What could be better than walking the streets of Lisbon with your beloved? Many people choose exotic destinations like the Maldives or the Seychelles for their honeymoon trip but we chose beautiful Lisbon,Portugal. Why? Well, the idea of lying on the beach for hours no matter how far away and exotic that beach might be is the idea of hell to my fair-skinned husband. So we needed to choose something else. New York, Russia, Scandinavia (maybe a cruise?), and even such far away places like Australia came to our mind. In the end we wanted to go somewhere warm and somewhere that wasn’t that far away actually (and without visa ) so we chose Portugal. We had never been there and it looked like an interesting place to explore. Yes, explore and not lie on the beach all day long 🙂 .
So, we spent 8 days in Lisbon last September. We stayed at a nice hotel in the center and apart from enjoying Lisbon we also went on two day trips and even spent half a day at the beach (yes, there are many beaches near Lisbon!). We had glorious weather for the entire stay; it was sunny and warm, not hot.
So what did we do on our first day in Lisbon? After settling into our hotel and after a short nap we set off on our first walk around Lisbon. I was very much surprised by Lisbon’s beauty and the relaxed atmosphere it had. Almost every building or every square reminded me of some other city such as Paris or Madrid. It even had a bit of London in itself. But maybe that’s what happens when you travel a lot; you can’t help but compare the new city with all the others that you’ve already visited. But Lisbon’s quite unique since it sits on the north bank of the Tagus estuary which eventually becomes a part of the Atlantic ocean. And of course there’s the famous red bridge Ponte 25 de Abril that looks like a twin of the Golden Gate bridge in San Francisco, USA. Who doesn’t like cool bridges?
The first square we saw on our walk around Baixa or the lower town was the square of Marquês de Pombal; the man responsible for rebuilding Lisbon after the terrible earthquake of 1755. This is not really a square as much as a busy roundabout. The big park named after the English king Edward VII is behind this busy roundabout/square. The majestic boulevard Avenida da Liberdade links Praça de Marquês Pombal with the beautiful square Restauradores. The wide tree-lined boulevard with fountains and sculptures and kiosks with food is the perfect introduction to Lisbon. There are many expensive shops in this street as well as some beautiful Art Nouveau buildings. However, this is not a pedestrian zone since there are traffic lanes which divide this avenue in half. It’s not common really to pay much attention to the pavement on which you’re walking but this avenue’s pavement is decorated with lovely abstract patterns.