New Memories Made in Lisbon, Portugal
Lisbon is one of my favourite cities, and therefore on my list to revisit at some point in this lifetime. However, my friend Damaris kindly invited me to travel with her this year, and she is one of those friends I find difficult to say no to (please don't tell her). Besides, I have this trauma from travelling with friends in the past that until now I am still trying to overcome. Of course, I didn't tell Damaris this as I didn't want to put her off. But I'm glad that we both enjoyed the trip and made new memories together.
High on our agenda was to watch the famous sunrise in Lisbon, so we headed to Jardim Julio de Castilho to do this, however we were a little bit late. It didn't matter though as this part of Lisbon is the most beautiful early in the morning.
A few metres away is the rather popular Miradouro de Santa Luzia where most people go to watch the sunrise, or listen to Fado music later in the day. I would prefer to go here early in the morning, before the rest of the world start to flock in. This viewpoint is famous for the stunning views of the Alfama district, however I also love the the beautiful bougainvilleas in the area- it's perfect for your instagram moment.
Not far from Miradouro de Santa Luzia is the Se de Lisboa (Lisbon Cathedral), one of the main sights in Lisbon. Unfortunately, the church was still closed when we got there, so I was not able to go in this time.
One good thing about Lisbon is that you can walk from one place to another if you have the time and patience for it. This is exactly what we did during this trip. Seven minutes walk from the Se is the Arco da Rua Augusta, another famous spot for tourists and travellers alike, hence can be very busy. From here, we walked through Rua Augusta to check on the Elevador de Santa Justa, which I must say is a very busy place to go to and if you're planning to ride the elevator, be warned of the long queue.
In the afternoon, we took the tram 15E for a quick trip to Belem. I have been inside the Torre de Belem before so it was okay for me not to go in this time, and Damaris was not keen either. So, we had a rest on the grounds instead and admired the tower as we caught up on a few things in life. One thing that I must say is that don't be tempted to buy those pinacoladas because they are not worth your €15, even if they say it's unlimited refill as I'm sure you will not go back for more.
One of the reasons why I also wanted to go back to Belem was the Pastel de nata from Pasteis de Belem. I could have gone anywhere for this, however nothing beats the original as they say. Their pastel de nata is always served warm and it's soft, creamy and perfectly sweet. I had take away this time, so I escaped the long queue.
Of course, a trip to Lisbon is not complete without a day trip to Sintra. This trip was my second visit to Sintra, however I still can't say that I have actually seen it. Admittedly, my trips to this very charming town was merely to visit the famous castles. Saying this, I still only have seen two of them. On my first visit, I went up to the Castelo dos Mouros. This time around, I made sure that I visited the most talked about castle, the Palacio da Pena (Pena Palace). Having only seen it from afar, it was quite surreal to have seen it up close and personal. The colours of the palace were mesmerising. I am glad I put this on top of our itinerary.
Whilst I never thought of watching the sunset in Lisbon, my friend Damaris was all for it, hence after we came back from Sintra, we headed to Ribeira das Naus for a glass of alcoholic drink and watched the sky and the sea. Er, unfortunately, the sun didn't set the way we were expecting it to. Regardless, it was a pleasure to have experienced the chilled atmosphere of Ribeira das Naus.
We capped off our last night by a late night walk to Miradouro da Senhora do Monte for a night view of the beautiful city. Retrospectively, I think I might have put our safety at risk during this time as we took a very dodgy route. But, I blame it on the map. Not only that, as the viewpoint was on top of the hill, we had to climb up a very steep set of stairs to get there, much to Damaris's disappointment. I was afraid that she probably would not want to travel with me ever again. Haha.
As much as I was skeptical in travelling with a friend (again), this trip with Damaris was memorable. Perhaps I should have warned her before that I walk a lot on holidays, but let's leave that for next time.
This trip to Lisbon with Damaris put my mind at rest and helped me overcome my trauma. I'm grateful for her for giving me the opportunity to go back to Lisbon and make new memories. I'm sure this will not be our last trip together.