• Kelsey Sommer

Looking back on LISBON






Hello lovelies!!


Today I thought I would talk about Lisbon, Portugal! Romain was invited to teach a masterclass in Lisbon last June. So it ended up working out that the masterclass was a couple weeks before the wedding so we thought we would also enjoy and turn it into our "pre-wedding moon" or a "mini-moon."


It was so much fun! Portugal had been on our travel bucket lists for a long time so when Romain was asked to come out for a masterclass he jumped at the opportunity! Lisbon is such a cool city and we had many days to explore and visit some great places outside of the city as well! And the funny thing is that this was the first time where neither Romain or I could speak the native language... but luckily the Portuguese are brilliant with language and can speak so many languages including both French and English!




I have listed below a few of my favorites from Lisbon so if you are planning a trip yourself you can add a few things to your planning that are 100% worth discovering!!


FAVORITE FOOD:


1. Basilio Lisboa Café - This may be one of the best cafés, I have been to is soooo long! Everything was so unbelievably fresh, they have super healthy sweet and savory options available all day long, and if you are vegetarian or vegan you will have ALL the options in the world. Their juices and smoothies were AMAZING, and Romain and I both had flat white coffees and they were on point! The ambiance was so hip and bohemian, and I basically could sit myself there all day long! If you do not check this place out, you are missing out! I wish there was a Basilio Cafe in Chicago because I am desperate to be back there right now!





2. Tagide Restaurant - This restaurant was probably my favorite for a beautiful romantic dinner! The food was amazing, and the views stunning! We were sat a gorgeous window overlooking the city below us, and the port with the boats sailing by all evening! So as far as a "pre-wedding moon" goes I felt extremely spoiled having dinner with Romain here!



3. Pasteis de Bélèm - Ok so I cannot NOT talk about the Pasteis de nata right? If you were not aware... Portugal is known for their delicious desert called Pasteis de nata and truly the best place to have the perfect one is in Belem which is a little mini city just 10-15 minutes outside of the heart of Lisbon! Plus there is so much to see in Belem so if you are thoroughly enjoying you will see the cue eventually to eat the best Pasteis de Nata. By the way... a little helpful tidbit we received from the most amazing miller in all of Portugal, Paulo.... but what all the tourists do not understand is that you can cue all day to buy and take away your Pasteis, but if you actually walk inside the store and sit down, you will be served right away and can avoid the lines ;) Thank you Paulo!! You are the best and truly one of our favorite people that we were able to meet in Portugal! Hopefully we will be able to see each other again soon!



FAVORITE THINGS TO SEE AND DO:


1. Cristo Rei - Cristo Rei was pretty cool to see because I didn't realize that Portugal also had a huge monument to Christ as well! I am not super religious but it is super breathtaking to be able to see such incredible monuments. It is identical to the Christ statue in Rio, and I believe there are only a few in the world.



2. Torre de Belem - This tower in Belem is super famous but it is also one of the most gorgeous places to visit in Belem, Lisboa. We fortunately went there as the sun was going down and it was stunning. We didn't do the tour or go inside because it was already a little bit late but just sitting on the stairs that lead to the tower and the beach was perfect to just enjoy the views. I think if we went back that I would love to go inside, but we just didn't have the opportunity.




3. Chateau Saint Georges - We climbed through the whole city and at the top we reached the most gorgeous Chateau. And since I am always so keen on visiting the older more historic places, we rushed inside. We walked around every nook and cranny of the Chateau and then also enjoyed the spectacular views of the city below us!



4. Sintra Portugal - If you have a couple days to get out the city of Lisbon and want to drive a couple of hours to Sintra, I would highly recommend it!! We spent a day in Sintra but it was not enough time. There is the gorgeous extremely colorful Pena Palace at the top of the city but you need to hike all the way up or pay to hop onto one of the buses. This city is often referred to as the real life Disney city. It is super colorful everywhere you walk, and the wilderness that surrounds it is stunning. It looks like a mix of the enchanted forest and jungle book. There is also one of Portugal's most beautiful beaches in Sintra, called Praia de Ursa. And to top it all off the smattering of pastel-hued cottages, villages, traditional castles and monasteries combine to make up the "Cultural landscape" that has earned one of Portugal's oldest inhabited locations UNESCO World Heritage status. Definitely a must see!




5. Caldas da Rainha - We actually spent a lot of time in this cute city. It was a bit closer to the whereabouts of the school Romain was teaching at, so fortunately we were able to visit the beaches and city center quite a bit. I myself actually spent a good amount of time in the big public park there. It was super quaint with a lake in the middle that played host to the families and couples going for boat rides amongst the gorgeous black and white swans. And for just an extra flavor of enchantment you have a backdrop of an abandoned mansion hovering over the scene. I felt so much peace, and inspiration in just one place. This park was the hub for the city. Just one walk through each garden and flower bed would bring you to another glass covered entrance to a colorful stone paved street bustling with people. With just my book in my hand and a couple of euros to grab a coffee from the cutest and best coffee shop in the Parque Dom Carlos, I was all set to enjoy my day!




These are just a few of the many unbelievable places near and around Lisbon Portugal that we were fortunate to explore and enjoy. We are desperate to go back and see more, but we have our hearts set on Porto and losing track of time on some of the many stunning beaches all around the country. Portugal is definitely worth booking a flight and making travel arrangements at your earliest convenience. I know at the moment that it may not be feasible with the situation the world is currently in, but if you are like me and relishing in past travels and thinking about your next trip after all this craziness is over, keep Lisbon and Portugal on your mind!


Bisous mes amis!


KS




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