By Shirene Hayes
As I was researching my next exciting adventure, I fell in love with the beautiful pastel-colored buildings and scenery of Lisbon, so I decided to throw caution to the wind and book a flight.
My chosen airline was TAP. It was a great value and was an exceptional experience, with superior service, delicious complimentary meals and wine, and fantastic in-flight entertainment.
It is essential to mention the amenities on international flights are entirely different than domestic travel. I was greeted at my seat with a blanket and a pillow to accompany me on my over-night journey. I also received an amenity bag with the cutest toothbrush and toothpaste combination. This little duo is my new travel companion.
I arrived in Lisbon early in the morning and cleared customs in about an hour. I had secured a 4-star hotel for $40 via Hotels Tonight and took an Uber to my hotel from the airport for $8. I dropped off my luggage and headed into the city.
My hotel, Lisbon Experience, was a nine-minute walk to shopping, historical sites, markets, and cafes. It was a delight to stroll along the gorgeous cobble stone streets that date back to the early 700s.
I love tasting the local cuisine. My two favorite epicurean delights from Lisbon were Pasteis de Nata and Pasteis de Bacalhau. I’m hungry just thinking about these yummies.
Pasteis de Nata is an egg custard tart. It originated in 1837 with the Jeronimos Monastery Monks who used the egg whites to starch their clothing and the yolks to make pastries and cakes. There’s a little bit of trivia to impress your friends! Pasteis d Nata and espresso were my morning breakfast for a mere $1.95.
My daily lunch/dinner consisted of a Portuguese staple: Pasteis de Bacalhau, a codfish fritter with the internal consistency of mashed potatoes. The recipe includes shredded codfish, eggs, parsley, and potatoes. It’s cooked until it is golden brown.
And when I needed to wash it all down, I bought a juice-box-sized portion of red or white wine… for a mere 62 cents!
Take my advice: place the beautiful, safe, and inexpensive city of Lisbon, Portugal, at the top of your list of travel spots. You will be glad you did!