Spain and Portugal 2022

Spain and Portugal 2022

It started almost a year earlier when additional tickets suddenly became available for the previously-sold-out first weekend of the Primavera Sound music festival in Barcelona. It was buy now or forever hold our peace. We bought now. Which is sort of the key to travel. Usually in the form of an airline ticket. But this time for a concert. The principle is the same. Buy it. Lock yourself in. Figure it out later. 

The Flight
We were delayed a couple hours in New York, but that did allow time for a couple drinks in the Delta lounge at JFK. And, for one passenger, apparently many many drinks. Our already delayed flight became further behind schedule after police were called to the tarmac to forcibly remove the drunkest man in the city. Other than that, the seven-plus hour flight was uneventful.


Arriving in Barcelona
The subway is not the fastest way into the city. But it's fairly simple and inexpensive. It just takes a little getting around. Terminal 1 handles international flights. So you'll need to ride the free green shuttle bus outside the building to Terminal 2. It takes about ten minutes. And from where it lets you off you then have to go upstairs, cross the streets for about 200 meters on a long skywalk, and then enter the train station. A one-way ticket on the R2 Nord train is €4.60. Our stop was Passeig de Gràcia, which was right in the heart of the city.

Photo: Tatiana Guerrero

The Airbnb
Our listing was called The Ultimate Central Place. And it really was. Perfect location. Great keyless entry. Washer and dryer. Everything you could possibly want. Except a second a bedroom. Which we knew. So one couple got the bed. The other got the pullout couch.

Photo: Tatiana Guerrero

Bar Mut
I had read about this place and we found our way there for lunch. Nothing special. Just a snack. Olives, bread, and beer. And getting there was a good opportunity to familiarize ourselves with the city. After lunch, Carolina and I found a grocery store, bought some snacks for the casa, and then met up with Tatiana and Kike who had arrived at the house from Menorca. 

El Nacional
I'm still not sure how best to describe El Nacional. It's like a food hall, but actually a singular restaurant with different areas within the space where guests can try different traditional recipes from all over Spain and the Iberian Peninsula. We ate in the section known as La Braseria. The short rib was good. Fatty. But good. El Nacional is more than food. It's a bit of an experience, and the bars are beautiful.

Photo: Tatiana Guerrero

Catedral de Barcelona
The Cathedral of the Holy Cross and Saint Eulalia, also simply known as the Barcelona Cathedral, is a a gorgeous Gothic church that serves as the seat of the Archbishop of Barcelona. While La Sagrada Familia tends to get most of the tourist attention, the Barcelona Cethedral is just as impressive and a good starting point for exploring the Gothic Quarter.

Gothic Quarter
The Barri Gòtic is a neighborhood comprised of narrow medieval streets lined with bars, restaurants, and shops. It's pretty. Just go.

Mercat de la Boqueria
The Mercat de Sant Josep de la Boqueria, simply referred to as La Boqueria, is a huge public market in the heart of the city. It's touristy, but still worth the visit to find some interesting snacks and smells. It also spills out onto La Rambla if you want to continue your journey into the actual depths of tourist hell.

La Monroe
This was a great little lunch place in the El Raval neighborhood near the Gothic Quarter. It rather set the bar for all the good food to come over the next two weeks. I especially fell in love with the Padrón peppers. Also known as Herbón peppers, these grow in northwestern Spain, and are a classic tapa when cooked with olive oil and salt. So simple. So delicious. 

Photo: Tatiana Guerrero

El Gat de Botero
Fernando Botero's Cat was acquired by the Barcelona City Council in 1987 and spent a lot of time "wandering" the city until, in 2003, it found its current home at the end of the Rambla del Ravalof. It's cute as hell. Just take a picture.

Barcelona Museum of Contemporary Art
Here, we had an opportunity to check out the MACBA Collection which features a permanent display of works that is regularly updated. The exhibition is chronological starting in 1929.

Casa Batilló Gaudi
This is a house that was redesigned by the famed architect, Antoni Gaudí, in 1904, and became one of the world's most important landmarks. Located in the heart of the city - and just steps away from our Airbnb - this wild design literally became our landmark for sorting out walking directions.

