I’m going to start this post with a little rant, so bear with me.
How the HELL do alarms on iPhones magically turn off after you’ve set them? Am I losing my mind? Because I’m 99.9% positive that I saw the little button go from grey to green next to 6:32am (Yes, I am one of those freaks who never sets their alarm on a :00 or a number ending in 5). So how in God’s name did my alarm NOT go off at 6:32am? This will forever be one of the greatest mysteries of mankind. Okay, maybe not. But it happens more often than it should and I refuse to believe that it is user error on my part.
As you have probably guessed by the above paragraph, our alarm didn’t go off the morning that we had a flight from Madrid to Lisbon. With a 10am flight time, and an hour commute to the airport on the Metro, I decided that the absolute latest we should leave the apartment was 7am. So when I woke up and thought to myself, “hmmm, it seems a little lighter out than it should be at 6:32am…”, I instinctively decided to grab my phone.
I will say, I am very proud of Casey and I for the 30 minutes that followed. Luckily we packed the night before, so within 10 minutes we were out of the apartment, but it felt like everything after that went wrong, and we still managed to hold it together, go us!
We knew if we took public transit at that point that we would be cutting it WAY too close, so we decided to suck it up and pay for an Uber.
Well guess what? The Uber app wouldn’t work.
Alright, let’s walk outside and get a cab.
We have no cash.
Alright, let’s go to an ATM.
The ATM isn’t working.
Let’s just hail a cab and ask if they take credit cards.
Why won’t any of these cabs stop?!
Somehow lady luck was on our side that morning, and we were finally able to get a cab AND they took credit card! Huzzah! I know you’re on the edge of your seat right now, dying to know if we made our flight… Well, as it turns out, when it comes to air travel people are pretty laid back in Spain, and even after getting to the airport with only an hour to spare, we were still the first people at our gate. So much for the stress. And minus the little girl throwing up behind us, we had a great flight to Lisbon!
Anyway, let’s talk about Lisbon, shall we?
Lisbon (or Lisboa) has been one of my favorite stops so far on this trip. The town is similar to San Francisco, in that it is very hilly and has trolley cars as a means of public transportation. There is also a bridge that looks identical to the Golden Gate Bridge which connects the main city of Lisbon to some of the outskirts.
Once again, we found that in order to stay on budget, grocery shopping is the way to go. This was great because one night we were able to make a delicious shrimp pasta & salad at home, and then take some beer outside and play cards (because once again public drinking is legal and we love that!).
The second day we were in Lisbon, we decided that we desperately needed some beach time, and because it was so ungodly hot, we took the thirty minute train North to Cascais, Portugal. The beaches are gorgeous there and well worth the day trip from the city. (Full beach reviews from Spain/Portugal beaches coming soon!)
Wanting some local flavor, the second night we dined at Santos de Lapa, which is owned and operated by a husband and wife. The food is served tapas style, and we thoroughly enjoyed everything that we ate. And for 28 euro total, we left the restaurant very satisfied. (Disclaimer, I totally forgot to take pictures of the food because we were starving, but I promise to get better about that!)
Another fun thing to do in Lisbon, is to visit the TimeOut food market. There, you can find hundreds of different food options, both local and international in flavor. My recommendation? Go hungry! Everything looked so good and prices are very reasonable. We were craving Asian food, so we opted for the chow mein, which was delicious.
Because we were such bad tourists in Madrid, and felt like we legitimately learned NOTHING about the city and it’s history, we committed to being better in Lisbon. Similar to other cities, walking tours in Lisbon are the best way to tour and learn some interesting facts. So, the last day we were in Lisbon, we signed up for a walking tour that started at 11am. By the time we got to the meeting point for the start of the tour (0.7 miles from our Airbnb), we were DRENCHED in sweat. Once we heard that the tour lasted three hours, AND it was during peak daytime temperatures, we opted for an iced coffee and some aimless, at-our-own-pace, wandering around instead. Although we didn’t learn much, we got some great views of the city and even took the ferry across the river to grab some lunch and explore the less touristy side of Lisbon.
All-in-all, I would say it was a successful three days in a beautiful city.