Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Lovely Lisbon

The first night we were in Lisbon we followed some Pinterest advice and went to find a rooftop bar. We went to Topo and had a few girly mixed drinks and got this amazing view. A great start to the trip. 

The next morning we didn't get very far before people needed some caffeine, so we went to Starbucks. Don't judge, it tastes the same everywhere. There's one inside the train station, here we are in the Praca do Rossio nearby. 

After that it was a whirlwind of touring all day. 

First the Santa Justa lift. It was designed by an apprentice of the guy who made the Eiffel Tower. It's 5 Euro to go up, thankfully we were still early and the line was short. 

But long enough that I could take some pictures of the details. 

Once at the top you've got a great view of the city. Of course you could just walk to the top of the hill, but why not ride up in a 114 year old elevator?

Once you step off the lift you are outside the Carmo Convent. 

It was largely destroyed by an earthquake in 1755, but is now an archeological museum with many old bits of masonry and statues. 

Like these. 

And this. 

We tried to visit another church that was supposed to be nice, but there was a wedding going on, so we just enjoyed the buildings around, many covered in the famous tile. 

So we took a taxi down to the water to see the monuments down there. First there was the Belem Tower, which was built in 1515 and is the ceremonial gateway to Lisbon and was one of the last things many sailors saw as they left to find new lands during the Age of Discovery. 

Speaking of, there is also a Monument to the Discoveries. Much newer it immortalizes many of the heroes of the Age of Discovery, explorers and benefactors alike. 

You can take an elevator to the top for four euro and there are great views. 

Like the view of the Jeronimos Monastery. 

We went and walked outside the monastary, which has a museum inside, but it was about ready to close. 

It is beautiful and ornate on the outside though. So instead we walked down the street and got Pastels de Belem from Pasteis de Belem, they are wonderful custard filled tarts that are brûléed on top. I can't believe I didn't take a picture of them. 

That evening was the real reason we went to Lisbon. Adele. I know this is a terrible picture but I go to concerts to listen not be an obnoxious ass with my phone up the whole time. She was amazing, there may have been tears. 

The next morning we were up bright and early and went for a run. 

Lisbon Cathedral. 

Arco da Rua Augusta. 

Obligatory running selfie. 

Enjoying taking pictures with no one around. 

Practically empty square.

I mostly run for the photos. 

That day we took the train to Sintra, they leave every hour from Rossio Station. Sintra is basically chock full of UNESCO World Heritage sites. First was Pena Castle. 

It kind of looks like some really drunk people who never met designed different parts of it. 

A little strange, but interesting. 

The most important thing is that it is on top of a hill. A HUGE hill. And if you have a friend who has been there before and says "We can walk it." shove them down a hill then go find the 434 bus. Or pay for a driver, just for the love of God don't walk it. 

The worst part was that when we finally figured out the bus thing there was an accident and no busses could get up for a while. So we had to walk back down too. There are two other castles in the city. I didn't go to see them because I refused to walk up another mountain. 

Going down the hill there was another thing we wanted to see though, Quinta da Regaleira. It's an old house on some really fun grounds with crazy things like....

Random towers, 

An unfinished well with steps down to the bottom, 

And a huge house that looks like it was designed by Disney Imagineers. 

Couldn't you just imagine this at MGM Studios? 

In any case, the last day was pretty relaxed, the only thing we went to see was the castle, that was literally just steps from our AirBnb. Also this is from the window of that apartment. It was pretty money. 

The Castle doesn't have too much, some old cannons, a small museum, and lots of great views of the city. 

A whole lot of stairs too. 

I found Lisbon to be an incredibly charming city, not quite as polished as some others, but very fun and inviting. 

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