Photo: Tatiana Guerrero

Dinner at Home
We were pretty beat and had an early start the next day with tickets for Parc Güell in the morning, so we did the stay at "home" thing and bought some simple groceries at a nearby grocery store called Mercadona. Mushrooms. Bread. Tomatoes. And then to bed.

Parc Güell
A UNESCO World Heritage Site, construction of Parc Güell began in 1900 and was designed by Antoni Gaudí. Located in the La Salut neighborhood in the Gràcia district of Barcelona, in now serves a s major attraction that requires tickets for entry. It's not just a park.

Photo: Tatian Guerrero

Photo: Tatiana Guerrero

Marcelino 1968
After a couple hours of wandering the hills of Parc Güell, we hit up this restaurant, recommended to us by local friends in Barcelona. Great outdoor seating and food.

Primavera Sound (Night 1)
The reason this all happened. A year after grabbing tickets we were finally at Parc del Fòrum. I've been to plenty of festivals - some bigger than others - but NOTHING as huge as Primavera Sound. But I couldn't help but to keep a mental list of comparisons between a European festival and the ones I was used to back home. Some pros and cons. I'll start with the bad. First and foremost, this festival was WILDLY oversold. More than once I felt physically unsafe and made sure to find some distance away from the masses. Navigating these crowds was almost tiring, and wasn't helped by the fact that there was almost no free water. At basically every festival I've been to there are plenty of stations to fill up a bottle with clean, drinkable water. All free. Here, specifically on the first night, there was (as far as we could tell) one single water fountain-ish thing. The line to use it was forever long. And that was if you even had something in which to fill. It was crazy, and I was completely surprised to learn that empty bottles weren't even allowed in. So you either had to buy water or use your beer cup. Delicious. And trust me, you needed water. 

Never mind even the crowds, the distance from one stage to another was, in some instances, close to a mile. I definitely got my steps in. The final big gripe was the beer lines. This was an absolute cluster. You literally had to wait in lines up to an hour just to get your order in. The problem hinged on several factors, it seemed. One: Not enough staff. These poor bastards were working their tails off, but they could only do so much. And the lack of help meant they couldn't have designated beer pourers and assigned beer sellers. Two: The idea of designated pourers was basically moot due to the fact that they were re-using cups. I appreciate the aim for less waste, but it meant you had to take a customers cup and then re-fill it as opposed to just having someone pouring non-stop beers. Three: It was also a bar. This means the already over-worked staff had to not only serve beers, but also mix cocktails. Which takes much longer. Four: They weren't utilizing a wristband system. The new normal seems to be that you get a wristband with a built-in chip that's tied to your credit card and can quickly be scanned a the point of sale. Instead, they were using much slower credit card reading machines. So, anyway, now that I've trashed the festival, I'll quickly share the music we saw on this evening and save the good aspects of the festival for my post about night two. This here was a Thursday night. We missed Kim Gordon because we couldn't find the damn stage, but did manage to catch El Mató a un Policía Motorizado, Dinosaur Jr., Yo La Tengo, and Pavement. The highlight was Pavement, of course, because not only were they great, but who knows if I'll ever get to see them again.  

Restaurante Charrito
We started our day with a little paella and sangria. Charrito was a recommended restaurant, and it was pretty amazing. That said, I wasn't excited about having to share.

Photo: Tatiana Guerrero

La Sagrada Familia
No trip to Barcelona is complete without seeing La Sagrada Familia, unquestionably the most iconic landmark of the entire city. Another UNESCO World Heritage site, this still unfinished basilica is, perhaps, the crowning achievement of Catalan architect, Antoni Gaudí. We only viewed it from the outside - waiting in line for a tour just wasn't sitting with us after our long night of music - but it's an astonishing construction that is absolutely necessary to visit. You'll be surrounded by tourists, but it's just one of those things. Accept it and enjoy.

Recinte Modernista de Sant Pau
A former hospital, this is one of the most prominent works of the Catalan modernisme architect Lluís Domènech i Montaner. Again, we sort of just looked at it from the outside. You know, treating another UNESCO World Heritage Site with the reverence it deserves.

