, which was a buffet style restaurant that satisfied our cravings.
The next day we did a self guided tour of Lisbon wearing us out as we walked all over the hilly town. We visited many beautiful old shops many specializing in one unique item like gloves, hats or seeds. The hat store in particular was very charming with its pretty window display, tall moulded ceilings and wooden antique cases. Every souviner shop sold painted tin roosters that serve different functions. Megan’s grandma gave us some cork stoppers a few years, but we definitely think that these tin painted roosters are some of the more quality mass produced souvenirs we have seen. The rooster is a symbol of some Portuguese story about Lisbon involving a rooster.
We went to a store called Aarte da Terra that had many unique and interesting Portugese made things. Megan bought a unique wool purse handcrafted by a local artist named Miguel Gigante and we bought a delicious bag of cookies called “Broas De Mel.” They were medium brown oval shaped cookies that tasted similar to snickerdoodles and were quite delicious. On the bag it said they were made by Pastelaria Gregorio in Sintra, Portugal. The ingredients are listed as: Farinha, Açucar, Gorduras Vegetais, Ovos, Mel e Canela. We need to find a recipe! They were gone before we could take a photo!
Av. D. Francisco de Almeida, 33 – 35 – 2710-562 Sintra
Telef. 21 92 32 733
Email [email protected]
We also to the train to Belem where we saw all the famous monuments to exploration and tried the famous Pastéis de Belem. At night we ate dinner at a Portuguese Restaurant in El Corte Inglés and saw the movie Brüno in a mall. The next day we sadly had to leave the continent. Even though we had spent 3 weeks touring, we were not ready to stop. We really wished that we had skipped Spain entirely and spent the end of our trip in Portugal. We liked Lisbon so much that we are eager to see more of the country.