Two years ago, one of the conferences within my industry took me to Spain. This year, it took me to Lisbon, Portugal. Even though it’s a place in Europe, it was never on our radar when I grew up. Doesn’t help that us Germans don’t like the Portugese due to its soccer team. 🙂

I got there on a Sunday morning at 6am and on the drive to the hotel, the amounts of graffitti stood out like crazy. Everywhere. Quite sad. One saw the initial European beauty, but one also saw poverty.

The first day, I got to venture out for about an hour, then, the conference started with a cocktail gathering and then dinner. The next 3 days, it was sitting inside a conference center, and was only able to see/experience the city at night and through its restaurants. Then Thursday, it was off to Berlin to see my family.

Luckily, I had decided to come back to Lisbon 8 days later for 2 more nights. I had a whole difference experience. Instead of rude and horrible cab drivers like before, I had the nicest cab drivers, one even played tour-guide…in Portuguese, which was quite entertaining. The hotel was much better, the weather nicer, the people spoke English most of the part.

The food is great, and all is relatively cheap for Europe. Don’t think I’d ever go back. I can say I crossed it off my visit-list though, and happy I went. Enjoy.

The Rossio Plaza

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Next up was the area called Bellem. It was like the European San Francisco – hilly roads and even a bridge that looks like the Golden Gate Bridge! 🙂 First up was a former Monastery, Mosteiro dos Jerónimos, which was just rediculously beautiful.

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Across the street is this weird, yet mesmerizing statue, Padrão dos Descobrimentos, which you can go up on and take in the view. There’s a castle which was built for the sailors as well.

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I then walked around for a few hours. I saw one of the most famous bakeries in town, the Botanical Garden (inclusive white faun!) and massive steep streets, churches and the popular street-cars of Lisbon.

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After a few hours of walking in 80F sunshine, guess what, more walking. I went over to Praca do Comercio and from there walked, yes, walked up to Castelo de São Jorge, which had to rebuilt after 1755 major Earthquake which flattened most of downtown Lisbon.

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