Anita Gelato
We met up with Carolina's cousin, Rafael, who is from Peru, lives in Denmark, and was on a work trip to Barcelona. He's an artists and visits galleries in town frequently, so he knows his way around and brought us to one of his favorite spots, Anita Gelato int he Gràcia neighborhood.. Didn't disappoint. Rafael also taught me about the yellow and red markings often seen on the walls in Barcelona. Mostly on trees, you would find spray painted yellow ribbons that show support for imprisoned pro-Catalan-independence politicians and civic leaders. Conversely, the red dots stand for resistance to Catalan independence. 

Photo: Tatiana Guerrero

Primavera Sound (Night 2)
Alright, since I crapped all over the festival in my post about night one, let me now share all the good things. Because there were a lot. For starters, the lineup was spectacular. We missed Low, Warpaint, and Bikini Kill on this night, but we did catch Beck, The National, and King Gizzard & the Lizard Wizard ... the latter being my favorite set of the entire weekend. More positives. The bathrooms. As a man, it was top notch. And the ladies in our group reported back that it wasn't terrible. So, I take that as a plus. The biggest reason I think the lines were short is twofold. One: Just lots of toilet space. And two: Troughs and quad-pissers for the men. I'm weirdly into logistics, and these quad-pissers (my name, no idea what they are actually called) are the greatest invention ever. Basically, in the footprint of one port-a-john, these are four completely out in the open urinals anchored to one ... collection container (I guess) in the center. The point is, four dudes can stand and pee at the same time with relative privacy, all while not taking up space in line for those who need an actual porta-a-john. Which is to say ladies and dudes dropping number twos. Anyway, the bathroom situation seemed OK. And that's a pretty big deal. 

Another big deal was the location. The festival grounds are right on the edge of town along the Mediterranean, and only an easy subway ride away. You really can't ask for much more than that. And the festival goes late into the night (read: morning), well past the operating hours of the subway. So, as another great bonus, the festival has free buses lined up and waiting to take people into the heart of the city. The ride was maybe 20+ minutes, and, for us, it dropped us off in a main square that was just a few minutes walk away from our Airbnb. What else? Prices. Beer was fairly reasonable. About $5 for a decent-sized cup. Food was plentiful with lots of fun options. The weather was perfect, almost chilly at night with the sea breezes coming in. And I'll even credit the festival's attention to complaints after the first night. More on that in the recap of night three.

Arc de Triomf
More walking? Sure. This time to Parc de la Ciutadella and the nearby Cascada. And it all starts at Barcelona's Arc de Triomf. Which is like the one ion Paris. But ... different.

El Born Neighborhood
Near the park, we then walked around the El Born neighborhood which I think was my favorite part of town. It has wonderful narrow streets, great shops, and a certain old world feel to it that really spoke to me.

We sort of stumbled on this place for lunch and it turned out to be really good. I think one of my takeaways from Barcelona is a new-found love for toasted bread with tomato spread. It's so simple and so delicious. Here, at Casalolea we had that and a bunch of other yummy stuff. And beer. Because beer. 

One 0 Nine
I decided to get a tattoo, and my research led me to One 0 Nine in the El Born area. It was a cozy little shop where we were greeted, not just by a friendly staff, but a cat who may have actually had an idea how cool it was that it lived in a tattoo shop. My design was super simple - a Barcelona flower, as seen in the sidewalk tiles all over the city. My artist was Valentin Jorquera, and I'm pretty sure he could've done this one in his sleep. That's how simple it was. But even with a small job he was great, helped me with design tweaks and placement, and was all around wonderful to sit with.

Primavera Sound (Night 3)
On the final night of the festival Carolina and I only caught two sets. It was a combination of being exhausted and, thankfully, having already seen most of our preferred bands the previous two days. We started with Nick Cave and ended with, for me, the surprise set of the entire thing. Gorillaz. I only knew them by name and through their artwork, but honestly had no idea what kind of music or show to expect. But, man, it was so good. I was actually surprised at how many songs were familiar. But, more than that, I was just really into their performance. The whole thing just felt good. 

