Lots of Love for Lisboa

We wrapped up our month long France, Spain and a Portugal whirlwind Camino pilgrimage in Lisboa (Lisbon) Portugal. An amazing city that sadly we only had about 36 hours to enjoy and it deserves much more time than that.

We arrived on Thursday night around 6pm at the Oriente Train Station after an afternoon of train travel from Lagos. We easily found our way from the trains to the metro to get to Interdente Metro station where our new home, a great Air BnB, was located – right on the edge of the historic city center! The metro and train systems and stations are intertwined in Lisbon and so easy to navigate.

Our place was again another fabulous booking (thank you Lana!) – pic above is our evening and night view from our kitchen window! Our host Miguel was so helpful with all our Lisbon questions. Who needs Tourist Info when you have a Miguel!?

We didn’t have much time in Lisboa, just one evening and a full day, so once we checked in and got sorted we hit the town to do some evening exploring and to find a great place for dinner. We found a wonderful district just before the historic city center and the most fabulous cafe called O’ Corvo!

Wow! They made us sparking green wine sangria that had all kinds of fruit and coffee beans and mint. Mmmm to go with our yummy homemade salads. So great – the food, the staff and the atmosphere was perfect. The place was decorated with a collection of furniture and pics from antique shops and second hand stores. Icing on the cake was the Tina Turner Greatest Hits they were playing. That’s totally my jam … we don’t need another hero (insert singing and dancing here).

The next morning, we were up at our the door by 9am to maximize our short time in Lisboa.

We started the day with a walk down to the historic city centre, snapping pics as we went. With such beautiful streets and history it’s hard to make any progress as you walk – we are so busy looking and gawking and snapping pics.

Some highlights from our morning / pre-breakfast walk about town …

Some highlights from our visit to the Cathedral, a few other churches and the Alfama District (artsy and Fado music district) after our outdoor cafe breakfast …


While having lunch (which was meant to be just a cold drink but the food smelled and looked so good we did lunch too), we decided to fit Sintra in. Sintra is a fairytale little town outside Lisboa with amazing, colourful castles. A place that Lana was keen to see and disappointed that our time in Lisboa was shirt and we couldn’t make it work. Well? Why can’t we?!

We wrapped up lunch, popped over to the Tourist Info who gave us the details on how to make it happen, and then headed straight for Rossi train station for the 50min train to Sintra. A round trip train is only 4,90 Euros each and the train comes every 20mins. We would be there for 330pm, leaving us loads of time to see the highlights! Yahoo!

Most people take a full day in Sinatra but we only had a half day and we were determined to make the most of it! Once in Sintra, we saved our walking time for around the sights and instead used a Tuk Tuk (thanks Pedro) to get a tour of the highlights of Sintra and to take us up to the mountain top castle. Here are the highlights of Sintra – its gorgeous!



We had an awesome time in Sintra and made it back to Lisboa for about 7pm. We did a little souvenir shopping and some more sight seeing, then looked for a place to eat. Our last supper of our whole trip – no pressure!

Well we found an awesome new tapas restaurant in our neighborhood, Endente. The owner was featuring traditional tapas from all Portugal, local wine, cheeses and even served the food on Portuguese made ceramics. The place just opened this summer and he was so great to us! We loved it.

Portugal you have a very special in our hearts – we both cannot wait to be back. What a country and what an awesome finish to just an amazing trip we both feel so grateful for having the opportunity to take.

We are now boarding our flight back to Canada – smiling as we reminisce about the trip. A bit sad it’s over but very much looking forward to seeing our families!

Thanks for following our adventure!
Brande

Lovely Lagos

I know I already gave you a ‘city you must visit’ for your bucket list .. well now I must also give you a ‘beach to visit’ for the list too. Lagos, Portugal. In a word – stunning! Oh and it’s pronounced LagoSH as we quickly learned!

We arrived by train from Porto on Monday, early evening. At first I was underwhelmed as the train station is just your regular, ole station with nothing to make it a warm Lagos welcome. And when you walk out of the stations, it’s into a parking lot and you can’t even see the ocean I was so looking forward to being at. However just yards out of the train parking lot and around a stone wall, it was a very different story!

We were greeted by a beach side resort town that many Europeans consider their holiday destination – like us Canadians consider Mexico and Cuba. The streets were all cobble stone walks and the marina was full of boats and the water crystal clear and full of fish and the beaches and the cafes and the pubs and the shops and overall a beachside city of wow! Yup wow! The air was warm and smelt of salt and we had arrived at our Camino reward!

It was around 6pm when we arrived and we were due to meet our Air BnB host straight away. So we made our way right to the flat we rented. We did not have to go far. It was just a half block off of the main cafe and market street and we ogled the fun as we walked.

Our host met us and gave us a very thorough introduction to our little one bedroom and a futon home for the next 3 nights. Very thorough and we were dying for it to end so we could just relax. She was sweet for sure but when you have been traveling all day, you just wanna throw your feet up and enjoy your new home already! I have never had an Air BnB host take 40mins to welcome us – just another charm of Lagos.


