Ola Lisboa

Jeff has been researching – surprise! – cameras to support his astrophotography. He’s always been fascinated with looking up and we’ve bought houses before that supported his love of astronomy. And they had the camera he wanted (at a screaming deal) in Lisbon, so yesterday was another short road trip down south to the Capital of Portugal.

I have flown in and out of Lisbon (pronounced Lish-boa) but never spent time in the city. Wow. Just Wow. What an incredible place. And clean. So clean. Its like this secret city at the end of Europe but it rivals all the biggies for me. I like it much better than Barcelona – for sure.

We were all over it in the short time we were there. Jeff’s camera shop was far from where I wanted to go. Bertrand Livraria (Bertrand Books) – The oldest bookshop operating in the world. Bertrand is in an area with a sea of bookshops but it’s been continuously in biz since 1732. And they have a section of books in english. Without internet – I’ve missed my books. I had to give up my books when we moved to Valencia from the US. When we got there I immediately set about refilling my supply, which are now nestled in boxes in our dining room in Benimachlet. Waiting. Some people measure wealth by stocks or gold. I measure mine by full book shelves. So I stocked up while in Lisbon and am all set for a few weeks. eBooks are great but you can’t read in the tub. Since Covid my toes hurt so bad at the end of each day and a bath is all that soothes them. Without a book it’s been torture. A bag full of books is the best prescription.

Lisbon is a city of hills. Not since living in San Francisco have I walked up and down so many hills. The cobbled winding streets and sidewalks added a new dimension. Around every corner was something to see. Tiled buildings and deserted streets. We heard many, many American voices but they appeared to be locals living there – not tourists. In general, there were few places with crowds and while masks on the street were hit and miss people were social distancing. Even walking out into the street to avoid each other.

When were were in Dublin for Christmas, Emilie made sure we hit Murphy’s ice cream after seeing an episode of ‘Somebody Feed Phil’ on Netflix. It was delicious. This season he did one on Lisbon and I made a note of the ice cream store Nanarella’s and we took the tram up the hill from Bertrand’s, through a park and down a long hill to reach it. It was worth the schlep.

The ice creams and sorbets are craft made and are topped with freshly whipped heavy cream. This one is pistachio and the other is vanilla with chocolate shavings layered in.

We were hungry for lunch. Since we’ve moved to Europe, Jeff’s palate has changed. Sure, he still likes meat and potatoes but he’s expanding his culinary horizons. And for lunch he found us an Iranian restaurant calles Cafeh Tehran – Praça das Flores 40, 1200-192 Lisboa, Portugal. It’s located on Jardim Fialho de Almeida a cool shady spot for a meal. And while I didn’t take photos of the food because it looked so delicious I forgot – I did take photos from our table. The staff are friendly and the lemonade with ginger will cure anything that ails you.

Just walking back through the streets is a treat. And parking in Lisbon is well signed and easy. If you’re OK with hills it’s a thoroughly walk-able city. If you’re not – the trams are an easy on and off at 2.50 euros for a couple of hours worth of trips.

In the end it was time to head North to go home. Jeff was a champ driving through the narrow streets. I took this video – you can hear the devil of our gps in the background telling us to turn left when there is no street. Ugh. But after this small taste of Lisbon we will be back to explore her some more. There are more books at Bertrand’s to bring home.

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