Now, as promised in the Night Two recap, I have to give some credit to the festival organizers for how they responded to the due criticism. Obviously, there was nothing they could do about the crowds. What tickets were sold were sold. But they did add a couple water stations where they were literally just handing out free cans of water. It's not quite the same as being able to fill up your bottle, but that policy was already set. So, I suppose this was a decent next best step. And, finally, it did seem like the bars moved more quickly thanks to some additional staff. Still not great, but a noticeable improvement. So, take the wins when you get them. Would I go back to Primavera Sound? Probably not. Just a little too big for me. But a festival is partly who you're with, and our little crew made it all worth it. 

Moco Barcelona
We had one more full day in Barcelona and kicked it off with one my favorite museum experiences in a long time. It was just really cool modern art, wonderfully curated, and fun to explore. Absolutely worth it. Especially the Reflecting Forward light exhibit by Studio Irma. It was a mirrored room with beautifully changing LED lights that hung from the ceiling. I was so calmed and mesmerized that, at one point, I just sat down on the floor by myself and basically went to outer space. Then another museum guest came in, saw me sitting, and did the same. Pretty soon there were maybe ten of us sitting on the floor. This lasted only a short moment until museum staff walked in and was like, "Oh, wow. OK. Yeah, I'm sorry. We can't have people sitting here." I felt guilty. But also a little proud. 

Another fine lunch in another fine square with fine people and fine beer. The cafe culture in Barcelona is second to none, and Cadaqués is just another example.

Barcelona Beaches
Carolina and I hadn't yet seen the city's beaches so we decided to head over after lunch. It was another easy subway ride, which is a pretty cool thing when you think about it. Not a lot of beaches have subway access. We mostly spent time at Platja del Bogatell.

Eating here was our first actual mistake of the trip. We should've known better than to sit for a snack at this super touristy beachside restaurant. We really just wanted a seaside beer, but decided to add some overpriced shrimp to the mix. It was bland. Soulless. And everything you'd expect from a place that knows they can be mediocre because the view is nice. Oh well. At least beer is beer. Back to the subway!

El Carro Gros
Our final evening in Barcelona was spent in the El Poble Sec neighborhood which had a cool, local Bohemian feel to it. It's the kind of place I could see myself on an everyday basis. And we were only there because some friends of ours lived in the neighborhood. So, we gathered in yet another square for a simple yet incredible meal with drinks. And it was perfect in every way. Speaking of drinks, by the way, this is where I first tried a vermouth drink. I had no idea how much I would enjoy this Barcelona local favorite. Generally, people in Catalonia will "ir de vermuteo" or “to go for a vermouth” midday or as a starting drink, often on Sunday afternoon. I was starting a little late at night, but I really wanted to get one in before I left Barcelona.

Flight to Porto
The Aerobus is the fastest and most comfortable way to get from the city center to the airport. It only costs about €6 and picks you up right at the Plaça de Catalunya. They run all day, every day and leave roughly every 10 to 15 minutes. Soon after getting to the airport we were on our Vueling flight #8478 to Porto. Nothing fancy. Just a budget airline that did exactly what it promised.

:: PORTO ::

The Airbnb
Arriving in Porto, we actually had a shuttle reserved through our Airbnb to take us from the airport to the apartment. And it was great. But, just as a note, we later learned that Uber is available in Portugal (unlike Spain) and it's wildly affordable. Anyway, our lodging was called Duque de Albuquerque and it was lovely. Granted, we were a little spoiled in Barcelona with an elevator and keyless entry, but this was still a fine place to stay even if it meant going up several flights of stairs.

Casa Guedes
The location of our Airbnb was great - not in the heart of madness down by the river, but close enough to make it convenient. And we were also just steps away from a restaurant that had been highly recommended for their pork sandwich. So we started there. Casa Guedes actually has two locations. They're just steps away from each other. One is older and original. The other - the one we went to - is a bit more modern and has a rooftop deck. We actually sat across the street in the square, but would revisit the upstairs on our final night in town. Anyway, the roasted pork sandwich with soft sheep cheese was legit, and the server rightly talked me into adding caramelized onions and port wine. And speaking of port wine, here I also tried my first Porto Tonico. It's sort of like a Peruvian chilcano, and just as refreshing. Essential it's a 1-to-2 ratio of white port wine and tonic water with mint and an orange wedge. Easy and refreshing, and super popular in the region.

