Lisbon & Porto, Portugal
After a work week spent in Dublin, Angie and I decided to take on Portugal. Lisbon's architecture stunned me—an old-world mystique hung on each building, with winding streets evoking a secret waiting to be found around each turn.
Praça do Comércio, one of the main plazas in Lisbon.
Livraria Ler Devagar, a beautiful library with a floating art gallery.
The Jerónimos Monastery offered gorgeous architecture. Our sunset arrival didn't hurt!
Pastéis de Belém, home of the original recipe for pastéis de nata, a traditional (and delicious) Portuguese dessert.
Views from the Santa Justa Lift, a lookout point in the middle of the city, completed in 1902.
Cascais & Sintra
On a day trip to Sintra, a resort town outside of Lisbon, we stopped in Cascais for coffee and to make friends with animals.
In Sintra, we explored the grounds around Quinta da Regaleira, a romantic estate built in the late 1800s, and visited the castle itself.
The Pena Palace is a wonderful Romanticist castle that sits atop a hill in the Sintra Mountains, offering beautiful views from anywhere you stand.
The grounds of Pena Palace had a certain magical quality.
In case you thought only Lisbon had beautiful streets, let me show you Porto's winding, colorful pathways and buildings.
The Majestic Café is one of Porto's oldest cafes. It's currently overpriced because JK Rowling wrote some of Harry Potter there when she lived in Porto, but we had to stop in for some coffee and scones. The backyard was beautiful, too!
JK Rowling was supposedly inspired by the Livraria Lello when dreaming up Hogwarts Castle, which seems likely given this library's high ceilings and gothic architecture.
At the Museu Serralves, we saw Philippe Parreno's "A Time Coloured Space" exhibit, which beautifully filled the white space.
We visited the Palácio da Bolsa, built by the city's Commercial Association in the 1800s and which is still in use today. This chandelier weighs over two tons!
The Moorish Revival Arab Room was a stunning end to the tour.