Adventures · International Getaways · Portugal

Sangria and Sunshine – Lisboa

Okay, hear me out.

You know how in boxes of chocolates, you have your favorites? You anxiously eat these first, because they’re the best. Then you have the nasty ones, the ones that you know will fail you every time (here’s looking at you, “dark cherry center”). Then you have the ones that you never venture to try, the ones that you may give a chance someday, but not today while you have the opportunity to eat the delicious ones. They may be great, but they may not be- so why risk it?

I say all this not to make some deep point, but to say that, Y’ALL, LISBON IS A SURPRISINGLY GOOD CHOCOLATE. The kind that makes me think, wow, maybe I should have moved here and not Dublin I could really see myself living here in the next five years. There are plenty of reasons it’s being ranked among the top city destination in Europe.

I booked a flight to Portugal on a whim a month ago when my sweet Ireland bestie, Maggie, visited and bragged about the sunshine. I was sold. With my aunt in tow on the earliest morning flight ever, we arrived to 75 degrees and GLORIOUS sunshine.

 

Streetcars on the hills maybe named Desire.
Streetcars on the hills maybe named Desire.
Birthplace of Portuguese author, Fernando Pessoa. Look into him!
Birthplace of Portuguese author, Fernando Pessoa. Look into him!
Lisbon is extremely hilly! My calves are still sore.
Lisbon is extremely hilly! My calves are still sore.
Our hostel was right in the city center!
Our hostel was right in the city center!

The city did not disappoint. Our hostel was an adorable, small building located in the heart of the city, and we had the cutest room in the attic with tight spaces and skylights! And y’all know it was only a matter of time before I discussed the… food. Y’ALL. THE FOOD. So good. They apparently really dig sangria there, so we were drinking glasses for a euro. A EURO! And cod is a thing too. They import it from Northern Europe (go figure), and eat it non-stop. But the most important takeaway I got from Lisbon (pun intended), was the pastel de nata. They’re custard-y, with a crescent roll-ish shell… dusted with powdered sugar and cinnamon… and I’m craving them all over again. Luckily, I purchased four to bring home and devour with some Netflix. In Lisbon, you drink a delicious (and cheap! 70 cents a cup!) and accompanying cup of coffee.

Enjoying the first of 7 pastel de natas I'd eat in a 48 hr span.
Enjoying the first of 5 pastel de natas I’d eat in a 48 hr span.
Traditional Portuguese sammies and soup... and homemade pineapple juice!
Traditional Portuguese sammies and soup… and homemade pineapple juice!
Cod wit da potatoes!
Cod wit da potatoes!
Life-changing dessert at the original Pasteis de Belem.
Life-changing dessert at the original Pasteis de Belem.

I also managed to squeeze in a trip to Fatima, where Our Lady appeared to these Portuguese kids in the early 20th century. After seeing how beautiful Portugal is, I can see why Mary chose it as a chill spot. It was serene, and I was the youngest traveler there by a good 50 years, but it really did feel like a super holy space. So much silence, and, yet, so much conversation was being had via prayer.

Sunshine in Fatima!
Sunshine in Fatima!

Taking a chance on Lisbon and it working out incredibly well makes me so excited for future travels. I thought I had seen it all, but I’ve barely been able to scratch the surface of all this world has to offer! It honestly blows my mind when people say they’re so content to never leave the States. The world is so beautiful and I intend on exploring it, even when I’m old and they have to roll me location to location (thinking of future obesity problems, not wheelchair-bound problems, of course).

 

Cheers,

Monique

 

 

 

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2 thoughts on “Sangria and Sunshine – Lisboa

  1. Roll on Sister! I now want to see Portugal too! It was already on my places to see on my “Marian Musts”, and now I am more excited than ever!!!! Sangria, sunshine, spirituality, and sweets – – SIGN ME UP!!!!!

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