I have left my heart in Lisbon. I truly have. Every corner there was sheer poetry. When we left for Portugal my heart was broken, shattered to many tiny jagged bits, and I felt disappointed, with life, and with myself for having put my body and soul through the wringer again.
Lisbon stitched the frayed ends. It filled the splintered edges with its sunshine, the encouraging smiles of strangers brought me hope, and in the uphill battle to reach the Pena Palace from Sintra I forgave myself. My arthritic knees were not going to survive so we took the shuttle. I did not push myself. I accepted help. I make mistakes. I learn from them, admittedly reluctantly, with tears and anxiety.
So, my healed heart, I have left it there.
We stayed at the Corinthia in Lisbon, a lovely property with excellent service and breathtakingly beautiful decor. A tip for travellers: the hotel requires everyone to wear a cap in their swimming pool. They sell terribly boring and tight black silicone caps for 5 euros a piece but it would be a good idea to carry your own that is in case you are staying at the Corinthia. On the up side they have a luxurious spa with an exclusive lounge area that serves delicious green tea and crunchy nuts along with much needed complete silence.
In Lisbon, the seafood tapas is a must-try. I loved the prawns, octopus, and clams. We enjoyed all the fresh juices, the orange juice was very sweet and I was informed that the region is known for this, the oranges are locally grown. You MUST gorge on Pasteis de Nata. I have no regrets about this. I ate too many and I miss them too much. I might just travel back to stuff my face with some more. I confess there were days when my breakfast comprised a bag full of these sweeties. The eating joints around Rossio Square were a complete touristy rip-off, in comparison, the Sintra food experience was way better and we paid half the price.
The first evening in Lisbon was windier than I expected. I was wearing a beautiful green flowing light dress from Cottons Ahmedabad (styled by Visha Suchde who has changed my entire ethnic outfit game) and I froze. Always carry a jacket with you for in the evenings, even on warm summer days, it is cool with a distinct nip in the air. (Reminder to self for next time (and there will be many): this is not Limassol when it comes to temperature).
Sintra is a short drive from Lisbon and offers many pretty views. We walked the Pena palace grounds, which were stunning. While visiting Lison do not carry heels, with the cobbled streets and hilly terrain, they will not get used. Thankfully, I had two pairs of walking shoes, which came in handy.
I share with you some of my moments from our therapeutic trip. There is much more that we did but I want to serve Lisbon to you in installments. It is to be savored, like a gourmet chocolate, like fine wine, like the city of love that it truly is. With its polychromatic houses, simple living, rustic charm, a passion for food, vibrant sun, and crisp evening air, this a sensory journey to be taken a step at a time, so till next time…