This city has a bit of a rough beauty, not being polished all over, but instead wearing its scratches only to enhance the charm. What I remember most is how it helped me in a moment of personal turmoil (yes, yes, ok, it was a simple break-up), precisely because of its non-intrusiveness. It said hello with rich rain and thick clouds and goodbye with a radiant sun. My sentimental side saw a certain personal path right there in that natural weather transformation.
But the most important thing here : this city is perfect for solo-travellers. Every day there is a new treasure, waiting to be found.
It was a proof of how you should give the cities their time and not rush them through like a cheetah, ignore the travel guides and take much more than the prescribed three days. They might be enough for a good impression, but definitely not for the deserved savouring.
Personally, I couldn’t have enough of simply mounting the many hills, walking through the streets and admiring the buildings, birds on the windows, ceramics and tiles on walls, stories in them, every day exploring a different neighbourhood. Baixa, Chiado, Alfama, Belem. Small squares and art markets. Daily trips to Cascais and Sintra. Stunning view points and breath-taking climbs. The breezy shadows of the castle’s surroundings. One brilliant museum. The seaside-like sun and air. Always a place somewhere to chill, take a breath and read.
And more : good and cheap coffee, ultra sweet pastries everywhere, an occasional glass of excellent red wine, an olive pâté spread on crispy bread, the tastiest mangos.
It was like there was everything necessary to heal me. You were a good friend, Lisbon, one who knew that letting me enjoy my solitary peace all the while standing by me is the best you can do.
I feel like I could never go back now, I’d somehow rather leave untouched all the special moments I created there…