As I wind down my series of photographs from a truly unforgettable three week father/daughter trip to Portugal back in December 2022-January 2023, I look back on our time in Lisbon – the city where our journey began and ended.
We arrived in Lisbon on the morning of December 14th, the drove north to pay visits to the cities of Sintra, Coimbra, Porto, Braga, then crossed over into Spain to spend Christmas with my family in Galicia, Spain. We then drove back south, stopping in Guimarães, Tomar, and back to Lisbon to finish our trip.
We returned to Lisbon on Dec 29, returned our rental car (BMW automatic!) and checked into the lovely five-star Áurea Museum by Eurostars Hotel. We would stay in Lisbon until our return home to South Florida on January 4th. Up until our return to Lisbon, my favorite city had been Guimarães, a truly charming little city. But it’s hard to beat Lisbon. It’s really a special city – dare I say, a magical city. That’s right, I said it.
Like any great city, you never know when you’re going to turn a corner and see (or hear) something wonderful. Lisbon is truly a city to experience on foot. But like the rest of Portugal, it’s got hills. Lots and lots of hills.
And I’m not talking about the “run to the hills” hills, I’m talking about steep hills in the heart of the city. Metropolitan hills! And not just hills – stairs, too! Lots and lots of stairs! I mean, A 6 minute walk to a restaurant in Lisbon could sometimes be the equivalent of speed-walking a mile on flat land. You might need a few minutes to catch your breath.
It’s not a city for those with bad knees, hips or backs (fortunately, there’s Uber and plenty of trams, funiculars, and tuk-tuks to get you around) but if you can manage the hills and stairs (and you’re gonna need a really good pair of walking/hiking shoes), Lisbon is one of the loveliest and most vibrant cities you’ll ever visit.
And despite a very tight itinerary, I did manage to snap a few photographs (and a selfie or two with my daughter) as we strolled the streets of Lisbon…
If you’ve been following this series of photographs from my three week father/daughter trip to Portugal from back in December 2022 – January 2023, you’ll remember that our journey actually began in Lisbon when we arrived in Portugal on December 14th.
We spent our first couple of days in the western Belém district of Lisbon before driving about 45 minutes NW to the city of Sintra. And that’s where the first two weeks of our journey really got started.
We then drove about 40 minutes north, stopping at the majestic Palácio de Mafra before continuing north to the Alcobaça Monastery, up to the city of Coimbra, a 90 minute drive up to the “Second City” of Porto, then north again to the city of Braga. We continued north, crossing the border into Galicia, Spain to spend Christmas with “miña familia galega”.
We then started our journey south, back into Portugal, stopping at the charming city of Guimarães, (The “Birthplace of Portugal”), the Dominican Monastery of Batalha, the medieval Convent of Christ (and Castle) in the city of Tomar before taking about a 90 minute drive back to where this whole journey started (and where it would end), Lisbon.