Luis I Bridge
After lunch we made our way down to the iconic centerpiece of the city. We strolled about halfway down before we got a little cold and tired and decided to turn around and Uber back to the Airbnb to rest up. But we would revisit this bridge and actually walk the entire span.

Mariage à Trois
We happened to have friends from Atlanta who were also vacationing in Porto while we were there and this was our overlapping night to get together for dinner. So, after an fairly epic journey back down to the river that involved literally hundreds of stairs, we met up at an amazing little restaurant called Mariage à Trois, where our friend had managed to make us a reservation for six. The food was great and the service was extraordinary - we felt like local friends. A perfect choice for dinner, after which we walked down to the river and bar-hopped for a while to close out the night.

Sandemans New Europe Walking Tour
So, it turns out I really enjoy a walking tour. Tatiana and Kike liked the tours they had taken with Sandemans and suggested we have one here in Porto. My initial reaction is to shun all things that sound touristy, but that can also be a completely unreasonable attitude when you are - in fact - a tourist. I would continue to let go of this resistance, and it started with this tour ... which I thoroughly loved. I turned to Carolina at one point and said, "Wow. I think I'm a walking tour person." And Sandemans is a great company to go with. They're located in several European cities. The tours are free and the guides accept tips at the end as payment. It's a great starting point to learn the city and some of its history. And you might even pick up a nugget or two worth revisiting later in your stay - something you may not have otherwise known about. Weirdly, one of my favorite stops was the train station.

Photo: Tatiana Guerrero

Most Beautiful McDonald’s in the World
It's not often that I specifically seek out a fast food restaurant. Not in the States, let alone while traveling abroad. But I did read about this specific McDonald's and how it is widely considered the most beautiful franchise location in the world. It used to be the site of the Imperial Café from the 30's, but when it was converted to a burger joint in the 90's they kept the design elements which include art deco stained glass, chandeliers, and a majestic eagle on the exterior facade. But besides that, it's just a McDonald's. And, really, it wasn't THAT beautiful. Definitely different. But still just a place to sling meat.

Photo: Tatiana Guerrero

Cafe Santiago
After doing the obligatory dance of four people trying to decide on a lunch location and then not settling on anything, we finally agreed on Cafe Santiago which is known for its Francesinha, a typical Portuguese sandwich from Porto made with bread, wet-cured ham, linguiça, fresh sausage, and covered with melted cheese and a hot and thick spiced tomato beer sauce. It's ... a lot. If we're being honest, no human should really put this in their body. But I did. It sat about as well as expected. Look, if you want to try this dish, just order one, share it, and never do it again.

Taberna Dos Mercadores
We didn't eat here, but wanted to try it out for lunch. Heard great things about it and it was literally booked weeks in advance. So, if you do have a chance to try Taberna Dos Mercadores, get that rezzy in early. Doing so would've helped with the aforementioned group indecision. 

Portuguese Center of Photography
Remember that idea of picking up a random nugget of travel goodness from the walking tour? This was that. Our guide had pointed out an old prison and told the story of a famous inmate. When he was done, I asked what the building served as now. And he explained it was a photography museum with a really extensive camera collection. Behold! The understatement of the year. This place was (not only free) but incredible, and had more cameras from throughout history than probably any other place on the planet. And for three photographers and an artist, this was basically Xanadu.

Without hyperbole, the best thing I put in my mouth the entire trip was a Pastel de Nata. This traditional Portuguese egg custard tart pastry is beyond delicious. And, if science allowed, I would probably live off these - and only these - for the rest of my life. Manteigaria is generally considered to have the absolute best in Porto. It's a small little shop where you can watch them be made and then eat at the counter because good luck trying to leave the place without shoving the treat directly into your face upon purchase.

Jardim do Morro
I asked our tour guide in the morning where we could find a nice place to enjoy the sunset with a bottle of wine. And there was actually a correct answer. Not an opinion. That place was the Jardim do Morro on the other side of the river. So, we swung by a grocery store, picked up some wine and beer, and Uber'd over to this lovely hill where, yes, a crowd of people was just hanging out with a drink, enjoying the setting sun. I say crowd, but it didn't feel crowded. It was a mixture of tourists and locals, and it was one of my favorite moments from the trip. The sunset itself isn't a majestic drop into the ocean, but the light does hit the river and the beautiful, colorful walls of the city in a really special way.

