#100happydays challenge 6-13 – Lovely Lisbon

An update on my  #100happydays challenge – http://100happydays.com/ from last month. It’s all about our holiday to Lisbon.
Lisbon is a wonderful city with a very long history, the sea, great views and suburb food; There’s loads to do including visiting art galleries. museums and castles. It’s easy to get around with trams and metros which is handy as it has ALOT of hills but the view are amazing. There are many miradors (viewpoints) around the city. There were many beautiful parks; huge hibiscus and lemon trees in front gardens too.  I know we will visit again.

lisbon guide (6/100), fish stew (7/100), tram (8/100), wine at the castle (9/100) #100happydays

Lisbon guide (6/100), fish stew (7/100), tram (8/100), wine at the castle (9/100) #100happydays

6/100 – Off to Lisbon  

We wanted to visit a European city with a direct flight from Manchester with a lot of history, culture and good food.   A bonus – if it was by the sea and some sunshine – given it was October. We’d never been to Lisbon so that fitted the bill 🙂

We found a great apartment in a 1930s modernist building, via Housetrip (www.housetrip.com) near the University.  It was wonderful to live among the locals, use the local shops and practise our Portuguese 🙂 and there was a metro stop 5 mins away.  The weather was grim the first day, very wet because there was an Atlantic storm going over.  It was overcast a lot of the week but warm.  The locals kept apologising for the weather which made us smile – warmer and drier than Manchester for sure.

7/100 – fish stew

Portuguese food is just lovely – alot of fish, Mediterranean  and spices. Portugal was a huge sea power in 15/16th Centuries and owned most of South America, Indonesia and Macau too.  It has a big fishing industry and your tinned sardines have almost certainly come via Portugal.  There was a sardine shop in Lisbon – just tinned sardines 🙂
My chap ate a pastel-de-nata (Portuguese custard tart) every day – I had fish every day.  I’ve got a long list of fish species in Portuguese now.  It’s always an adventure ordering fish abroad, as you’re not always sure what will arrive on the plate.
And I haven’t even mentioned Port 🙂

8/100 – tram from Belém to Lisbon

Belém was the gateway to Lisbon and protected the entrance of the River Tagus.  It is well worth a visit especially as it’s the home of the The Torre de Belém, the symbol of Lisbon (and a world heritage site). This is a square tower which would have been accessed by boat; about 50 feet from the shoreline.  It was built in 1514 in the middle of the river.  Until the Lisbon earthquake in 1755 changed the course of the river, thousands died and many of the magnificent buildings were destroyed.

The caravels (ships) left from Belém in the 16th century to discover the West Indies, South America and the Far East.  In 1960 ,a 50 metre monument, in the shape of a carvel, was built to celebrate 500 years since the death of King Henry the Navigator.  He’s at the front facing the sea, with huge stylised statues of famous Portuguese including Vasco de Gama.  It has stunning views from the top (and a lift).

Elsewhere in Belém, there’s the Mosteiro dos Jeronimos (the monestery is a world heritage site) and many art galleries.   It’s also the home of Pastéis de Belem which is where the pastel de nata was invented in the 1830s.

9/100 – Wine with a view – Castle de Sao Jorge, Lisbon

A fascinating place to visit, originally a moorish castle in the 1100s (though the Romans were there first, as you’d expect). It has been in continuous habitation since then, the Portuguese Royal family lived there in 18/19th century.  It’s a huge site, with extensive ramparts and the views from the castle are stunning – I took a day and night shot. We spent a very happy hour or so drinking Portuguese wine on the ramparts over looking the city – it didn’t close until 9pm.  It’s a real shame that the we don’t do the same here.

Castle de Pena (10/100), don't panic (11/100), funicular railway (12/100), bed rest (13/100)

Castle de Pena (10/100), don’t panic (11/100), funicular railway (12/100), bed rest (13/100) #100happydays

10/100 Palace de Pena, Sintra

There should be two ‪#‎100happydays photos because we visited two wonderful castles in Sintra – the national palace and palace de pena – I chose pena because it reminded me of castle neuwanstein which we visited in January when my brother and family were over from Australia.    This photograph was taken as the sun was setting, it was truly magical.  We were the last people to leave, the Portuguese bus drivers waited for us too. It’s an easy trip on the train from Lisbon and there’s a circular bus to get to all the sites – don’t walk as it’s very, very hilly.

Sintra is a world heritage site and also has a Moorish caste on the top of the hill and many beautiful gardens.  We only scratched the surface of what’s there.  We could probably spend a week looking around.  We’ll be back there too.

11/100 – Great live music

Pottered around the parks of Lisbon but the best thing was a brilliant covers band in Baixo Alto. Their tip box made me laugh – yes they were hitchhikers fans. We listened to some fado too but it was very melancholy, which was a bit much for me in my current mood.

12/100 – Bica funicular railway (Ascensor)

The Bica funicular climbs from Rua da Bica for 245 metres from the Rua S. Paulo, near Santos, to the Calhariz district (Rua do Loreto). We went down the hill in a beautiful wooden panelled carriage which fits about 25 people.  It was built in 1892 and is a national monument.

The lower station of this funicular is almost hidden behind a façade on the Rua de S. Paulo with the inscription ‘Ascensor da Bica’. My chap and I walked past the bottom station twice, because it was covered in plastic sheeting 🙂 There are three funicular railways, and we went on all of them, and two elevators.

Trips on elevators, funicular railways and more views across the city – with churches, the sea, castles great food and a mojitos too.

Lisbon is just an amazing place and it’s people are wonderful too.

13/100 – Bed Rest 

The 430am start to get the plane did me in so it was an early night. It was lovely to be home too.

*****

#100happydays challenge 

You can follow my photos for #100happydays challenge on twitter feed everyday (@becinmonton)

*****

#100happydays challenge is very simple:

  • Can you be happy for 100 days in a row?  
  • Every day submit a picture of what made you happy!
  • It can be about anything or anyone.  
  • It’s a way of getting in touch with the moment you’re in
  • People can submit photos privately too.

Anyone around the world can get involved in #100happyday or just have a look for the hashtag or on facebook too.                                                                  

What has made you happy today?

Carpe Diem  or Aproveite o Dia

love Bec xx

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29 thoughts on “#100happydays challenge 6-13 – Lovely Lisbon

  1. Eliza Waters

    I loved Lisbon. The old streets, the cobblestones I remember particularly. I didn’t have a lot of money and I once ordered the cheapest thing on the menu and it turned out to be the water they boiled mussels in – blech! I loved the Gulbenkian museum – did you visit there?

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    1. Bec Post author

      It’s still got lots of cobbled streets (and interesting doorways). That water sounds disgusting 😦 the food was lovely and everything was pretty cheap as the pound is strong against euro at the moment. Yes we did but didn’t see all off it. We are definitely going back again 🙂

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      1. Bec Post author

        yes that’s true – it was two and half hours from Manchester to Lisbon – and I’ve travelled quite a bit on the continent – always more to see. Only been to USA three times and once was to change planes in LAX. I’d like to visit more there too.

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    1. Bec Post author

      Thank you – there was a stunning view to match. There were beautiful vistas round most corners – a truly fascinating city 🙂 will definitely be back 🙂

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