They didn’t tell me to go to Lisbon.
In fact, nobody told me to go to Portugal at all.
When most people think of Spain’s map they imagine the entire peninsula as if that other not quite Spanish speaking country weren’t there at all. King João IV is rolling in his grave.
Everyone’s forgotten about Portugal. Ask any American their top 5 destinations in Europe and most would name the “classics” like London, Paris or Rome. Maybe they wouldn’t even know that Lisbon is a capital city in Europe. Lol what’d you expect? I said ask any American.
Somehow I’m still surprised I didn’t hear a single review after over a year living and traveling in Europe. Other backpackers raved about Eastern Europe or the South of Spain, but never did they get to bragging about their adventures in Spain’s vizinho do oeste.
To be honest, I’m glad they didn’t. What if high expectations would have spoiled it for me like they did Barcelona.
Thankfully I stepped out of the metro from the airport without a single expectation other than being able to go out and drink after *gasp* a whole week of none of that monkey business while in Morocco over spring break.
So what was it that made Lisbon so special to me?
You guys are going to hate me…..
but it was just a feeling.
I stepped out of the metro from the airport with my travel buddy on one of those drizzly March days and all I could do was smile.
I was single at the time (harhar still am), but had that ridiculous mushy in love feeling take over me as we were roaming Lisbon’s streets.
Maybe it was the gorgeous sidewalks that reminded me of that trip to Rio with my mom.
Or that the rain made this city even more romantic and cozy.
Or the delicious pastries and cuisine the locals presented to us with so much warmth and pride.
Maybe it was the tower that reminded me of something out of Harry Potter. *Which turns out J.K. Rowling was married to a Portuguese man and lived in Portugal for a few years! She got inspiration from buildings in Oporto and the cloaks the students from the books wear are inspired by veteran Portuguese university students! *squeal*
Or maybe it was how much Lisbon resembles an older San Francisco, a city that’s near and dear to my heart and reminds me of home. ❤
I’m not sure when I’ll be back, but what I am sure of is that I will be back.
PS I’m telling you to go to Lisbon.