Portugal: Lisbon

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A week of Lisbon + Porto with Mumz, she's keeping a blog:

And this is from it:
" Landed in Lisbon at 7:30pm and caught the bus into the city centre. Holly had booked an apartment between Cais do Sodré and Bairro Alto, the trendy areas of Lisbon (of course) and as we stepped off Rua de Sâo Paulo onto Largo de Santo Antóninho we found ourselves slapbang in the middle of the most AMAZING street party. Barbecues and beer sellers lined the streets and competing music blared from every bar and balcony. If we hadn't been vaguely aware that 12 June was THE biggest festival in Lisbon we would have thought that Lisbon was the most CRAZY and HAPPENING city in the universe. Was fabulous. (Likewise, had we arrived the following morning, ignorant of the festival, we would have gazed at the litter, urine and vomit-lined streets in dismay and disgust).

Our apartment is on the second floor of a building a little way up the Calçada da Bica Pequena - a very narrow, very steep street up and down which trundles the Elevador da Bica - a two way funicular tram. Lovely apartment, with double balconied windows over-looking the street below.


We dumped our stuff and headed out to the party. What a fabulous welcome to Lisbon. €1 for a beer and everyone dancing in the streets. The festival is for Santo Antonio, who I think must be the patron saint of sardines. Later, back in the apartment, a bit pissed and with the munchies, I sent Holly out for some food. She returned, eventually, with some sort of barbecued meat roll with chilli sauce. She was warned off by the guy she bought it off but ignored him. Oh my God. I like hot food, but it was OFF THE SCOVILLE SCALE. For a while there I thought we were both going to die of mouth burn. We'd be found dead in a Lisbon apartment with no tongues and all the taps running.

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The partying continued until it got light I think, and we were woken this morning by an army of council workers with water cannons cleaning up the mess. Went out for provisions, and after a lovely breakfast in the apartment we ventured out to explore the city.
Lisbon is reeeeeally beautiful. And very hilly. We wandered over to Castel de Sâo George, a ruined Moorish castle with fantastic views and then explored the narrow streets of Alfama. Holly has done her 'alternative' research and we stopped for a beer in Portas do Sol, a fabulous bar overlooking the estuary which played really great music (Molotov Jukebox, my new favourites by the way. I'm so hip.) Had lunch under some trees at Miradoura da Graça, a viewpoint at the top of another hill. Holly keeps getting whistled at. I keep pretending the whistling's directed at me. Holly humours me. I also got Damien Hurst confused with Damien Rice, but I DID IT ON PURPOSE, OK?
Calves aching, we made our way along the riverfront and climbed Miradouro de S. Catarina and collapsed in some armchairs in the garden of a pharmacy-themed bar. Busman's holiday really."

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More from mumma's blogawog:

"Went out for dinner last night in an amazing circus-act-supporting place with funky decor and fabulous views, on the other side of town, that Holly 'knew' about. Was lovely. Mojitos, tapas and a bottle of wine. Not sure if it was the combination of all of the above but things went a bit strange after that. These three gurning drug dealers arrived and they sat gurning at each other intensely, and their presence upset the staff who went to pieces and refused to get our bill for us and were tripping each other up and stuff, and Holly lost her ring.
I may have remembered all that wrong. Took charge of the map because I was convinced there was a shorter route back home. Forgot that Holly is my daughter and therefore won't be told. Battle of wills ensued. Got very lost. Map got thrown on floor and stamped on. Strangers got involved. Tried, and failed, to pull the Parent card. Ah well, we got there in the end. Stubborn little witch. Can't think WHERE she gets it from.

 Builders next door started banging things at 8am! Bastards. Accidentally showed everyone on the tram my foof as I stood on balcony inspecting the weather. Eventually got our acts together and got on a tram headed west. Accidentally didn't buy a ticket, although we did try but it was too complicated. Result! Got off at Alcântara and wandered around the LX Factory - a huge arty-farty reclamation of old factories. Found best bookshop ever which had integral bar and coffee shop.


Walked west along river front and ate our sandwiches under the mahoosive Pont 25 De Abril, then continued walking west for miiiiiles until we got to Belém. Nice place, nice old monastery. Had beer in sunshine then went to the Berardo Collection - a modern art gallery, most of which I didn't understand but Holly did. I liked it anyway. Well, most of it.

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Knackered, we got back on a tram and figured out how to buy a ticket which was just as well because the ticket inspectors got on and nabbed the people who didn't. Hah! Stupid tourists."

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Mr. Enthusiasm drove us all around beautiful places for a day in an old yellow van.


Ultimate dream exploring in Zelda land + hobbits in Mordor. Climbed down a very deep well to a secret passageway, crawled through underground tunnels with creatures and unknown other stuff.. found secret lakes and caves.

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Red-wine picnic lunch. Did a wee behind a rock with mum at the most Western point of Europe. Pissed all over my shoes.

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Perved on Portugese surfers. Stopped in a town and ate what was 
"The most, very most, very best, most DEEEELicious. DEEEELicious. DEEEEEELicious ice-cream, in the whole world, whole ENTIRE world!!!"


and tried the Belem tradition of 
"Absolute heaven, heaven in a mouth, absolute insane heaven in your mouth!!!!!! Insane delicious HEAVEN to eat!!! To EAT IN YOUR MOUTH!!!!"


Thank you Marcos you lovely excited man!



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