3 Reasons I Love Lisbon

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It has been TWO YEARS (!!!!)  since we started on our travels and said good-bye to the good ol’ US of A. I feel so blessed to be able to see more of this amazing earth that we inhabit, but there was one place that has stuck with me and I still miss – Lisbon, Portugal.

Lisbon was the first European stop on our travels around the world and we almost considered scrapping the rest of our travels to stay in this vibrant city. It is that awesome of a place. After a little over two months in our little apartment in Lisbon, we packed up and moved on with our travels, but I have always pined to go back there and stay for good.

I have been thinking a lot about Lisbon lately, so I decided to write this post. It is a way for me to spread the love of a truly amazing place. So without further ado…

3 Reasons I Love Lisbon

yckA6BroiThe History

Lisbon 09882 Lisboa Praça don Pedro 2006 Luca Galuzzi
View from the historic elevator de Santa Justa toward praça don Pedro, Lisbon, Portugal. Photo credit: Luca Galuzzi – www.galuzzi.it
The history of Lisbon is as fascinating as it is long. Originally founded in the 12th century by Ulysses, it was called Ulissipo or Olissopo, stemming from the Phoenician words “Allis Ubbo” which means “enchanting port” and is where the name Lisbon originated from.  From then on Lisbon has been a significant port city for numerous groups including the Romans and the Moors.

In the 15th century Portugal was an empire that enjoyed abundant wealth due to it’s colonies in the Atlantic Islands, Africa, the Americas and Asia.

A massive earthquake in 1755 nearly destroyed the entire city of Lisbon and over the next century it was rebuilt and spread progressively to the North.

The history of Lisbon is seen in every building face, in every statue, in every patiently cobbled lane. You smell it as you pass by the hole-in-the-wall family restaurants serving delicious food and wine. You hear it with the lapping of the ocean along the waterfront. The history of Lisbon seeps into your soul and stays there and calls you back.

Z at the Castelo de São Jorge in Lisbon.
Z at the Castelo de São Jorge in Lisbon.

The Food and Wine

Bacalao (3903838484)
Bacalao (Portuguese for cod) is one of my favorite Portuguese dishes. It can be prepared numerous ways, but I always liked it fried and served with potatoes. Delicious! Photo Credit: Bernt Rostad from Oslo, Norway (Bacalao Uploaded by tm) [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
 Yes, it is true, I love food. You all know that about me (and hopefully love it too).  It drives me to explore new areas of the places we visit and stay. Lisbon was a gold-mine on the food front. Everything we ate and every restaurant we tried was excellent, from the bread, cheese and olives that they place on the table (and that is NOT free, but inexpensive and worth it), to the meat or seafood, and what seemed to be compulsory olive oil fried potatoes. Each dish was a steal at the cost of about 5 Euros. And I cannot forget about the half.. ahem… full carafe of red wine that each restaurant so wonderfully offered and delivered for a small price of 3-5 Euros.

The food can make or break a place for me, and Lisbon’s completely made it. I still drool thinking about the food I ate there.

Okay, this is port not wine... but you get the idea.
Okay, this is port not wine… but you get the idea.

The Public Transportation

Metro Lisboa Route Map (only with routes in operation)
Map of the Fantastic Lisbon Metro By Maximilian Dörrbecker (Chumwa) [CC BY-SA 2.5 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.5)], via Wikimedia Commons
I hate having to drive a car. My goal is to live somewhere that provides excellent and accessible public transportation or everything within walking distance to my residence. Having to travel longer than 20 minutes to get groceries, no thank you. Yep, I am a city girl.

There are so many ways to get around Lisbon, it makes it almost impossible not to explore it fully. There is a metro along with trams, busses, and funiculars that all use the same pass through Carris which makes it incredibly easy to get around the city and outlying areas like Sintra and Cascais. There are also trains that will take you to places farther away as well, such as the Algarve and Porto.  For more info on the options for transportation in Lisbon, click here.

If you are so inclined, bicycles are very popular as well and there are taxis everywhere. Or you can walk! And get an excellent work out. The city is nicknamed “The city of seven hills” for a reason… I don’t think my legs ever looked so good as they did in Lisbon.

yckA6Broi

Lisbon always pulls at me. I know we will make it back there someday, hopefully sooner than later. Regardless of when, I know that I will love it just as much as I did then. So if you haven’t been, GO! Get your butt on a plane and go check out this city. I am sure you will be glad you did.

 

Now it’s your turn! Have you ever been to Lisbon? What did you love about it? Are a city person or a country person? Do you prefer public transportation or having your own vehicle? Leave a comment and join in the fun!

 

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