We arrived in Lisbon early in the morning and our hotel room wasn't ready. In fact, it wasn't due to be ready for 7 MORE GODDAMN HOURS (and they wouldn't let me throw money at the problem, the nerve! My kingdom for a shower!) So, we took a stroll down the main boulevard of Avenida da Liberdade and explored the stately Baixa neighborhood and waterfront.
The waterfront has a real San Francisco flavor due to the Ponte 25 de Abril biting the Golden Gate's style.
We (the "we" of this trip is my grandma and I) stopped at a streetside cafe for white wine and shrimp cocktail, and suddenly I was less righteously angry about being greasy and tired.
I am about to type a phrase you will probably never see my type again: IT HAD TOO MUCH MAYONNAISE. What? How is that possible? Mayonnaise is one of my favorite foods on Earth and goes great with seafood. I dip fries in it, sometimes even pizza crusts (this is why I'm fat). I will staunchly defend American-style sushi rolls that are drenched in aioli. However, in this case, the shrimp was just swimming in too much mayonnaise. As much as I love it, even I can't eat a whole bowl of mayonnaise.
At dinnertime, I fared better. I tried Bacalhau, a local dish of salt cod baked with potatoes. It was delicious.
The next day we toured the major Lisbon sights. The Tower of Belem...
The Monument of the Discoveries...
Striking a sassy pose there, Miss Jesus.
Outside the Monastery, these two saints were squeezing fresh lemonade. It was warm in Lisbon, especially for the end of October. I would come to appreciate this fact later in our travels when temperatures dipped into freezing (and I had to purchase a hat and gloves at H&M).
We had lunch at Terraco, a rooftop restaurant with an amazing view of the city.
It was here that I was introduced to the verrrry charming custom of refilling a wine glass constantly as you drink from it. This is a custom of which I heartily approve and would take good advantage of for the rest of our trip. For my meal, I had the octopus (much to my grandma's disgust) and it was the best octopus I've ever had. It was perfectly tender and not the least bit rubbery.
In the evening we took the Elevador da Gloria tram to the Bairro Alto neighborhood and took in another great vista.
Walking back to our hotel, we sampled roasted chestnuts from one of the many street vendors. I thought they were a bit bitter, but I appreciated the nod to Fall (even if the temperatures weren't yet reflecting the season).
For dinner-dessert, a combination necessary because of the hours-long late lunch we'd had, I tried a Pastel de Nata, an egg tart available all around the city. It had a pleasant creamy texture and wasn't overly sweet.
Overall, I really enjoyed our brief stop in Lisbon and would like to return to see more of it. Any city that I can check out while jet-lagged and still end up enchanted by is alright with me!
Next stop: Porto, Portugal.