We were super keen to finally be visiting Lisbon. Not only for it’s postcard-worthy streets, happening culture and reputable food scene, but because it was going to be a time of long-awaited catch ups. We were seeing my Uncle Bruce and Aunty Jo as they were coincidentally visiting Lisbon at the same time, but also my good friend from back home Matty, who had just spent several months backpacking South America and was now onto the European leg of his journey.
After dumping our bags off at our hostel and freshening up from our bus from Lagos, we walked the short distance to the hotel where Bruce and Jo were staying. We hadn’t seen them since my cousin Mic’s wedding in Ho Chi Minh last year, so spent a good amount of time catching up on everything family. After a few beers we regretfully had to say goodbye, as Matty had arrived at the hostel and was waiting on us for dinner.
Not long after slapping hands we decided we’d head out, walking to a nearby resaurant named Zé da Mouraria 2 for some authentic, honest Portuguese food. We spent the night eating good food and drinking great wine, catching up on the year that passed and sharing stories from each of our travels. After signing the bill we looked at our watches and decided we’d sneak in a night cap before retiring for the night.
We visited a bar named the Red Frog Speakeasy, a bar that has a reputation for some of the best cocktails in Lisbon. Matty and I played it safe, ordering our usual favourites: espresso martini and a negroni, while the more adventurous Anita picked out a more extravagant drink from the menu. Shortly after the last drops, we toddled home and tucked ourselves in for the night.
The next day we spent wandering the beautiful streets of Lisbon, stopping off at the city’s largest flea market, the Feira Da Ladra. After a successful morning of shopping and some lunch in the park, we carried on to Manteigaria to try some of the best pasteis de nata in Portugal. As it was Matty’s first, he couldn’t have had a better first experience. A light, flaky outter shell broke through to warm, gooey custard inside. It was simply superb.
We spent our last evening with Matty having a few drinks before heading to Frangasqueria Nacional for dinner, a small hole-in-the-wall that serves up some of Lisbon’s best Portuguese BBQ. As it only serves to take away and it was raining, we grabbed our tub of BBQ and huddled on a sheltered stairway around the corner like a group of meat junkies, stuffing ourselves with the best collection of ribs, chicken, sausages and salad.
Matty left for Lagos the following morning so Anita and I spent our remaining days avoiding the rain by visiting the many galleries and museums in Belem, ducking in and out of local shops and cafes and really just getting ourselves organised for the next giant leg of our journey: the Americas.