It helped that I was fortunate enough to visit Lisbon in the summer of 2010 when my sister, Ida, was studying abroad there. I remembered the basics of getting around and solicited a list of 'can't miss' things to do from Ida. She responded exuberantly, reminding me of how easy it is to fall in love with Lisbon. As Ida paraphrased a quote she found while in Lisbon, "Ahh Lisboa, que linda que ela e," or translated, "Ah Lisbon, how beautiful she is."
We were able to explore nearby Belem and its Torre and modern art museum. The Torre (or tower) is a spectacle set by itself on the beach. It takes a lot of narrow staircases to climb to the top, but it's worth it for the view.
The modern art museum was also a fun visit. There was everything from famous Andy Warhoul artwork to bizzar pieces we couldn't quite place.
For the remainder of the day we explored Lisbon and hunted down the exquisite pizzeria, Casa Nova, which I try to mimic almost on a weekly basis. We gorged ourselves on pizza and turned in early to nurse our minor ailments and wake up bright eyed and bushy tailed.
Our second day in Lisbon we ventured to the micro climate of Sintra and I'd some more exploring, but not before a delicious breakfast from our hostel.
We caught the train to Sintra where we explored the Moorish Castle and La Quinta da Regaleira. The Moorish Castle is a beautiful hike from the quaint town of Sintra and overlooks all of Lisbon. The ruins and view are beautiful, worth the steep hike.
La Quinta da Regaleira is a majestic summer home with caves, tunnels and stepping stones prime for exploring. We delved straight in. We took every tunnel we could find and only suffered one head on rock collision. It's hard to imagine the wealth and eccentricity that it would take to build the summer home and it's grounds; it's vast with hidden intricacies and ones that have probably not been explored.
Our final night in Lisbon we tried something new. With an early flight out, we had to be at the airport around 4am. Rather than book another night at the hostel, we decided to store our bags there (for free) until we were ready to make our way to the airport. So, we spent some time at a miradorou, or a view of the city, and some time in Bairro Alto, Lisbon's famous night life, and finally made our way to the airport in the wee hours of the morning. Fun fact: this was the first taxi of our trip.
We're headed to Eemnes, Holland to spend a few days with Katie's uncle and his family. They live about 30 minutes outside of Amsterdam. We're looking forward to spending time relaxing, playing with his four and six year old, and also exploring a bit of wild Amsterdam.
Will and Katie