A two and a half hour drive from Aveiro is Lisbon. I arrived on St Anthony’s Day which promised and evening of partying and festivities.
During the day I did a 3 hour Best of Lisbon walking tour with Inside Lisbon. The tour was great, and I learnt all about the history of Lisbon. The tour guide took us to a bar in the old area of Alfama for sangria and tapa, a small variety of food which is usually meats and cheeses as well as taking us to a Pastéis de Nata shop. We covered an awful lot in the 3 hours.
The tour guide also gave me recommendations of where best to celebrate St Anthony’s Day in the evening.
St Anthony’s is the patron saint of Lisbon and it is traditional for young couples to get married on this day. The couples who marry then take part in a parade that runs through the centre of Lisbon while other neighbourhoods have giant street parties.
I headed to one of these giant street parties back in the Alfama district.
I have honestly seen nothing like it! Everyone who lives in this area sets up stalls outside there houses offering different food and drinks. The giant party atmosphere is great and I saw very little trouble and the bit I did see was very quickly cleared up by the police.
One word of warning however, your clothes will stink of sardines by the time you get home!
I partied long into the night and eventually got home at 5am!
Needless to say the following morning was a write off. In the afternoon I took a bus over to the Belem area of town. It is a laid back area of town with beautiful buildings decorated with tiles. It is well known for the monestry and the tower which are ornately decorated. I had a lovely afternoon here, wandering around and having a drink on the river.
In the evening I got food at a traditional Portuguese restaurant. I had the grilled chorizo which comes to your table still on fire and a bifanas, a pork sandwich which is typically served with hot sauce and mustard. After dinner I had a walk along the river enjoying the live music along the way.
The following morning before I left the city I headed across the 25 Abril bridge, an exact copy of San Francisco’s Golden Gate bridge, to the Christ the King statue that looks over the city. Views from up here are wonderful and the statue itself is breathtaking.