Why I fell in love with Lisbon
It was no surprise really, that I fell so quickly for Lisbon. I've always preferred cities that are a little disheveled, fraying slightly at the seams. Berlin, Budapest, and now Lisbon all appeal to me with their peeling paintwork, prolific street art and DIY aesthetic. Add in a waterfront, warm temperatures and plenty of opportunities for drinking & dining al fresco and I was sold.
I barely scratched the surface of the city, but after only two full days and two half days of exploring (I returned to Lisbon after flying to the Azores - much more from that adventure to come) I was already enamored. It's an easy city to love. The temperatures soared on our two final days, the sangria ran smoothly and I began to appreciate the ache in my muscles from climbing the steep hills: I knew that I'd be rewarded with breath-taking views.
On paper, you can put Lisbon's allure down to its unkempt beauty, that perfect fusion of grandeur and decay. Buildings are painted pastel hues of pink, blue, yellow and green and adorned with the most beautiful tiles that you will ever see. Garlands are strung across the streets for festivals, colourful art works are painted on the sides of buildings, and even the washing that is strung high above seems to complement its surroundings. Or perhaps what makes the city special is its delicious seafood, cheap and delightful wine, delectable custard tarts and abundance of sangria. Maybe its the traditional fado music meeting a new generation of hip bars, complementing each other and coexisting side by side rather than shrugging off tradition like so many other cities have done.
It's all of these things, but also something more. Something that can't easily be put into words. There's a feeling in the air; a scent, a sound, a sight. To truly appreciate Lisbon, you have to visit the city and allow yourself to get lost in its labyrinthine alleyways, to climb its highest hills and to breathe in the scent of the jacaranda trees. Whether you happen to live there or are simply stopping by for 24 hours, allow yourself to fall in love.
Here are my final photos from the city. I'll be moving on to posting about our adventures in the Azores next!
All photos my own