I <3 Lisbon

Lisbon went a little something like this… I stepped off the bus, checked into my hostel, made my way to the heart of the city (specifically Bairro Alto, the popping nightlife hub) and promptly became best friends with a German bachelor party, dancing till 4 am. I liked Lisbon. It was touristy, it was busy, but it had it all: fascinating history (almost the entire city was demolished in an earthquake/fire/tsunami trifecta in 1755), beautiful landscape of rolling hills leading down to the vast Tagus river, modern here, antique there, incredible music, a party that goes all night, and friendly people around every corner. I took a walking tour of the city and meet my new friend Brent that I ended up exploring with for the next two days. We drank wine at the top of a castle watching the sunset. We shared fried sardines in the streets where the entire old neighborhood of Alfalma had become a festival for the entire month. We joined thousands at the public viewing screen for the Portugal/Iran match of the world cup. I spent a day biking down the waterfront to the nearby town of Belem to see the view from a tower commemorating Portugal’s explorers and wandering around a modern art gallery. I took the train out to Sintra to explore palaces, gardens and expansive gardens of Portuguese royalty. I met a local who took me to his favorite hole in the wall club with a different actually mixing house music with vinyl. I went to a dinner performance of the music most intrinsic to their culture, Fado: guitarists accompanying a singer belting her heart out with love and longing that is guaranteed to bring you to tears. I also went to a nighttime performance in the ruins of a church where the city’s history depicted through dance and music was projected on the walls of the ruins under the stars. It can be hard to stay super-psyched all the time when travel is your whole life, but it’s even harder not to be loving life when you’re in Lisbon 🙂

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