Yoga retreat in the South of Goa – Yogamea

 

I arrived here in Agonda in the South of Goa almost one week ago, on Monday, around 15 after about 2,5 hours drive from Swan Yoga in Asagao. On the way here we passed by more palm trees, colorful big houses, kids in school uniform, rivers and beaches, until finally arriving in this small paradise.

Agonda is a very small and tranquil little town, not much party or people here, there is one main road and the beachside. There are so many nice little beach huts here, adorable, must be so nice to hear the sound of the waves all the time. The shops are cute here, the vendors are not as annoying either, they’re calm and sweet and you get to know them all :)

Beach huts on the way down to the beach. Beautiful and peaceful!

Beach huts on the way down to the beach. Beautiful and peaceful!

The main street at Agonda. People, cows, dogs, scooters.

The main street at Agonda. People, cows, dogs, scooters.

On the beach

On the beach

There's a school just beside the church

There’s a school just beside the church

I’m in another yogaretreat named Yogamea, but it’s not as busy schedule as in Swan Yoga. We only have 2 asanas per day, but they are 2 hours long each, between 7-9am and 5-7pm. We have the all meals included here, but the food isn’t that good, they don’t have any spices at all, so it doesn’t really taste indian. We have been eating a few lunches out just to get some good indian food. They sell a lot of fish here, but still it’s India, so many vegetarian restaurants as well.

I’m sharing room with a french-canadian, Lydia, and we hang out all the time actually, she’s great. The room wasn’t as nice as Yogamea showed on their website at all, it’s quite basic, but the place is good. The food area is great, and the location is perfect too, we are just beside the main road and have about 2 minute walk down to the beach.

We had Veg makhanwala and navratan korma for lunch one day, we asked what the ingredients are of navratan korma, he said "it's vegetables, together with saus and nuts and dried fruit" - but when we got it, it was fresh fruit... quite wierd! the other thing was better..

We had Veg makhanwala and navratan korma for lunch one day, we asked what the ingredients are of navratan korma, he said ”it’s vegetables, together with saus and nuts and dried fruit” – but when we got it, it was fresh fruit… quite wierd! the other thing was better..

This is where I'm staying next! At agonda palace. Thats our porche!

This is where I’m staying next! At agonda palace. Thats our porche!

Our dining area, very cozy

Our dining area, very cozy

The yoga here is different, I was really confused at first about the sun salutation and some of the pranayamas we do, because there are other versions of the ones I knew and learned at Swan. But the teachers are great, we have had a couple of classes with the owner Timmy, and the other teacher Vilu, and he always corrects me and helps me to get better.

There is 200h yoga teacher course here, so there are many yoga students who also teaches us, so sometimes it’s a little bit repetitive, but it’s good for me :) There’s quite a segregation though, like when we eat, because the students weren’t allowed to speak for like 3 days except for during the class (saving energy or something), so we other retreaters had to stick together haha. The yoga-students have anatomy and yoga philosophy classes, so they have a busier schedule than us in the retreat, we are only 4 persons (with free time between 9am to 5pm).

After morning asana we have fruit breakfast and just relax, we are the four retreaters :)

After morning asana we have fruit breakfast and just relax, we are the four retreaters :)

Afternoon yoga class

Afternoon yoga class

 

But the times really flies here! We have breakfast and sit in our very cozy eating area between 9-10, then we take a shower, we go out for some walking or shopping or we go to the south or north side of the beach, we go back and have lunch at 13 (except for the times we have eaten out), around 14 we go out again, either beach or do the bars along the beach and have some lassi or something, and then back to do yoga again. Haha.

The bars and restaurants along the beach are much more expensive then on the main road, but they have big comfy kind of sofas with big pillows and a view over the beach, and it’s super comfortable to just sit there and chill down after a day in the sun, or when you can’t stand the heat anymore.

Enjoying our first day at the beach!

Enjoying our first day at the beach!

Enjoying ourselves at all these beach restaurants.. got a HUGE coffee and some brown bread with nutella, oh, delicious!

Enjoying ourselves at all these beach restaurants.. got a HUGE coffee and some brown bread with nutella, oh, delicious!

