April 2010

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Intro

Yes, if you don’t know me, I am crazy.  I decided on a whim to go to Portugal for the weekend.  I’d never been to Lisbon, and I didn’t want to wait until my next trip to Europe!  I needed a break!  My travel mantra:  3-day weekends — I’m out of town.  4-day weekends?  I’m out of the country!

Using frequent flyer miles, I was lucky to find a seat going anywhere with such short notice!  It does explain why I had stopovers in Los Angeles, London, Helsinki and New York, though.  Good thing I love planes and airports!!

London is always fun — and Helsinki was awesome to be back in, as I was already enamored with the city from my first visit in 2004 — but this trip really was about Lisbon, and Lisbon did not disappoint!  

The city was amazing!  If Belém‘s monumental sights (see picture below) and the old Moorish neighborhood of Alfama, with its narrow, winding alleys, aren’t enough for you — you can explore the great cafés and beautiful fountain-laden plazas of the historic centre, or spend time discovering Parque das Nações‘ futuristic architecture.  Lisbon is often considered one of Europe’s most under-rated capitals, but why?  I couldn’t tell you.  Lisbon dazzled with incredible neighborhoods, great food, and was full of real, authentic, life.

Journey Map

    LocationArrivalDeparture
    1London, United KingdomApril 7, 2010April 8, 2010
    2Lisbon, PortugalApril 8, 2010April 10, 2010
    3London, United KingdomApril 10, 2010April 10, 2010
    4Helsinki, FinlandApril 10, 2010April 11, 2010

    Featured Image

    Jerónimos Monastery, Lisbon, Portugal

    Along with the nearby Tower of Belém, the gorgeous Mosteiro dos Jerónimos is an extraordinary example of Manueline architecture. This style is seen here in the ornate arches of the monastery’s courtyard. The highlight, however, of a trip to Lisbon’s Belém parish is a taste of the delectable egg custard tarts at the Pastéis de Belém pastry shop — join the long queue and be patient, they are worth it!

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    Sketches

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