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Published: April 25th 2018
It's hard to believe its four years since we last visited Lisbon. We fell in love with the city then, so the chance to go and spend a few days with friends and then travel around the country a little was too much to resist. Imagine then, being able to sit out on a rooftop terrace and drink a glass of wine as the sun went down. We fell in love with Lisbon all over again!
Having done most of the walking around and main tourist sights last time, we had a very specific list on this visit. It began with a trip to the fabulous tile museum.
Now, this may not sound like the most incredible experience but it was. Inside we learned all about the history of tile making in Portugal. It came from the times of Moorish occupation, as it did in Andalusia. There is such an amazing variety of tiles on display from ancient to very modern, but they are set in such beautiful surroundings. The building itself is an old convent with a lovely courtyard, and every floor is, as you might expect from a tile museum, decorated with tiles. There's a surprise on the ground
floor - an old chapel which is absolutely breathtaking. On the upper floor is the unique panoramic view of Lisbon, all in the form of tiles. It really is one of Lisbon's must-see museums, and while you are there don't forget to pop into the cafe to try the pastel de nata
which even Russ, who detests egg custard and its many derivatives, can't resist!
Back in central Lisbon we enjoyed a packed lunch in a sunny square before climbing up to Sé Cathedral to visit our next destination, the Museu do Aljube.
Set in a former prison, the Museum of Resistance and Freedom
tells the dark history of Portugal's past dealing with both its break from dictatorship and the end of its colonial empire. The displays are very moving and almost everything has been well translated into English. Some parts are hard to digest as they tell a rather unpleasant story, but it is a story which has to be told. There are some shocking dioramas alongside incredible photography and we left with very strong emotions breaking to the surface. Go there and learn all about the Carnation Revolution
where democracy was achieved with almost no shots being fired.
Before moving on from Lisbon
we got to visit the gardens of the presidential São Bento Palace. Plan your visit well as the gardens are only open to the public on a Sunday morning. Inside you are whisked away to another world where peacocks roam, modern art lurks around the corner, and an enchanted garden opens up around the stately building. A visit will only take an hour but it is well worth doing.
Fans of Thai food are apparently often disappointed in Lisbon. Their prayers have been answered by the Quick Asia Thai Restaurante.
It may sound like fast food but it is not. The flavours presented to us were as authentic as they get leaving our mouth watering, and tingling a little from the spices! It's pretty small though, so you may want to book.
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