Europe & The Middle East Portugal


It’s taken me a long time to write about Lisbon.

I’m actually very glad that I didn’t just jump the gun and try to write about it last week—I think my tone would have been very negative, as when we arrived, the weather was cold and rainy. Our apartment seemed dark and not very homey. The bed was brutally uncomfortable. Our internet didn’t work reliably (internet is sort of like electricity for us because we work pretty much full time while we travel), and we couldn’t find any good cafés for working. Our best bet seemed to be McDonalds (I wish I was joking). The city is a bit depressed (we live across the street from another dilapidated building, though I think it would be hard not to live across the street from a dilapidated building). We seriously talked about leaving: we’re in Europe, we said, we can get on a place and be anywhere else in a couple of hours. No need to be miserable for three weeks.

Thankfully, we decided to give it a couple of days while we saw some of the major sights.

So, the first Friday afternoon came (Oct 17th) and we headed up to the castle. And the weather got better (unseasonably, amazingly, better). And the castle was awesome. And the views from the castle were what I had expected Portugal to look like. And the neighbourhood near the castle was adorable. And we stumbled across some delicious, still-warm, pastel de natas. And when we got back to the apartment, our internet issues were partially resolved.

And then on Saturday we took Clara to the Oceanarium, the train station in that part of town is straight out of Star Trek.

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The mall in that part of town is awesome, and it has fast and free internet (in fact, we’re headed over there today to work). And the Oceanarium was so so so good.

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Not only was it a great attraction, but it was so fun seeing our little baby turn into a little girl who was totally awestruck by the views.


And then on Sunday we took the tram over to Belem (a western suburb of Lisbon) where we saw more beautiful sights, had a great lunch, and were refreshed for the week.


By Sunday night (October 19th) we had remembered that we picked this less-than-spectacular apartment because it was a steal and that it meant we could do some domestic travel, so we made a plan for the next two weeks.

We worked hard Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday morning and then on Wednesday afternoon set off on an overnight trip to Sintra. And Sintra deserves a post of its own.

And also, what happened to our baby?

(If you are curious about how we fixed the bed problem, I found three duvet covers in the closet and placed them between the mattress and the fitted sheet. Not perfect, but at least 1000x better.)

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