We have been out for a drink almost every evening after the afternoon asana class, there is a place just across our facility called ”My Friends place” where it’s nice and just across the street from Yogamea. One evening they had live music there and we met a woman in her mid 50’s from Canada, Flora, who had been abroad for over 25 years, so cool. She was now living in China. She was super cool!

The other night we sat in one of the beach bars in the comfy sofas and I ordered some sweets from south of goa and hot chocolate, watched the stars, sometimes a firework, and just the sound of the waves. I’m glad they don’t play music, it’s just very peaceful. And there are no mosquitos here at night, it’s such a relief!!

At "my friends place" just acros Yogamea, enjoying my first drink in India!

At ”my friends place” just acros Yogamea, enjoying my first drink in India!

Enjoying live music at my friends place another night

Enjoying live music at my friends place another night

Having some night snacks and beverages at the beach loving life

Having some night snacks and beverages at the beach loving life

I got a henna tattoo, the girl who made it is Sarsu (little bit unsure how it’s spelled) is only 19 and have never been to school! So she doesn’t know how to read or write. It’s weird to just imagine not be able to read the signs everywhere.  She has learned english through tourists! She has 4 sisters and 2 brothers, 2 of the sisters are married and the younger 2 sisters and the 2 brothers are still in school, she works here in the shop and provides for them so they can go in school. She was super sweet. :)

Getting my first henna tattoo

Getting my first henna tattoo

Henna tattoo

Henna tattoo

Went back to Sarsu to her shop to fill in my henna, she was like "Is it ok to wait 2 minutes while I do my prayers?". So sweet.

Went back to Sarsu to her shop to fill in my henna, she was like ”Is it ok to wait 2 minutes while I do my prayers?”. So sweet.

On Friday we rented 2 scooters, me, Lydia and Milo from Italy, one of the others doing the retreat. We drove to Cabo da Rama, which is not far away at all, but there’s no way to get there without scooter or hiring a car. It was fun to ride scooter, the roads here are great, and there is only one so it’s difficult to get lost, and there’s almost no traffic at all. It’s just uphill downhill uphill downhill all the time, Goa isn’t flat at all!

We rented scooters and went exploring in the surroundings!

We rented scooters and went exploring in the surroundings!

So in Cabo da Rama there’s a an old fort, In the past it has switched hands between Hindu, Muslim monarchs and the Portuguese and witnessed many battles in history. Now it’s almost only ruins and some rusty cannons. It was abandoned when the Portuguese left this place. And then it was a government prison till 1955 and was abandoned again. It’s really ruins, so I don’t understand how the prison was really, since it was only 60 years back.

At the top of the hill at Cabo da rama fort with a view over everywhere!

At the top of the hill at Cabo da rama fort with a view over everywhere!

Cabo da rama fort and surroundings

Cabo da rama fort and surroundings

With Lydia and Milo

With Lydia and Milo

 Nice views from Cabo da Rama fort

Nice views from Cabo da Rama fort

A woman on her morning walk

A woman on her morning walk

Soo many palmtrees!!

Soo many palmtrees!!

We spotted many monkeys!

We spotted many monkeys!

Exploring!

Exploring!

After sweating our asses off in 39 degrees and enjoying all the surrounding views, we took the scooters to a local restaurant along the way and had some veg thali. For 3 thalis, plus one extra portion thali for Milo, 3 extra breads, 3 sodas, one bag chips, one water bottle and one ice cream, we paid 450 rupees (about 5-6 euro/USD)-total! Cheap huh!

Then we drove back on the road against Agonda, stopped in a small village on the roadand had some Tea masala for 5 rupees, bought some petrol, felt sorry for all the cute little street puppies, and drove towards Cova beach. It was quite a bumpy road to the beach, only packed sand and stones along hills and cliffs, a little scary sometimes – but it was totally worth it!

The green lagoon at Cova

The green lagoon at Cova

The cottages at cova beach, so peaceful!

The cottages at cova beach, so peaceful!

Taking a bath in the lagoon at cova beach! Ah! So fresh!

Taking a bath in the lagoon at cova beach! Ah! So fresh!

In Cova it was super peaceful, nothing more there than a few cottages, one bar, the sea and a green lagoon with sweet water which was beautiful, you could se cows on the sides eating grass. The water in the lagoon was so much colder than the sea, really relaxing. You can’t reach this place with a heavy vehicle, the roads are to big for busses (you can drive car, but there’s enough space for meeting another car in the opposite direction).

