Day three in Portugal was another jam-packed day in terms of the itinerary. To say I had been ambitious while planning this trip is an understatement - and the fact that my mom was game for absolutely all of it was amazing.
I had been a little nervous that she would want more down time than I had built into the schedule - but we are pretty similar in the fact that we can't sit around doing nothing for too long.
1. Alfama Exploring
We "slept in" after our night out on Pink Street and headed to the bus stop to journey to the Alfama neighborhood of Lisbon.
It seems to be that most European cities with a lot of history have an "Old Town" area where tourists are instructed to, "just get lost in the winding streets." In Barcelona it's the Gothic Quarter, in Stockholm it's Gamla Stan. And in Lisbon, it's Alfama.
The bus ride to the top of the Alfama neighborhood was scarier than any roller coaster ride I've ever been on. The twists and turns we took seemed to defy all laws of nature as we went up and up on increasingly narrow and bumpy roads. I think my mom and I were very happy to disembark at the foot of the Castelo de Sao Jorge.
After wandering around a bit, we decided that we didn't feel the need to wait in line for entry into the castle grounds and instead, set out on our own Alfama exploration. This was mainly guided by the need to find a restroom almost immediately upon our arrival.
Turns out, the homes and buildings in this area of Lisbon are so old, that many of them do not even have running water. There are public restrooms that you pay for with euro coins - and some locals even have to use them!
I loved exploring this neighborhood - we found so many fun spots for photos - including some incredible overlooks. It was a beautiful, sunny morning and the fact that I was walking around in a sun dress at the end of October was not lost on me.
2. National Tile Museum ("National Azulejo Museum")
While I'm not a huge museum person - I was intrigued by the National Tile Museum - considering half of the trip I was stopping to take pictures of the tile work on buildings in Lisbon.
The museum was enjoyable, but eventually, like most museums for me, it got old. It was a bit out of our way to get there, and we spent awhile waiting for the bus/figuring out where we were going - and I'm not sure my mom or I felt it was entirely worth it.
I more so enjoyed viewing the tiles in their natural habitat - snapping pictures as I walked down the street. The fascinating part about the tiles is how they all come together on the facades of massive buildings - seeing just a few tiles together in a display case wasn't quite the same.
The church, the choir and the chapels of Saint Anthony and Queen Leonor are also part of the tile museum, and they were very pretty!
3. Time Out Market Lisboa for Lunch
No trip to a city is complete without checking out their FOOD MARKET.
It seems like every major city has one now - whether it's New York's Smorgasburg or Chelsea Market, Copenhagen's Paper Island or Lisbon's Time Out Market.
Lisbon's market was a little sterile for me - more mall food court than the unique, hipster, food-wonderland that was Copenhagen's Paper Island. But as usual when I find myself in a food market- I was completely overwhelmed by the sheer number of options. I mean, there is an entire stall dedicated to tartares!
My mom and I did a big loop, scoping out all of the stalls, before deciding on a salmon dish from the Sea Me stall.
What first drew me to this particular restaurant was the fact that they served an octopus hot dog! I had to give them some props for that one. Our salmon was served with a fried egg on top and delicious mushrooms. It wasn't anything out of this world, but it was tasty.
I had also been dying to try the traditional Portuguese dish of "Caldo Verde" - a kale soup.
I bought a bowl from Creme de la Creme and thought it was very tasty! While I was waiting for my soup, I also decided to try out one more pasteis de bacalhau- one that looked more traditional than the one we had sampled at Bairro do Avillez.
I wish we had left it at Chef Avillez' interpretation. Neither of us were a fan of the pasteis de bacalhau from Time Out Market at all.
Typically, the other half of the Time Out Market is a big food market similar to La Boqueria in Barcelona - more so a farmer's market with fresh foods for purchase than a food court. But unfortunately, we were there after it had closed.
We (OK, I) couldn't leave the Time Out Market without sampling the second most popular spot for pasteis de nata - Manteigaria. I was still head over heels in love with pasteis de nata in general- though I can't say that it was better than that first one in Belem. Nothing beats your first time, ya know?
4. Drink at Ribeira das Naus
This little kiosk on the waterfront promenade is the perfect spot to grab a drink and sit out watching the water. Ribeira das Naus is known as an urban beach - a pretty spot right in the middle of the city and right on the Tagus river where locals run, walk, bike, read, and more.
It's also the spot I was reunited with a MASSIVE cup of Somersby Cider.
5. Ride the Ascensor da Bica
It was a complete mistake that we ended up boarding the Ascensor da Bica to reach our next destination - but a really great one! This is one of the older funicular railways still operating in Lisbon - it's history dating back to 1888.
We waited a decent amount of time to board - it doesn't run as frequently as you might think considering there's just two stops! But once we did it was a unique experience - it's SO STEEP and SO NARROW!
I'm definitely glad that we got to ride one of these historic funiculars!
When we disembarked we picked up some supplies for a picnic at a corner grocery store and made our way to the days' final stop.
6. Sunset at Miradouro De Santa Catarina
Other than eating donuts in every city I go to (or, in Lisbon's case, pasteis de nata) - the number one thing I need to get on my itinerary is catching a sunset.
In a city like Lisbon, with countless river overlooks, I knew this was going to be a showstopper.
By all the accounts I had read online, I knew that Miradoura De Santa Catarina was where I wanted to go for a sunset picnic - it was the spot where locals and tourists alike sat out, played guitars, played cards, smoke, drank, and enjoyed the views.
When we arrived, it was already pretty crowded but we perched on a rock and took in the sights. Pretty quickly, my mom started doubting whether she could sit out in the marijuana clouds on a dusty rock with no bathroom drinking wine until the sun set in 2 hours.
So she walked down a bit and found Noobai - a restaurant and bar with a perfect little patio that we somehow managed to snag a table on. It had a stunning view, and we ordered a bottle of wine and weren't nagged for the entire two hours that we sat, sipped, and sunsetted.
It was probably one of my favorite parts of the entire trip - and if there's one thing you take away from my Lisbon blogging it's that you should get to Noobai for a sunset.
7. Wine & Cheese & Bread
Since we hadn't been able to eat our picnic supplies at Noobai, we took the tram back (very crowded, very ~authentic~) to the apartment and feasted on grapes and wine and cheese and bread and dark chocolate and wine before ending with a night cap in our favorite Carmo Square. There were even fire breathers!
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