A Sunday Afternoon in the ByWard Market (Ottawa)

A Sunday Afternoon in the ByWard Market (Ottawa)

Category Archives: Portugal

I read that the Portuguese way of life is about understanding that you are not always in power, that you should enjoy the small things in life, and love those around you deeply. I have certainly seen this in the few Portuguese friends and colleagues that have come into my life, and although we all strive to live this way, I want to make a special effort to do just this as I return to Ottawa.

Five weeks away from my family is a long time and I often fret about what is happening at home. I am learning to appreciate each moment instead of thinking what if I was there. I am so blessed with family and good friends who are always willing to step in when needed, and I have realized once more just how precious these people are to me.

As I am travelling almost non-stop for two days straight (Lisbon-Madrid-Venice-pause-Venice-Munich-Toronto-Ottawa-full stop), I will have lots of time for reflection & meditation and I intend to take full advantage of it.

Thank you, Portugal (and Italy) for having provided us with the perfect getaway in these uncertain times.

We shall see you again very soon I hope!

Lisbon Trains

As a last tribute to beautiful Lisboa before returning to Canada tomorrow evening, we wanted to roam the city going up and down those narrow cobblestone roads finding secluded spots we had not previously seen in late June and simply absorbing the city’s serene and welcoming vibe.

As I am still a little wobbly on my swollen leg (way too much sun on Barcelona beaches… I don’t even why we go; I guess we feel we ought to, but we never really enjoy it much!), we decided to rent a tuk-tuk Renting a Tuk-Tuk in Lisbonto tour the city and climb up to the highest point in Lisbon: the Miradouro do Monte. The view is breathtaking; all those clay stone roof houses all imperfectly aligned to make the perfect city landscape. I wish I was an architect and could work on those old houses that are left to crumble down due to the poor economy or simply rich enough to buy some of those properties and get them back up to their original glory, glazed tiles and all.

Miradouro do Monte

Talking about properties, we actually saw a house for sale when we were in Sintra – an amazing must-go side trip when in Lisbon. The house was an old open-concept with large windows including an inner private courtyard and small garage. We have no idea what the cost was, but at that moment in time, I would have sold everything to buy that place.

Later today, we will make our way to a local restaurant; one of those places straight out of a home kitchen where tables and chairs are arranged in the pedestrian passage and stairs. It’s really something to see. And those restaurants are always full – you can’t even get a reservation for three days running! To make sure you have a table on a preferred day, you have to get there super early, like 7 p.m. (that time is not at all early for North Americans, but for Portuguese, it is considered late afternoon :). Miradouro do Monte

And finally tomorrow, on the day of departure, we will leave our luggage at the train station and go one last time to Fabrica Coffee Roasters, THE BEST (I could even underline the words) coffee place… ok, I could say of Lisbon, or of Portugal, or of Portugal/Spain, or of Europe??? but really, all I can say is that it is the best coffee place which I have been and that includes the famous Bridgehead from home. Those that know me will be quite surprised by this. If I say Fabrica is better than Bridgehead, it is because I really, truly mean it. Plus it is run by many ex-pats who make this place fun and most welcoming.

So this is the end of our trip and of a last tribute to beautiful Lisboa. I hope we are lucky enough to return here… maybe on our way to a new city with new adventures.

Obrigada meus amigos!