We enjoyed a couple of hours there and then we had to go the bumpy ride back to be in time for our afternoon yoga.

 

Today, Saturday we did our last shopping, had some pastries at the main road, talked to the vendors, had yoga, and at night we went out for a couple drinks (compared to the regular 1 at night), since it’s our last night here. We had one kingsfisher beer to some live music on the beach, and then another beer at the other side of the beach.

But there’s really nothing going on even on a Saturday night here, the bar which we were closed since we were the last customers, and it was around 23-23.30. All the shops were closed when we walked back to, total silence.

Had some pies

Had some pies

I really love all these copper things here, but they are so heavy!!

I really love all these copper things here, but they are so heavy!!

Live music at the beach and indian beer

Live music at the beach and indian beer

 

I really like Agonda, everyone is so friendly, always saying goodnight or goodmorning, even if you don’t know them. It’s really a small town feeling. And you get to know the vendors and the waiters on the places, see them somewhere else and say hi to them to when you walk around. It’s really nice, you kind of feel at home here very easily :) This is really a place for total relaxation. 

 

Delivering fruits with a scooter

Delivering fruits with a scooter

Omg I love the signs here, they are always misspelled

Omg I love the signs here, they are always misspelled

There's a school just beside the church

There’s a school just beside the church

Yes... we are reaaally enjoying ourselves!

Yes… we are reaaally enjoying ourselves!

So many cows on the beach!

So many cows on the beach!

Sunday is the day off here at the retreat, but we have yoga in the morning anyways, they sort of special arranged it for us because we wanted to have it tomorrow. After we are going to a place that we spotted today called Krishna where we are going to treat ourselves with some ajurvedic massage.

We have dealed the price, so we are have rejuvenating or deep tissue massage, then we have khizi and we also have a facial treatment and massage, so it’s 3 treatments, it will be about 2 hours and the price is only 1100 rupees! (around 15 euro/USD). At Swan Yoga I had Khizi too (the powders and the hot oil thing) and it was 1200 for ONLY that one reatment. So yeah, this is a very nice price!

(Updated: The Khizi was only half body, but still, the whole treatment was about 2 hours and really good. The full body massage was the best, the facial wasn’t really relaxing but more rubbing the face hard)

Then we are going to have some nice indian food somewhere, my last indian meal!

After the 2 hours massage (I look quite puffy in my face) I had my last indian meal, veg thali, before heading to the airport

After the 2 hours massage (I look quite puffy in my face) I had my last indian meal, veg thali, before heading to the airport

Sunday is also our last day here before going to our new destinations, I’m going to the airport around 14 and Lidia is heading north in India (she is traveling allover India for over 3 months).

I’ve enjoyed this week of real vacation together with yoga, I’ve learnt many new asanas and mantras, got much more bendy, even bought a yoga mat so that I don’t have an excuse for not doing yoga everyday, and I’ve eaten and treated myself as one should do on their vacation, haha. I even have a new habbit, to drink tea, even if it’s 30 degrees outside, which is good for me and my metabolism. :)

Now I’m heading to the Philippines, my first flight leaves Goa at 5pm today, Sunday, and I’ll arrive in Manila around 5pm tomorrow (Flying goa-mumbai-dubai-manila) and there I will meet up with my boyfriend Duilio! :)

So bye India!! Gonna miss you!!

Last day in Delhi – Qutub Minar, Lodi Gardens and Sikh Temple

Slept well and had a great breakfast again, and then took the metro to the station ”Qutub Minar” and from there I had to take a tuktuk to the actual Qutub Minar, about 10-15 minutes away with tuktuk. I shared the ride with 4 people, one girl around my age who was going to a temple nearby and could English, also some words of Spanish, haha. Very sweet. Every time people asks me things I’m stumbled about their curiosity and kindness, they are just interested.

Qutub Minar, The most famous structure on grounds, it’s 72.5 m long and was the tallest ”skyscraper” in the world when it was built (1193-1368). It is as many other buildings here delicately carved, and also very well preserved, although it has been rebuilt a couple of times due to earthquake. The entrance to Qutub Minar was 250 rupees (as almost everything around here). It’s totally worth a visit.

It was really interesting to walk around there. It was much bigger than I thought, not only the tower, but half destroyed old arches and monuments.

