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Sunny day in Lisbon

March 20, 2010

Lisbon is a beautiful city. Not Paris like beautiful or south of France beautiful or even, as I imagine it might be, Italy beautiful, but has that decadent beauty that together with a sunny day turns it into a stunning place to be. It’s very colourful and bright when the sun is shining and even though, if you look close by to most of the colourful buildings you get depressed by the bad state you find them these days, from one of the stunning miradouros* there’s nothing more beautiful than the patchwork Lisbon scenarios are with the colours of tiles, walls and floors.

Last Saturday morning was a perfect day. We left home in the morning for a little breakfast at the nearby café in Graça, went for some shopping in the local butcher and then for morning coffee at Miradouro da Graça.

From Miradouro da Graça you can see the Castle, the downtown valley, the Bairro Alto hill and the sparkling river  in the South. The Café itself is not brilliant but with that view you don’t really care. Especially if the only thing you can handle after the heavy dinner last night and early breakfast is a sparkling Pedras.

Pedras, is the Portuguese sparkling water that in my humble opinion is the second best in the world, at least the second best I have ever tried. Being the first … (drums) … San Pellegrino from Italy, but my opinion on world bottled waters is long enough to give a brand new post so let’s leave that for later.

So, Pedras in Miradouro, with little nice picture illustrating it and after that a walk by the river in Belém.

Belém is a beautiful historical place on the west side of Lisbon. In Belém you can find the Mosteiro dos Jerónimos and the Torre de Belém, two beautiful examples of the Portuguese architecture style Manueline, also known as the Portuguese Renaissance.

In Belém you can also find the Padrão dos Descobrimentos, a building done to celebrate the golden years of Portugal, when we were a great nation of colonialists. I know it sounds bad when I say it these way, but the truth is that Portugal was never in a better situation, and not only financially but culturally. We were proud of our discoveries, being those not only land, gold and spices , but also sailing techniques. Belém is one of the places in Portugal that represents all that and probably the only that does it in such a glorious way.

Also in Belém you can find the beautiful Pastéis de Belém. The perfect custard pies from Lisbon. This time we were there we passed it. But if you ever find yourself in the place, don’t do as we did. Go there and have at least a couple of them, because they are a must have.

The reason Belém is a good place for a sunny day walk is because of its wide paths and parks. It’s very rare to have such a large area in Lisbon to walk. Most of our streets are tiny, which is also fun, if you want to walk in the shadow.

Portuguese pavement patern work.

* viewpoint

Miradouro da Graça Location

Belém Location

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