Pastéis de Belém

March 25, 2013

One of the best part of going to Belém was definitely going to Pastéis de Belém. Ohmygod, hands down the best pastéis de nata I ever tasted!!! Bought half a dozen and took it to the nearby park to eat. I had to stop myself from devouring the whole box. Do not miss this bakery! 

Belém Tower

March 21, 2013

After visiting the monastery, it was a 10 minute walk to Belém Tower. The tower sits on the Tagus river and it was built as a defense system. The tower is four storey high and made in lioz limestone. The circular stairs inside the tower is very steep and I had to carefully watch my step going up and down the stairs. I was too scared to trip and fall to my death.
Interior casemate of the main bastion with the canon
The statue of the virgin of Belém on the southern portion of the cloister terrace

25 de Abril Bridge from the window inside the tower. The bridge was made by the same company as the Golden Gate bridge in San Francisco. Twins!!!
I really enjoyed exploring the tower and I felt like I stepped back in time. And just like the monastery, the outer façade details are just so breathtaking.

Jeronimos Monastery in Belem

March 18, 2013

I've been so excited to go to Belem even before I landed in Lisbon. Once, I settled in and my jet lag was almost gone, it was time to take tram 15 to take me directly to Belém (be sure to have lots of coins before boarding tram). It didn't take long to arrive in Belém and my first stop was the Jerónimos Monastery.
I love the façade of the monastery. No wonder it's a UNESCO world heritage site.
The interiors was even more amazing!
The tomb of navigator Vasco de Gama
Royal tombs with two elephants holding the sarcophagus.
Outside the monastery is a beautiful garden

The fountains in the Praça do Império
I was surprised that a small place like Belém had a lot of buildings/monuments for us tourists to explore. Up next is the Tower of Belém.

Santa Justa Lift

March 13, 2013

 The Santa Justa lift is one of top attractions in the city. You really can't miss the lift since it peaks out from all the buildings in Lisbon. It will give you the bird's eye view of the city.
I wasn't interested in paying money to use the lift so we ended up walking up the hill and somehow, found a back entrance. No one was guarding the back entrance for some reason. We saw a couple of people walking in so we followed and quickly took photos. You only have to pay to go up the lift and also you need tickets to go to the top observatory deck. I'm not sure why we somehow got access but I was happy to take a couple of panoramic shots for free.
The view speaks for itself. You can see the panoramic view of the waterfront and the Castelo de S Jorge.

The wonderful Lisbon

March 8, 2013

I flew to Lisbon from Toronto and it was a direct 6 hour flight. I took it easy for the first couple of days since my jet lag was pretty horrible. I slept at weird times and completely missed breakfast from the hotel because I kept waking up late. Our hotel was centrally located (and not on a hill, thank god!) so we walked everywhere. I have blisters as proof of my rigorous walking workout.

Lisbon is pretty similar to San Francisco. The weather is the same, the hills, and the tram! I was so happy for the mild winter weather because I didn't want to wear my chunky boots again for 3 weeks. I was happy to escape the winter wonderland and snowstorm's from Toronto. 

The photos above were taken from Praça do Comércio or Terreiro do Paço square. It's filled with restaurants and a marvelous waterfront view! 

I was soo happy that I had to fly back to Toronto via Lisbon again so I went back there for a second time and truly fell even more in love with this city!


March 6, 2013

It has been a couple of weeks of fun and adventure roaming around Portugal and Spain. The past couple of weeks went by really quickly and it hit me that I'm back home again. I definitely miss being on vacation and not having to follow the same routine everyday. I miss doing things on a whim and not looking at my phone for the time. I liked not having a definite schedule and not waking up early. I miss walking and climbing hills even if it was tiring. I miss the cobblestones in Europe and getting blisters from walking day and night. I miss eating amazing pastries for 1 €. I miss standing by the bar and eating a bifana sandwich and drinking wine. I miss a lot of things...but most of all I miss my travel buddy. My experiences would have never been this great without him.

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