After our host departed, we checked the place out for real and got settled. Checked in with family on our safe arrival on social media and then headed out to explore this cool new town we would call home for 3 sleeps!

The place was full of great cafes and pubs, and we ended up at Giovanni’s a pizza place for dinner. Sitting at a wee table right on the main pedestrian thoroughfare – people watching, sipping Somersby and eating gooey cheese pizza. We wrapped up by grabbing groceries for breakfast and headed back to our flat.

Lagos – Day 1, Hiking and Beach Day

After my morning run (my fav way to see a new city), for our first day in Lagos we enjoyed a home cooked breakfast and then decided to hike (yes more walking yahoo). There is a sort of path around the perimeter of the entire Lagos coastline covering about 10km. Hiking this gave us a chance to check out all of the 6+ beaches Lagos has to offer and experience the famous grottos at birds eye level.

We were not disappointed! We had great fun hiking about, checking each beach for what it offered, grabbing a cool Somersby at the lighthouse cafe and making time for some photo fun as well. Looks like many a tourist does this little hike about, we were never alone but also didn’t feel overwhelmed by people.

At one point we decided to poke a little fun at those peeps who do their yoga poses for photos in famous places. In good fun of course. We are total geeks who can’t do yoga to save our lives …. we ended up with a chuckling audience at our timer on the camera antics.

Hike and laugh till we cry photo session complete, we selected the Costa da Mos Beach as our beach for the day. We rented a 2 chair beach umbrella for 13 Euros (a bit steep in price but for this gal the only way I could spend a day in the hot 24C sun!)

We went in the water despite Lana’s crippling fear of sharks (there are rumors of hammer heads in these waters). Laughing at ourselves as the bottom has large stones and rocks which are rolled by the waves and actually kind of beat you up as you get in. So you have to just suck up the cold of the water and get in quick. Everyone getting in looked hilarious trying to avoid the rock beating. Us included!

We wrapped up our evening back in town enjoying, believe it or not, Chinese food! Yum!

Lagos – Day 2, Boating and Beach Day

Another beautiful day in Lagos (around 24C expected again), we started our morning with a grotto and cave tour by boat! Wow and wow and wow.

It was 15 Euro per person and worth every penny. The tour was just under an hour and the guide took us into each cave – his driving skills were pretty fantastic as some looked only big enough for the kayaks around us and yet he went right in. He also slowed and told us the names of the rocks and caves as we went and had a great sense of humor. It was just Lana and I in the boat for the tour.

I will let the pictures speak for the amazing beauty of these grottos and caves themselves … selected just a few of the 50+ pics I took!

After our grotto by boat morning, we headed over to the only beach we had not explored yet. The one you can actually see right from the tourist area – the beach is 5km long so hard to miss. Before heading over though we made sure we had the three things that make a beach day a success – over and above a beach and summer weather of course … beer, roast chicken and a good book ha ha!

We spent the day on our rented beach chairs for just 12 Euros this time, me under the umbrella and Lana as usual soaking up maximum rays. My time out from under the umbrella was spent combing the beach for shells! (Yup hubby I am coming home with a freezer ziplock bag full of shells.)

We also went in the water on this beach and it was quite different than our rock beat down from the day prior – this was all sand and shells and fish and was wonderful to walk out on.

By about 5pm we figured we should probably shower up, get prepped for our departure the next day and find some eats. The night prior we had walked by an awesome, tiny pub called Ol Bastard Fish and Chips and we were keen to make it our supper destination.

Ol Bastard was amazing. So small and so busy the atmosphere just brought you right in – they had all kinds of fish and chips and fish tacos and loads of fries, as well as a great assortment of wine and craft beer. We loved it, sat right at the bar and had an awesome time! Were even given a complimentary order of fish cakes to make the new chef feel good about his special and some Kraken rum to try. Check out this spread of food yumminess mmmmmm

Our final full day in Lagos wrapped up, we headed back to the flat to chill and get our last great sleep in our awesome BnB before heading to Lisbon (pronounced Leesh-boa), our last destination before heading home to Canada.

Lagos – Day 3 (1/2 Day) Laundry and Marina Lunch

Our final day in Lagos was just a short one – we had a train at 2pm so had ourselves a lazy morning and yummy breakfast at home, then did our laundry (oh the every 3 or 4 day plight of a backpacking pilgrim) before our train.

Oh and just a heads up, you are not allowed to put your dogs in the washing machine in Lagos. So if your pup needs a wash? this is not the place to make this happen.

We ended our time in Lagos with a final toast and snacks at the Marina right beside the train station at the Lighthouse Cafe.

We loved Lagos- add it to your list! While it felt very much like a British tourist beach town, it was really fun and had awesome positive energy and beaches worth spending a week at!

We will check in again post Lisboa.

Brande