Portugal. Divided into two.
Part 2: Lisbon to Porto. “I’m not a city person”. I used to say that. New York; lively, tiring. Los Angeles; Visually harsh. Traffic. San Francisco; Favorite of the three. Lacking beach culture. Lisbon. Lisbon has a similar historical charm as San Francisco. Cobblestone streets, colorful buildings, cafes, bars, all the things the guidebooks rave about…all lining the coastline. In a 15 minute train ride you can be on a beautiful sandy beach and surfing a fun little point. Fresh seafood. Crab, Lobster, fish and barnacles. Yes, barnacles! Caipiroskas on the beach, Espresso on the street, salty hair, sandy feet. A true dream come true.
4 hours North of Lisbon by car, is Porto.
Porto. Porto is like a Disneyland ride, mixed with history and big glass after mini glass of Port and wine. It’s magical. Walk. Get lost. Eat pastries. Eat tapas. Eat everything. Visit the Lello Bookshop. Have a coffee at Majestic Cafe. Visit the Port Houses. Buy some local art. Smoke a cigarette. Repeat.
And in between: Sintra (see below in “eat”). Baleal. Check out Surfers Lodge in Baleal! Cascais.
Eat: Nata. Nata for breakfast. Nata for afternoon snack. In Sintra, stop at Cafe A Piriquita: The other pastry worth seeking out is a “Travesseiro” at Piriquita. Travesseiro literally means ‘pillow’. And this pillow of puff pastry is filled with an eggy almond cream that’s best had with a shot of espresso.
Until next time, Portugal.