Lisbon, a calf-strengthening experience

I think I know why drinking commences at noon in Lisbon.  It helps with the hill climbing.

Ok, it wasn’t really that bad.  Lisbon seems to have a really comprehensive public transportation system – Metro, trams, buses — but we use our legs most of the time.  Thanks to the Lonely Planet guide’s suggestion, we stayed at the Pensao Globo in the Bairro Alto neighborhood for 4 nights.  Bairro Alto is the “hip” neighborhood, with lots of cute shops, chic bars, and plenty of traditional restaurants.

We are spending time in each of these cities trying not to see as many sights/museums as possible, but to really get a feel for the city.  Hence the walking.


Lisbon feels like an old city.  Sure, it’s modern — shops, ATMs, normal hustle and bustle — but you can really imagine this city looking the same 100 years ago.

I loved walking on the cobblestone streets and the tiled walkways.  Here’s a photo of some of the tile work in downtown Lisbon.


On our third day in the city we hit the beach.  There aren’t any beaches right in Lisbon, but they are a short metro ride away.  We grabbed the commuter train out to Carcavelos, one of the most popular beaches in the area.  It was in the high 70s and mostly clear, yet the beach was quiet.  It mustn’t be beach season yet.  Since we packed light, we wondered what we could use as a beach towel/blanket — our towels are from REI and way too tiny for lounging.  We realized our sleep sack could double as a beach blanket — it worked fantastically.  Thanks to Elizabeth and Curtis for the gift.  It will smell of sunscreen and beach when we finally use it for sleeping some day (and hopefully will not have much sand in it).

On our fourth day we trained out to Belem to grab custards from Pasteis de Belem.  They did not disappoint.  While we were there we encountered a series of military exercises.  I grabbed a short video of them.

A number of things made the exposition particularly bizarre.  #1 – they were playing death metal while running around with their machine guns.  #2 – After they completed their obstacle course, the soldiers would run on the chests of their fellow soldiers to finish the exercise.  #3 – After the soldiers finished, the aikido team came out and showed off.  Then the rugby team ran around.  Then the futbol team, boxing team, etc. etc.  I’m not sure the meaning of this.   But it was entertaining.

We ate well.  Drank well.  Slept well.  Thank you Lisbon.

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