Lisbon-Red Light District

Lisbon became a trip in which I wanted three things, well actually three S’s out of it..  Sunshine, Shopping and Starbucks and lucky for me all three were accomplished.  We arrived midday Monday in Lisbon and lucky for us the sun was out, so after leaving all our luggage at our hostel which could have been straight out of Urban Outfitters, we headed out to just explore and enjoy the sun while it was out.  We enjoyed lunch at an adorable place right outside the door of our hostel, which fueled us for our afternoon of exploring.  We wandered over to the shopping street where we did not end up spending extreme amounts of money even though I had previously justified doing so as it was almost my birthday.  We then continued on our way to the comfortable chairs of Starbucks where I could not have been happier with my Venti iced latte in hand.  We ended our day settled in bean bags at a bar near the ocean with a cocktail in hand, probably one of my favorite moments of the entire trips just because it was one of the first where I felt my body was totally relaxed.

For dinner we trekked up the hill, little did I know before arriving in Lisbon but Lisbon like Rome is actually a city of seven hills as well.  Though the whole trip Lisbon reminded me a lot more of San Francisco then Rome.  Either way up in Barrio Alto we searched for a Portuguese style dinner, after finding what we thought looked like a good restaurant we ate only a fair dinner.  We then went to get our first drink in this area as it is actually known for all its bars.  Though along the way we picked up some very needy Dutch boys, not a good addition.  After having the cheapest giant cup of Sangria ever we headed back to the hostel to enjoy a good nights sleep and to ditch the Dutch boys (though they did not seem to realize that).

Our first full day in Lisbon again we got blessed with sunshine so off to the beach town we hurried.  Being back with the sand in my toes, the breeze in my hair and the ocean right there was literally heaven.  It was so peaceful for the shortest moment it felt like summer.  After enjoying a feast of an Italian lunch, we spent the rest of the afternoon lying on the beach with wine bottles in hand.  Only once I arrived in Lisbon did I learn about this Portuguese wine called Vino Verdi meaning literally green wine though it actually looks clearer then green.  We then headed back to Lisbon during which rather then exciting the train, we entered the metro which lead to us having to sneak out after people and me getting rocked by the sliding gate quite a funny moment for everyone but me.  We spent the evening in enjoying each other’s company and getting a full night of sleep.

Day two in Lisbon was not quite a wonderful weather wise so off we went to the Oceanarium, where we spent most of the acting like children and enjoying it to the fullest.  We saw Nemo, Dora, and the cutest sea otter.  It stole my heart!  We then had a lazy rest of the day mostly do to the weather we got Steffi, Kara and Candy sushi for lunch as they had all been craving it.  Though that seemed a little strange after spending the morning surrounded by fish in an oceanarium, we then returned to our Urban Outfitters of a hostel to spend time in the Red light Districts, which was actually the loft in our room. The reason we referred to it as the Red light district was due literally to the red light, which was the main light within the whole room.  We had another easy dinner of piece together snack style foods at the hostel before heading out to Barrio Alto.  Of course the first people we see once arriving is our Dutch friends whom we had from through face book and texting two days before, yet some how it managed not to be awkward and we all sat down at a new bar with our giant Chinchillas as Kara referred to them which are actually called Caipirinhas.

Day three included our trip to Belem to see the millionaire’s modern art museum known as the Berardo and the small portion of Lisbon in general.  First stop was of course lunch as Kara, Candy and Steffi were all struggling through the day complete with some adorable brothers of eye candy.  Belem was perfect because a starbucks magically appeared at the moment I needed it the most.  After running from the rain and safely making it back to Lisbon, we had out final pieced together of Lisbon.  After a peaceful night for Kara and I until 6am when we were woken up by screaming Steffi and Candy who were locked out of the hostel, as we still have no clue where the night guy was whom was supposed to open the door 24/7.

Our final day in Lisbon, Kara and I headed out to see the last of the sights while Candy and Steffi recovered.  We walked up to the castle and saw beautiful views of Lisbon complete with some art purchases along the way, then spent hours at starbucks just lounging and watching a fashion shot happen outside.  We then stopped by the fashion museum as it was free and the last thing left on my list of sights to see in Lisbon and then return to the hostel to gather up our things and start our 24-hour travels home.  After flying back to Madrid Friday night, seeing Spain people and getting tapas and sangria again till 2am; we then returned to the airport to wait for our 6am flight home.  Finally arriving back in Leuven around 11am the next day, we were all exhausted from a basically complete lack of sleep in the last 24 hours and a whole week of traveling.  It made returning home sweet home that much sweeter!

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