Photo: Tatiana Guerrero

Photo: Tatiana Guerrero

Rua Tapas & Music Bar
We spent a long time on the sunset hill and sort of got a late start for dinner. But a little web research landed me on this place that seemed to keep their kitchen open later than other restaurants. So, we sped off in an Uber and sort of struck gold. Not only did we discover a new neighborhood that was really fantastic, but the restaurant itself was delicious and even had some great live music. You know ... as the name suggests.

Casa da Música
This is an incredible concert hall in designed by architect Rem Koolhaas. At least that's what I heard. I decided to sleep in and missed this little outing, but it sounds like it was well worth it. A highlight in fact. Completely built for sound, I was told the tour was pretty amazing. But so, too, was some much needed sleep. That night we had a chance to see Pussy Riot perform here, but we never made it. That was my big regret from the entire trip.

Photo: Tatiana Guerrero

Jardins do Palácio de Cristal / Super Bock Arena
The next morning,  after a little extra sleep and a Pastel de Nata to start the day, I met up with the gang and we Uber'd went to the Crystal Palace gardens. Today, the area is dominated by a domed arena for concerts and sports, but the surrounding area maintains the original gardens and walking paths that include an amazing view of the city. And peacocks. Lots of peacocks. 

A Copo Wines & Tapas
Our next stop was the other side of the river. The plan was to maybe check out a winery, but first we needed some lunch and finally settled on this little restaurant nestled along a narrow street. It was nothing special, but still really good and friendly. It was perfect for an unplanned lunch location, and gave us a chance to check out more of the south bank of the Duoro River.

Photo: Tatiana Guerrero

Caves Ferreira
We scheduled ourselves a little Port tour at one of the country's oldest wineries. This side of the river is where many brands actually store and age the wine. The actual grape farms are about an hour out of town. The tour was good and ended with the requisite tasting. Pretty much as expected. Lots of wine.

Gaia Cable Car
I mean, I'm not going to say no to a ride in a cable car. Even if it's only about five minutes. And, to be fair, I wasn't really looking forward to walking back up to the bridge. So, we took the lift. Weeeee!

Luis I Bridge
Walked the entire length this time. Because ... you know ... needed more photos of Porto.

Casa Guedes Rooftop
Deciding to call it an early night in, we went back to the newer Casa Guedes, but this time we head upstairs to the rooftop. Same food. Same beers. Some football on TV. Nothing fancy. Just an easy night out before getting up early the next day to drive to Lisbon.

Drive to Lisbon
We rented a car from the city center in Porto and paid extra for an automatic because I'm not adult enough to drive a stick. Carolina is, but we got the automatic anyway. She also drove the whole time. So, was it worth it? Who cares. We had a car. And we were on the road toward Lisbon. Or, to be more precise, Sintra.

Photo: Tatiana Guerrero

Pena National Palace
We were told to stop at a little town called Sintra, quite near Lisbon, and to check out its most famous hillside castle, The Pena National Palace. It's impressive for sure, but loaded with tourists. Shockingly so, in fact. We only opted for the exterior self-tour, and that was enough to walk around for an hour and take in the really great views of the hillside from the top. Overall, didn't really do it for me. But it was fine. I guess. Frankly, at 43-years-old, I'm sort of castle'd out.

Photo: Tatiana Guerrero

Flavour Restaurant
Next it was back in the car for the little seaside town of Cascais where we had the only other bad meal of the trip. Again, it's these touristy seaside restaurants that fail to deliver. This one was called Flavour, I suppose to highlight what it was lacking. It was just fried crap. But, whatever. We walked around the boardwalk for a bit and then finished our trip to Lisbon where we dropped off the car at the airport and then Uber'd to our Airbnb.

Photo: Tatiana Guerrero

:: LISBON ::

The Airbnb
Another massive flight of stairs, but an overall fine Airbnb, this place had one room, one bathroom, a small kitchen, and a pullout sofa. Similar to Porto, it was sort of away from the river and all the tourism, so provided a nice escape from the crazy.

