72 hours in Lisbon

Lisbon with its name of being and non being
With its meanders of astonishment insomnia and shacks
And its secret theatre sparkles
Its mask-like smile of intrigue and complicity
While the wide sea stretches westward
Lisbon swaying like a sailing ship
Lisbon cruelly built next to its own absence
— Sophia de Mello Breyner
Street art near the main city castle

Street art near the main city castle

My very first stamp in my US passport was for Lisboa. It was a quick jaunt -- 4 hours to be exact -- while en route to Spain. Lisboa isn't your typical European capital. Its grit is its charm. A friend endearingly calls it "the last frontier of European's third world". I'm not sure how accurate that is given that I'm suppose to come from the third world and it's nothing quite like this. Trains run on time here. People are civil. Some super overly friendly, even. My trip here was short and sweet. We got a sick AirBnB top of the hill (it was so nice), ate here, here, here, here, and here, drank the biggest jug of sangria and got drunk before noon here and here, and took a train to Cascais then biked up and down this insanely beautiful coastline and ate here. Surf forecast was too big (like 15-20ft wall-of-insanity big) so I didn't even try. 

Bike trail north of Cascais towards Guinho

Bike trail north of Cascais towards Guinho

 

If you're short on time be sure to put these things in your mouth:

Ginja - a cherry port of sort, local to Lisbon.

Bacalhau - codfish. Comes in various form. Mostly mushed up with stuff.

Sardines - just eat it. This isn't your American bunker food.

THE BREAD - I think I ate more bread in these 4 days than the entire year combined.

Pastel de nata - the famous egg custard. Not all of these are created equal. Grab it from the famous place in Belém or at the TimeOut market.

Polvo - octopus. So soft and delicious.

My favorite spot tho, was surprisingly the Museu Coleção Berardo. Such a wonderful collection of contemporary art, organized by genre. The architecture and use of typography throughout the area are both equally divine. This was a super quick trip with friends from Berlin. It was fun, low key, and just the right amount of exploration and vegetating on the couch. No internal revelation this time around. ;) Enjoy.