People love Lisbon. I’ve had so many people tell me they love it here, and I can see why.
Lisbon is easy. It’s a great place for wandering, munching, drinking, and just being.
It was mostly destroyed in the earthquake of 1755, so it feels relatively young. Transportation is simple, and the town itself is speckled with beautiful parks.
It’s not overwhelmingly large, and from a tourist’s perspective, there aren’t a ridiculous number of sights or museums from which to choose. It’s manageable.
Today I went back to the market, so I could see some of the local veg. Usually there’s not much to buy at these markets, but I love the local flavor. Today, however, I bought a huge bunch of bay leaves. They were freshly dried and still just a little tender. I wasn’t sure if I could get them home but spent a lot of time on the Customs and Immigration website where I learned that citrus leaves are banned, but bay leaves are spices, and spices are OK.
So my own souvenir from this trip is bay leaves. And I’m happy about that.
I followed this with a port wine tasting at the market. It’s a local specialty, so I needed to enjoy it.
I also spent the day shopping, trying to find some nice porcelain. But one recommended store was closed and the other had nothing of interest. I finally found some small gifts that, on later inspection, were made in China.
I had a big lunch and meandered back to the hotel where I stripped the bay leaves from the branches so packing would be easier, and hoping customs would be less concerned.
Then I headed back into the streets where I found a fish croquette for dinner before heading early to bed in preparation for an early morning flight.
This has been a fun trip for me – a quick, low-key getaway that has been what I needed. It doesn’t have much of the ancient history that drives me, but Sintra scratched that itch.
Tomorrow morning I leave for home. My meeting on Thursday was cancelled so it’ll be an easy flight without any homework to do. But never fear, my friends — I’ll be back in a few months with another, longer escape. I don’t know what I’m doing yet, but my day in Sintra has left me inspired.
See you all in May!