Sandemans New Europe Walking Tour
Like I said earlier, apparently I'm a walking tour guy. Here we took another one, but only about two hours this time and not quite as impressive. But a good starting point nonetheless, and, for sure, we felt far more oriented with the city. Lisbon is big. It's sort of like if Barcelona and Porto had a love child. Busy and metropolitan, but with all the hills and much of the architectural uniqueness of Portugal's second city up north.

Beers at the View Point in the Alfama Neighborhood
Carolina and I went on a little walk-about through the Alfama neighborhood (which is hilly and amazing) and eventually met up with Tatiana and Kike ... somewhere. Still not exactly sure where we were, but it had a nice view of the city below and some kiosks for beer. After walking a bit in the heat, we were ready. 

Street Food
The plan was to walk to a restaurant for lunch, but just steps away was basically a big street party. And there was a little restaurant - might be permanent, might be a popup - but it had fish and sausage and beer and music and joy, so we settled in for some street meat. 

Street Concert at the Busto de Afonso Lopes Vieira
After a short cool-down siesta, we met up with one of Tatiana's friends from Peru who was now living in Lisbon. He told us about a street concert and we met up there for some music and sunset views.

Taberna Portuguesa
We ended up getting another late start on finding dinner, and several of the places we wanted to go were closed. So, we settled on something that was open and looked decent and, once again, we sort of nailed it unexpectedly. Just a cute little tavern off the main road. I recall the mushrooms were especially good. 

Time Out Market Lisbon
The next day's plan was to get an early lunch and then ride out to the outskirts of town for a few sights and then work our way back in. This led us to the Time Out Market. It's just a huge food hall owned by the culture and entertainment publication, Time Out. The company has at least nine locations throughout the world, and this one seemed to be filling up with locals and tourists alike. Plenty of different food options and communal tables. 

Belém Tower
Next it was an Uber ride out to the western part of the northern riverbank, almost to the mouth where it meets the Atlantic. Don't be a hero and walk out there. Ubers are so inexpensive in Portugal and this would be a deceptively long walk. Anyway, there, we had a nice little stroll around the Torre de Belem, a 16th century landmark that served as a lookout for incoming ships.

Museu Coleção Berardo
Next it was over to the modern and contemporary art museum where, apparently, Saturday is free admission day. So that was kinda nice. Some great collections in here, but I particularly appreciated Olivier Mosset’s “Douglas," Roy Lichtenstein’s “Interior with Restful Paintings,” and Patrick Caulfield’s “Lit Window.” 

Continuing to work our way back to the city center, we then hit up the Museum of Art, Architecture, and Technology. We didn't go inside, but did walk around and on top of the beautiful building, designed by Amanda Leevete. In some ways it reminded me of the Sydney Opera House in that it incorporates white tiles on the exterior. The positioning here along the water also allows for a really nice view of the 25th of April Bridge which is essentially a replica of San Francisco's Golden Gate Bridge.

Therapist at LxFactory
Our last big stop - and the highlight of the day - was at this amazing artist studio space at an old industrial complex. Tons of great shops and interesting people, and a few really cozy cafe's to stop and grab a beer. We ended up sitting and eating at a place called Therapist, and enjoyed some live acoustic music. Before that we ended up buying some gifts to take home. It was nice to be able to buy things from the local artists here. 

Coral Coletivo
Later, we met up again with Tatiana's friend outside Coral Coletivo. To be honest, I'm not even sure we ordered from there. But we WERE there. Or at least outside. And, again, we enjoyed the ongoing street parties with food and drinks.

Street Food and Drinks Near R. Frei Manuel do Cenáculo, 1170-037
Lisbon was entering a holiday period - celebrating some Saint or another - so the street parties were rather ongoing, and we soon found ourselves at another gathering. There was more food and drinks and music, and we sort of lost track of time as the night became one big happy event.

The last stop of the night was at some anti-authoritarian social center that was presented to us by Tatiana's friend as a "dive bar." It felt more like a house party. There was a DJ, drinks, and food available with a suggested donation. The whole thing was very roots, and also rather secretive. It seemed like you actually had to know somebody at the door to get in. 

1 comment:

t. said...

lets do all this again !!!!please