Lisbon – First Impressions

Peregrination in Porto
Castles and Peacocks

With only 6 days for our time in Portugal – 3 days each in Lisbon and Porto we planned our time very carefully. After 3 action packed days in Porto, we caught the evening fast train for the 2 1/2 hour (332km) to Lisbon. It was a comfortable, relaxing journey, and we arrived in Lisbon at around 8:30pm and headed to our new home-away-from-home for the next 3 nights. And in case you are wondering – no, 6 days was not nearly long enough!

The impressive Lisbon Oriente Station by night

Our airbnb in Lisbon was a 3 bedroom apartment, which was reasonably central with good access to public transport. However what we hadn’t factored in was the many steep steps between the metro station and the apartment – the Google walking description said “mostly flat”, which to be fair it was – except the bit that wasn’t flat was very much not flat but consisted of 4 steep, uneven, flights of stairs. Imagine trudging up those stairs at the end of a long day, each carrying a suitcase. Not to mention that our flat was also on the 2nd floor. On the last day we did discover a route which, while still uphill, was a more gently sloping climb. Still if you don’t like hills and stairs, don’t go to Lisbon – it’s a very hilly city! (Photo taken another night – we were too exhausted that first time!)

In the daylight we realised how long and steep the stairs were.

As a reward for all that climbing, the flat came with a lovely view over the surrounding historic district.

It was very comfortable for the 4 of us. It didn’t have a lounge room as such, but a nice eat-in kitchen. This the unremarkable street entrance:Apparently none of us remembered to take any photos inside the Airbnb, except this one showing the corridor leading to a tiny sitting room, which overlooked the view.

There was a Lidl up the road and Rob & Sarah bought wine, cheeses and meats for delicious suppers a couple of times.

Our Airbnb was close to Largo do Intendente, and the Intendente metro station, so we walked through it several times. Until fairly recently it was an area to avoid, known for prostitutes and drugs. Now it is very trendy, with cafes, bars and restaurants, lovely historic buildings and interesting street art.

One of the buildings on Largo do Intendente that hasn’t yet been renovated now features a piece by Tamara Alves, one of the best-known female Portuguese artists in the street art world.The small garden with its red fence is a piece of public art called “Kit Garden” by local artist Joana Vasconcelos. “Kit Garden affirms itself as a living, multifunctional work of art, simultaneously playing the roles of sculpture, bench and garden“.

The fabulous dragonfly is by Bordalo II (who also created the half rabbit in Porto). It decorates the historic 1908 Lisboa Hotel where we stopped for a drink one evening.


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