Bom dia! We’re in sunny Lisbon sitting in an apartment that has no windows because it’s built into one of the many many hills of the city. We’ll head back out into the sun soon, but first… our first impressions of the city of Lisbon!
Colours and tiles everywhere!
Where I live, all the buildings come in various shades of boring. Not so in Lisbon, where buildings come in all colours of the rainbow! This photo taken on a dreary, rainy day (we managed to visit during the rare days of bad weather) doesn’t do it justice. And tiles are everywhere: they cover the pavement and many walls – that blue building on the right, for example. They aren’t just there because they’re pretty; their history goes back to the great Lisbon earthquake in 1755 and the ensuing fires that broke out all over the city. The tiles, having been baked at high temperatures, were thought to protect against the fires. They’re a beautiful reminder of the tragedy in the past.
The Portuguese have a major sweet tooth
Everywhere you go you will see pastelarias filled with all sorts of cookies and pastries. People have a quick breakfast there before work, often having their coffee and sweet pastry standing at the counter instead of sitting down. The famous Portuguese egg tarts, pastéis de nata, are everywhere. Obviously we’ve been eating those like starving wolves, though one place in particular stood out as the most delicious, fresh and quite the experience in general. That was during our amazing food tour with Treasures of Lisboa; more about that soon! It left us wondering: how are the Portuguese not fat?
Cheap food, friendly people
A cup of good, strong coffee will set you back about € 0,70 – food and drink is extremely affordable compared to other major European cities. Looking at you, Oslo. The city is not very crowded, so there’s always a place to sit and rest before walking up the next steep hill. Not sure which one of the many pastries you should have with your coffee? Just ask the person next to you – the people are open and friendly and don’t seem to mind a chat at all.
And one final tip: wear your good walking shoes. If you decide to explore the many hills and tiled pavements of Lisbon on your favourite stilettos, you’re going to have a bad time.
Now excuse me while I go out to eat more pastéis de nata!