Lisbon in August

That’s right, I took another trip.

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Given that it’s August and the temperatures have been breaking all kinds of records, maybe I should’ve stayed in Copenhagen. But honestly… I was in Lisbon for four days. The first two the temperatures in Portugal were actually milder than in Denmark!

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But then, there were the next two days to get through. 34 C (93 F) is a lot when you’re sightseeing on foot. (After I came back to Copenhagen, temperatures in Lisbon kept climbing and actually broke records with 44 C, or 111 F)

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I made this trip to Lisbon to meet up with my friend Marissa and her boyfriend, Dave.

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Marissa and I have been friends for over 20 years. She lives in Seattle and since she had holiday plans on my continent, I decided I should come and meet her.

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We had a chance to do a lot of sight-seeing together!

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Lisbon is yet another fantastic destination for a weekend get-away from Copenhagen.

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We stayed on the outskirts of Alfama. This neighborhood is a treasure! It retains its Arabic roots in the architecture and it’s still populated by the working class. Tourists like us kinda ruin the beauty of this place. I would’ve enjoyed it even more if I were invisible.

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Lisbon is packed with sights to see. We tried to hit all the must-sees, such as the ruins of this Carmo Convent, destroyed in an earthquake of 1755 and never rebuilt.

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We, of course, visited São Jorge castle (built by the Moors and later captured in 1147 by a Portuguese Knight Alfonso Henriques). Up on a hill, it isn’t just an interesting place to visit to admire the fortification, but the views from this castle are also amazing.

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We visited the Jerónimos Monastery, which seemed a bit too opulent for just a bunch of monks.

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We admired the Santa Justa Lift, which reminded me a bit of the Space Needle when it came to its touristy appeal. The lines were always long, so we never actually opted for standing in line in order to go up on this 19th Century marvel.

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We tried to go inside the Belém Tower but were turned away. We got there just as they were closing!

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Sitting in a Fado house and enjoying this gorgeous music was definitely a highlight for me. You cannot go to Lisbon and not enjoy Fado! This beautiful music tradition is accessible and unlike much of the Flamenco performances in Spain, which have been commercialized for tourists, one can still stumble upon neighborhood Fado houses that serve port and have about four people getting drunk in a corner.

I loved to take pictures of the many different types of tile I encountered on my walks around the city.

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Even though Lisbon is a wonderful city in its own right, it eerily reminded me of San Francisco. There was that bridge, which looks so much like the Golden Gate Bridge.

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The hills, the trams…

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Plenty of graffiti…

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And a hippie vibe.

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There were times I would forget myself and actually think I was in San Francisco! Seriously…  I’m not starting to get homesick, am I?

 

 

 

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