Thursday, June 08, 2017

3 Days in Lisbon: A Beautifully Slow City Escape

Lisbon by the water, May 2017
So, loyal readers, it appears that I've taken a 3 month hiatus from my blog! Really, it's not that nothing has been going on - LOTS has been going on. In fact, I can feel The Teaching Cove slowly starting to take off, as people are starting to buy my e-book, 25 TED Talk Lesson Plans for Your English Class (a mere 18 copies sold, but I say 18 and counting!). My PhD is slowly coming along, and I've been rushing all over the city finding new tutoring clients.

April & May Scramble

Well, April and May turned into whirlwind months over here in Barcelona. Usually tutoring students start to drop off in June - you know, for the summer. Actually, this year this started happening in April - leaving me scrambling for months! Amid learning more about online businesses for The Teaching Cove, stressing about my snail paced PhD, training like crazy with a brand new personal trainer /sports nutritionist who is working with my own personal trainer to help me "fix" my super slow metabolism, The Singaporelizard has been a little neglected.  So, a weekend away with one of my good friends from my course at Oxford (has it been 4 years already?!) was in order.

Lisbon: A Beautifully Slow City

So, Alexandra and I actually planned our trip to Lisbon way back in December 2016. Now, you know I normally simply hop on planes booked a few weeks in advance. (For example, I'm off to jet set to London to in a couple days).

Basically, we had wanted to see each other for awhile, since our Oxford days were already now 4 years ago. Wow!! instead of paying extortionate prices around Christmas time last year to or from  London, we Googled the cheapest flight and boom! Both of us booked 100€ tickets to meetup in Lisbon, Portugal instead. 

What To See & Do In Lisbon: 3 Days

So, I'll be honest here - we mostly wanted to catch up and relax, after not seeing each other for over two years!  While I'm usually a whirlwind traveller, this was definitely a perfect change. Actually, we spent most of our time eating amazing food, drinking wine and talking. 

Here are some ideas for your trip to Lisbon:

  • Be sure to visit the sea! Rooftop cafes on the way to the Castle  San Jorge are the most expensive, but "expensive" in Lisbon doesn't mean much!
  • You can climb to the top of the tower in the Monastery (Mostererio de Jeronimos), although we decided to simply walk through
  • The Archaelogical Museum looked amazing - but we ran out of time, unfortunately!
  • Check out Gelato Nannarella  for the best gelato!
  • Head to Cafe Nicola for a beautiful old cafe with a view
  • Spend some time wandering the shopping streets, and stop at the Belem Tower - again, we decided to skip the queue and not go up, but you could!
  • EAT.  Seriously, EAT.   Although the first meal we had at Casa Santa Rita was a bit unimpressive (at a local taberna, the cheap place in the touristy zone), we weren't too bothered, because we had a full meal each and half a bottle of wine for 13 euros, total.
  • Every other meal we had was AMAZING. 
  • Be sure to go to a market!  There was a giant one next to our metro stop, Alameda on the red line (near our Airbnb) - and we got a ton of fresh fruit, vegetables, olives and cheese for a ridiculously low price.  
  • Time Out Market is full of beautiful and delicious restaurants, too. Definitely worth heading there! In fact, we went TWICE!

Sapna in Lisbon
 Alex in Lisbon

Lisbon Travel Tips

The World Needs More Nata (Cream), Portugal

  • Expect everything to be SLOW.  Slower than Spain, and more disorganized.  We spent so long in the queue to book train tickets that by the time we finished I had planned my next trip and booked my plane ticket to visit Alex in London!
  • They do, however, unlike Spain, speak very good English! It may in part be due to the fact that they don't dub their films in movie theatres, like Spain does. 
  • It is HOT.  Really hot, even in May. Remember your sunscreen!
  • Plan to do the touristy sites as early in the morning as you can - this way you won't be as exhausted from the heat.
  • Take the metro, NOT the bus, especially if you are headed towards the beach
  • Try one of the traditional cream pie desserts. I didn't like it -  but everyone will ask you if you've tried one! They love them over there!  

Alex and Sapna, Train in Lisbon

Check out my slideshow below for a quick view of our adventures! Remember that you can hover over the photo in the top right corner to change the slideshow's speed. Be sure you have Flash enabled in your browser, too.

It seems that Flickr slideshows still don't work well if you're not on a desktop. After using Wordpress for the last seven and a half months for my other blog, I'm getting a bit frustrated with Blogger. So, maybe one day I'll make the arduous switch and move everything over to Wordpress.

Hope you enjoyed the slideshow! Stay tuned for my upcoming adventures in London over the next few days.

Have a lovely weekend!


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