It’s a good day to leave Barcelona. The city is covered in misty, drizzly rain as we lug our suitcases to Plaza Catalunya to catch the Aerobus back to El Prat for our flight to Lisbon. Our flight is delayed by over an hour due to strikes in France, which have thrown everything out of whack, but our friendly driver is waiting for us at the other end and assures us it is no problem. He tells us about the city as we drive to our hotel, and we chat about all sorts of things, including a great restaurant that he recommends for seafood. We like Lisbon already.
Before I start, I should give a shout out to LisbonLux which is an absolutely brilliant website instrumental in continually inspiring me to travel to Lisbon – thanks for the hotel recommendation and all the other articles you posted with gorgeous attention grabbing photos that had me adding more and more and more to our itinerary! GoLisbon is also awesome.
It’s thanks to an article in LisbonLux, that we found our newly opened accommodation in the Alfama area of Lisbon. Hotel Convento Do Salvador is a converted Convent as the name cleverly suggests. Alfama is one of the oldest districts in Lisbon (and in fact it is pretty much the only suburb that survived the great earthquake of 1755 due to its solid foundations), and our hotel is nestled amongst the cobblestones and windy streets of this homely little district.
Inside, massive works of art by renowned contemporary Portuguese artists hang from stark white walls. And there’s a large tiled mural in the looming over the reception desk in the reception area – as you move away from the beautifully decorated tiles, you see the face of a woman appear. The staff are friendly and welcoming, with plenty of advice for your stay.
After a few glasses of sparkling under the sun hanging over the courtyard, we are ready to explore Alfama for somewhere to eat dinner. Up the cobblestone streets and around the corner, not far away at all is Porto do Sol, a restaurant/bar set in a square overlooking Lisbon out to the sea. It’s a simple menu, so we just go with pasta, but it hits the spot along with our cocktails and the view.
A few steps away is a small kiosk selling drinks – one of which is ginja – the local sour cherry liqueur – which of course, we have to try. It’s really nice, almost like a port but with an obvious cherry flavour and I can see myself downing a few more of these over the next few days, possibly even in the next few hours as our hotel bar sells it too!
Of course not all ginja’s are created equal and although the one from the small kiosk was really nice, the hotel bar’s ginja kicked it’s ass all over Lisbon with its smoother, richer flavour.