Sunday, 15 November 2015

The things I did in Lisbon

It was a city with an Indianmission and I fulfilled it wonderfully only to get stuck many numbers of days in Lisbon. That said I did lots of mundane things in Lisbon which I almost forgotten but while I recall good friendship that I made in Lisbon and some even rekindled it reminds me of what I partake in and a smile creep across when I think about it.

City of Lisbon - Portugal
The Home for a while – We Love Hostel

I stayed at a petite hostel named – “We Love Hostel” of 3 rooms which squeezed at most 14 bed max with a tiny weeny cosy kitchen (but still manage to cook a full meal) and a common area one must gently butt someone else to nip ones way around. That said the hostel was awesome. At 12 euro a night it was not the cheapest in town but it was the cosiest there was. People come and go but with a hostel that small you can’t really run/hide away from conversation. Even the most shy and introvert will open up for a chatter. That said I found two new friend to explore the town together …. Jay and Combo.

The standard touristy stuff
Walking around Lisbon
Coach Museum Balem - Lisbon
Walking around the old city of Lisbon is a given and if you happen to be in town during the first Sunday of the month like I was; museums are free that one day a month.

A trip down to Balem in Lisbon where most of the museum congregate themselves together, monuments of historic landmarks, and a very eye catching Jeronimos Monastery. Most of the museums barely cost 7 euros but chalking them up together could be painful. A free Sunday and museum hopping saved me nearly 30 euro, while some is really dependent on one’s personal taste the Monastery was a must catch.

Extra bonus if you get yourself one of the oldest still surviving and famous Portuguese egg tart

Lisbon is a great city to explore on foot. Each district has its individual flavour and best explored at different times. The nightlife district of course is best explored at night and the monuments in the early morning but letting the wind carry my feet was the best thing in Lisbon for one can end up in a completely quint neighbourhood but with amazing views with almost no soul nearby.
A Park in Lisbon

Tram 28 - Lisbon
Small enough to explore on foot but large enough that it would take you a few days on foot+tram to cover it toughly
The famous elusive tram 28 which goes around the old city at local price ( some trams goes the same tracks but are 10 euro a ride while this cost about 3 ).

It was a splendid way to explore Lisbon and after eluding me for nearly a week I decided it was time to hunt it down with Jay. Best to find the starting line where one could get a seat and just enjoy the view out the window and watch how the tram narrowly avoid parked cards in incredibly tight corners.

Daytrips – Sintra & Cascais
Tile  Painting
When in Lisbon visit Sintra. Sintra was a short train ride away about 20 minutes and is set at the south western tip of Portugal which had a Castle at the top of the hill which watch out for ships entering the straits.

Mouros Castle was a challenging hike for the unfit. There was a few ways the get there but the cheapest and best way was walking along the back alley / forested footpath that leads to the castle. Walking along the main road is even more longer and treacherous with hazard of being knock down by bicycles, daily rented buggy’s, scooters, cars and huge ass tourist bus.
Mourns Castle - Sintra Portugal
Mourns Castle - Sintra Portugal

The view is worth my lungs torture I must say.

Other than the castle, Sintra is also filled with other monuments, palaces, building that seems to compete for the title “look at me”. A UNESCO heritage site, Sintra can be a costly affair for a budget backpacker if you want to visit the insides of everything. That said the outside is pretty amazing too.

The second daytrip was Cascais the beach. It is a beach town ….. good for swimming and tanning and just lazing. Being from Malaysia I must say I have seen better beaches …. Overcrowded beaches are not really an appeal compared to a desolated lonely beach but then again a huge crowd in an Ang-Moh setting is best for eye candy watching.
Cascais Beach
Graffiti Art in Cascais Beach - Portugal
Things I did not expect to do in Lisbon
I attended of all things a meditation group in the middle of a noisy city. Everything was explained in Portuguese so and so on but I could never be comfortable with people who have the Zen eyes. The pity eyes and the look that says all is well as the cosmic energy surround you and free you of burden. I just don’t get that shit. Meditation is something that I do with a glass of beer watching the sunset pondering life. Don’t quite get the sitting and closing eyes thing.

I had too much time in Lisbon …. Carpe Diem ….

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