At the beginning of August, as you may have seen in our Insta stories, we travelled to Portugal. We, that is me - Viki - and my great team The OGs (The Originals), the winners of THE SUMMER GAMES 2019from THE FIZZ Darmstadt!
After a 3-hour-flight, we arrived in Lisbon. Our first stop was the U.Hub Picoas Student Residence where each of us had an apartment on his (or in my case her) own. After we settled down in our rooms, we went to the rooftop of the residence (which was breathtaking with an amazing view of Lisbon) and met Inês, the Operations Manager of the residence. She showed us some cool places of Lisbon and told us what we should definitely see or do. After we had figured out the plan for the weekend, we started walking towards the city center and visited the area to the west of Baixa (the historical district).
Our route ended close to the Timeout Market with its restaurants, bars, shops, a high-end music venue and some of the city's best known market vendors of meat, fish, fruit and flowers. The perfect place for four people who wanted to eat four different kinds of dishes! With that delicious taste we ended our first day in Lisbon...
On day 2, we had some exciting things on our bucket list: It was surfing time – for real this time, not just a game like at the Finals in Darmstadt! We were all excited but at the same time a little bit nervous because none of us had surfed before. When we arrived at the surfing class, everyone took a surfing costume and a board. Our instructor was Hugo, a funny Portuguese guy. He could speak a little bit of German from his previous German students. Of course, we contributed in new vocabulary so he could improve it more.
First, we did some stretching and a few exercises at the beach to warm up. Believe me, with that heat and those costumes, I started doubting the decision I made of taking this class! But as soon as we learned the basics and went into the water, everything was great again. The waves were not too big, but it was enough for beginners like us. Hugo motivated us to keep trying, until the moment came: We stood up in the board and surfed! It was the best feeling ever.
After class, we hung out with some of the other students at the beach. Our night ended at Bairro Alto, the nightlife hub of Lisbon. By day, it may appear a bit shabby, but at night it comes alive with revelers packing the numerous small bars and the sound of Fado music wafting out of the live music venues.
We took the map and picked out all the places we needed to see. Our first destination was the amazing Castelo de Sao Jorge, which stands majestically above Lisbon and is one of the finest tourist attractions in the city. It took us 45 minutes and a LOT of stairs to get up there but it was worth it. Outside the castle, we spotted a little ice-cream place (which some of our surfing fellows had recommended) called Gelateria Portuguesa. They had home-made traditional ice cream and smoothies at very reasonable prices.
On our way back to the city center, we walked by some really cool spots, narrow roads with very cool artistic graffiti’s. It gave us the impression we were in Brazil, with the street decoration and the flowers. We ended up discovering more by walking around the city than actually planning everything ahead.
Lastly, we took the tram number 28. It connects Martim Moniz with Campo Ourique and goes through the popular tourist districts of Graca, Alfama, Baixa and Estrela. For visitors this is the classic Lisbon tram journey, riding in a quaint yellow tram as it screeches and rattles through the narrow streets of the city.
After a loooong day of walking, we went to the Rua Nova do Carvalho or Pink Street and enjoyed some cold Sangria, typical Portuguese beer and a glass of Ginjia, a sweet cherry liqueur.
Our flight departed at 18:20. So we had plenty of time left to enjoy Lisbon. We started our day at Fábrica da Nata at Praça dos Restauradores street. It was a very famous bakery for their delicious pastel de Nata. So, it was a sweet bitter (last day) breakfast. Then we continued down to the busy shopping street of Rua Augusta, with its open-air cafes and gimmicky tourist shops. The streets were full of musicians and people dancing around like they didn’t have a care in a world. It was the perfect ending, shopping and dancing on the streets of Lisbon.
Text & pictures by Viki