playing tourist in the north of portugal

Luckily for me, I was able to have a sneaky look at what the North of Portugal was like. Oddly enough it was very different. The people are still just as friendly but it’s so wonderfully green and natury and majestic that I was left in awe. I got to meet a little old Portuguese lady where to her age is just a number, visit the beautiful capital city -Lisbon – and spent the day feeling like a princess. Here is another wonderful list where we explored and took another casual 20 000 steps a day.

viseau 

Although not the area we stayed in, I do however remember that the little village that we stayed at was close by. Here we visited the boys’ grandmother. She lived in a very scenic area where all there was beautiful green trees, hiking trails (which is a big reason why a lot of people visit), rows and rows of corn fields and a beautiful dam or river.


The grandmother like any other was very happy to see her boys and welcomed me into her home. She only spoke Portuguese and so a lot of the time I said “Sim” whilst Keanu said “Nao”. All she wanted to do was feed us all the food in the house and talk about whatever was on her mind. She was quite the character. She woke up the uncle to tell him that he was sleeping well and no matter how many times we tried to tell her that Keanu and I weren’t dating, she still decided to pull our leg a little – thanks, Dino lol. She’s a fit old lady and I soon learnt from her that age is nothing but a number due to the fact that she does so much in the house in order to keep it clean and tidy.

I loved being here just because of the peace and quiet. It was good to get away from the busyness of being in a city and having that moment of silence.

 


lisbon

This was probably one of the favourite cities that I have visited. The vibe, the energy, the people singing and doing different tricks and showcasing their talents. We definitely walked down so many beautiful streets that had such amazing architectural designed buildings that left me speechless. Lisbon being the capital city was super busy. I tried, even more, ice cream that I had seen on Instagram and ate a lovely dinner at a restaurant called ZeroZero. Although not authentic Portuguese and rather Italian food, it was really delicious and worth the 2-hour wait in the line to get a table outside.


In Lisbon, we stayed at a hostel called The Independente the which right in the center of town. It had a super cool vibe. It scaringly had a 3 story bunk bed with super steep stairs that would take you there. The only complaint I had about this place was that they didn’t say anything about the construction that was going on. The room was super hot when the doors were closed and keeping them open just seemed like a good idea but alas brought in the noise. Other than that though, I would definitely recommend this place. Strong Wifi. Good food and a small fee of 22 euros/night. They also have a restaurant so if you don’t feel like walking out to get food you can just go there. If I haven’t sold you enough to try them out, go check out their website.


Whilst exploring this town, we were told about this cool trendy market called TimeOut. Around the perimeter was all these “pop-up” restaurants that each showcased different flavors from all over the world. Feeling in a light mood, chowed on some interesting fusion sushi, whilst Keanu had a cool chicken stir fry and Dino enjoyed a warm meaty burger. Each store had a restaurant a brief little history about the flavors they use and how its store came about. Some of these stores exist independently and had addresses of where you could find them. After indulging here, Keanu and I thought it was mandatory to have dessert. Highly recommended, we had a cherry liquor called Ginja in chocolate cups.


We were lucky enough to view some cool street art in and around the city on our walk and enjoy some oh so lovely views of the city.



belem


The place where deliciously custard dreams come true. Now by this leg of the journey, I had had my fair share of the creamy and popular Portuguese tart called the pastel de nata. Located in the city of Belem is a pastry shop called Pasteis de Belem. This bakery is known for being the creators of this little tart and serves close to 20 000 in winter and close to 40 000 a day in the summer. As you walk through the giant rooms of this store, you get to see the pastries lined up in the front to take home and the pastries being made.  Only 6 people know this top secret recipe. Although many other cute cafes sell them, there is something about it being warm and fresh and mmm that just makes it so yummy!! Now they do serve other things too so if you’re oddly not a fan of the custard tarts feel free to have their other specialties such as marmalade and other yummy goodies.


Not too from here was a cool square called LX Factory. LX Factory is essentially A creative island occupied by corporations and professionals of the industry serves also has stage for a diverse set of happenings related to fashion, publicity, communication, fine arts, architecture, music, etc., attracting numerous visitors to rediscover Alcântara through an engaged dynamics.” This place is all sorts of cool.


I think Keanu found his love here – in the form of a cheesecake shop. If anyone knows Keanu, you know that he can never turn down a good creamy slice of baked (he hates fridge) cheesecake. This store was devoted to cheesecake and had many different flavours that were both classics and new. Delicious indeed.

sintra

In this town, I practically felt like a princess. Castles. Castles everywhere! (i mean after you walk up the 1.5km hike to get to the closest one first lol). The castles that we visited were called the Mauren and the Penne.

Mauren was something I would have imagined to where people would have duals and sword fights. There was a lot of uphill with this castle and so a killer leg workout was featured in the tour.


This was also surrouded by so much greenery that I swear felt the change in my breathe – just because there was so much damn oxygen in this place

Penne looked like it was made for any Disney princess. With its vibrant colors and unique shape, I couldn’t help like feeling like my little girl dreams had come true. This castle featured a tour into the rooms of kings and queens that had lived in there. We saw everything from the bathrooms, bedrooms, giant kitchen and much more. Although the line of people was long, if anyone is interested in how the kings and queens who lived in this castle lived, then this is definitely the place for you.


Oddly during this whole trip I was fascinated by the ceilings just because mine back at home are very boring but I still continue to stare at them. It looks like art and definitely fitted for a king and queen

Portugal has definitely stolen my heart and I’m so incredibly happy and lucky I got to spend just under a month discovering what this country has to offer. I feel it’s only just that I say thank you for the best chicken I’ve had in my life ( no one can ever hype up just how good they make their chicken and especially this one restaurant in Guia), ice cream, Natas and just all around good vibes. Definitely coming back to try the figs that I was promised but sadly didnt get to try!

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