Lisboa, Portugal

Around two years ago, I was waiting in the Heathrow airport heading back to San Francisco and bought the book, Night Train to Lisbon, by Pascal Mercier on a whim. I hadn’t heard of it, didn’t know the author, I just thought the title was romantic and it ended up being one of my favorite reads that year. And, of course, ever since wanted to take the night train to Lisbon. So I did. It was a 13 hour journey from San Sebastian, a horrible nights sleep in a chair that wouldn’t recline, and there was a screaming child on and off throughout the night. Nonetheless, I am so happy I did it just for the sake of it, and Lisbon turned out to be so worth it.

I had someone tell me before I left on my trip that Lisbon would remind me a lot of San Francisco. The biggest reason for that being that there is the twin sister of the Golden Gate bridge in Lisbon, called the Ponte 25 de Abril.  It was actually a little creepy to walk out to the water and have this bridge come into view, because it was so familar, but so far away from home.

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imageAnother similarity: Hills and street cars
imageI stayed on the street behind this plaza.  Awesome location, awesome hostel, funny name.  Yes! Lisbon. If you go here, stay there.
imageView of Lisbon from the water.  I got tired of walking so took a boat back to where I was staying.
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imageI can’t for the life of me remember the name of this monument.  Lame, sorry.
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imageThe streets of Alfama, the oldest neighborhood of Lisbon.
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imageMural in the Alfama area.
imageView from atop Castelo S. Jorge
imageMore of Castelo S. Jorge which dates back to the 11 century.
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imageI wish the water had been running on this fountain.imageThe Tower of Belem, built in 1515 as a fortress to guard the entrance to Lisbon’s harbor.  I was really taken with this little place.
imageCool gargoyle.
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The token Elisa pic.  Still sunburnt and still can’t see anything without my sunglasses. At the Tower of Belem.imageThis picture does not do it justice but many buildings are so beautifully tiled in Lisbon. 
imageA cute little spot I stumbled across when I was leaving Castelo De S. Jorge. I was so hot and hungry and then I saw the sign for melon with Portugese ham.  Sold.
imageOh, and a delicious glass of Sangria too.
imageLisbon at dusk. So amazing.
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imageI met two awesome ladies at my hostel who I hung out a couple nights.  Here I am with Gaz (her name is Gazily, but not sure if I am spelling that right).
imageAll three of us, sitting down to enjoy some Fado (Portugese soul music). Amy, me and Gaz.
imageFado
imageAfter Fado we went to a little place, Bela, in the Alfama area for tapas. It was really authentic and really good. 
imageThis was seriously our waiter, which we assumed was the owner….?
imageAh, Lisbon.
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