Sun, surf and pastel de nata = Lisbon
November 14, 2016
The first snowflakes are falling over my hometown so what a better time than this to remember my trip to sunny Lisbon and cry inside? 😉
So, back at the end of August we embarked on a 4-hour flight from Budapest to Lisbon, where we were going to spend one week at the Surf Office, to curate their instagram. You can imagine that I was really excited to see Lisbon again, stuff myself with pastel de nata and do one of my favourite things in the meanwhile: spend time on instagram. 😉
How’d it go, you might ask? Well, you know …uh-mazing! Pastel de nata was everywhere, exactly as I remembered it, the buildings were still covered in colorful tiles shining beautifully in the summer sun and the cute trams were climbing up and down the steep streets with full speed as always.
This was one of those trips you take to a place you’ve already seen before and have a more relaxed approach to the whole visiting thing. Also known as: we didn’t really visit much this time. We just wandered carelessly the streets of the core area of the city which eventually led to some awesome discoveries in terms of food and drink, mostly. We also met Diana & Edgar, a lovely couple that runs the Where Two Go To travel blog, who kindly took us to dinner at a great local restaurant, off the uber-touristy route. I don’t remember the name of the place, but the food was delicious! Now that I think of, I ate quite a lot this trip…
One day we decided on a whim to jump on a train to Cascais, where we arrived just in time to pick the last free bikes available (yes there are free bikes on a first come, first served basis; you can find them outside the train station, at a 1-minute walk). They’re city bikes, not really the best choice for an off-road experience, but they served our purpose perfectly: biking all the way to Guincho Beach.
There’s a bike lane going right by the steep rocky seaside (or should I call it, oceanside?), stunning views stretching on your left, while the wind is blowing strong and the sun is scorching. No, literally, I got so burnt that even after another 3 weeks of sun bathing I still had that day’s marks on my skin. But it was a fun, pretty easy ride, and when we finally got there we got to spend some time watching tiny little children surfing the waves like absolute pros. *jealous*
But I also learnt to surf! I LEARNT TO SURF! This was the most exciting part of the whole trip, struggling day after day to climb on the surf board and ride some tiny waves. I don’t remember ever feeling so tired, my face was burning (high five if you also went surfing without sunscreen once in your life), my whole body was aching and I could barely move, but I was so eager to wake up in the next morning, take the ferry to Cacilhas, wait for Goncalo’s (our instructor) yellow van to pick us up and start it all over again on the beach of Costa da Caparica.
There’s something about the seaside and water sports that’s so appealing to me. Can’t put my finger on it, but I literally can’t wait to go back and do it again!
As for recommendations, make sure you check out Time Out Market – yea, it’s filled with tourists and the prices are a bit spicy, but the food is great (Pizza a Pezzi has the perfect pizza for a quick bite, but really, the variety of food here will make it hard for you to decide) and I loved the chaotic atmosphere filled with energy.
For a consistent breakfast at almost no price, A Padaria Portuguesa is THE place to go to (thanks to Diana and Edgar for this life-saving tip!).
Some of the best pastel de nata I had: Manteigaria. Here you can also stuck your nose on the protective glass and see how it’s done! (for this one a big thank you to Peter from Surf Office).
I also tried the pan de deus, aka “God’s bread” at a random local cafe. It’s baked, sugary and has coconut, it’s everywhere and gives you a welcome sweet energy boost in the morning.
If you’re looking for a lovely place to work while holidaying or holiday while working – Surf Office is definitely your best pick! Thank you guys again for having us!
A hip place you should as well pin point is LxFactory, a former industrial complex that features cool restaurants and bars, awesome design and art shops, galleries and office spaces, long story short, let’s call it a creative island. Plus, from the bar on top – fantastic views of the famous April 25th Bridge (and spotting all the landing airplanes’ bellies).
For surf lessons I cannot recommend Goncalo enough! His passion for surf is contagious and he and his team really took the time to teach us the basics of riding the waves. Not only show us how it’s done, but explaining us everything, encouraging us when we did something right, basically dedicating their whole time and attention so that we got the best out of each lesson. I’m looking forward to improving my skills too with them, hopefully soon before I forget everything I learnt :))
So basically, yea, “sun, surf and pastel” sums up my week in Lisbon pretty well 🙂 Read more about my experience in Portugal on the Surf Office blog!
Gosh, how I miss it already! ♥