Qutub Minar, with all the detailed carvings

Qutub Minar, with all the detailed carvings

The tower rises high above!

The tower rises high above!

I love pillars!

I love pillars!

You can see that there have been some arches and walls there before it fell apart. Must have been a majestic and cool place.

You can see that there have been some arches and walls there before it fell apart. Must have been a majestic and cool place.

Me in front of Quitub Minar

Me in front of Quitub Minar

About 90-95% of the visitors were indian tourists. So yes I had to take a lot of selfies with people, haha. A bunch of young guys, or an older woman, doesn’t matter. I still find it quite weird that people want to take pictures with ME.

After seeing Qutub Minar I sat down to rest a bit on a bench, but I couldn’t really relax, I was like a tourist attraction myself, took group photos with all the families and group of friends that passed by me. They were all very kind and curios, not so many could speak fluently English but they tried to ask where I am from and what I think about india.

One of the selfies with some indian kids :)

One of the selfies with some indian kids :)

A group picture with one of the families that came by when I was sitting on the bench

A group picture with one of the families that came by when I was sitting on the bench

I had planned to take a dance class (with 4 typical dances from here) at delhi dance academy, I contacted them a couple of weeks ago but didn’t get a confirmation on my reservation, and I had forgot about it. I called them to see if everything was ok, but they hadn’t seen my booking, they were very sweet but couldn’t find an instructor on so short notice. They said i could do it on Monday instead, but then I’m leaving for Goa. To bad. :(

Instead I went to the metro station Jor bargh that was on the same line as Qutub minar, and I walked to the Lodi gardens. It’s an amazing big garden with lots of old tombs and buildings, green and peaceful. Well, not everywhere. Since it was Sunday it was crowded with people, picnicks, games, fotball etc, very fun to watch the local life. Some people were jogging, a lot of couples kissing. I walked around and watched people for a few hours.

People on a walk in the lodi gardens

People on a walk in the lodi gardens

Sunday is a busy day - lots of families having picknick, playing fotball or enjoying themselves in the park

Sunday is a busy day – lots of families having picknick, playing fotball or enjoying themselves in the park

So cool old tombs and buildings in the park!

So cool old tombs and buildings in the park!

Having a tug of war!

Having a tug of war!

I talked to a couchsurfer I had been in contact with, Dheera, and asked her for recommendations for a restaurant, and she recommended “Saravana bhavan” in  Connaught Place, which I actually already had saved since earlier – it was recommended in a blog. So of course I went there :)

There was a long cue outside, apparently it’s a popular place, nice food and for a good price. I had my name written up on a paper and they said I could wait inside on a chair, while everybody else was standing outside the restaruant in a big hop. Inside was another couple who were from Mexico, but were very white and tall. We thought it was a little bit weird, that the proper own indian restaurant segregated us like this, white tourists inside, Indians outside.

After about 20-30 minutes wait I had a table for 1 and sat down, I didn’t know what to order, but everyone was eating sort of the same so I just pointed at the other plates and said ”I want that”, haha. It was some kind of pancake with potato inside that you dip in 3 different sauses, and a soup. I asked the man sitting next to me ”how do you eat this?”, because there was only potato in the middle and only ”pancake-bread” on the side, so he showed me how to eat it, haha. It was very good! Simple but good and for 300 rupees total with a plain lassi.

At Saravana Bhavan, had this huge pancake-thingy!

At Saravana Bhavan, had this huge pancake-thingy!

I started to talk to the man, Tarun, he worked as an accountant in a big electronic company known worldwide, so he had been on business in the states, uk and south Africa. He asked me if I had been to the Sikh tempel that is close to the restaurant, which I hadnt, and he said I should go and visit. I didn’t really know how to get there, I asked if he was going, and he said “I can go, if you want”. He also invited me to try some typical indian sweets, good but with quite much sugar haha, but I was happy to try!

The indian sweet I tried

The indian sweet I tried (Yes, I had a bite before the picture)

Then we walked to the Sikh tempel, about 15 min from the restaurant in CP. It was a very big temple with a golden roof and super crowded, Sunday is the big day where everyone goes here. The name of the Sikh house/temple is Gurudwara Bangla Sahib. It’s known for its association with the eighth Sikh GuruGuru Har Krishan.

They have a shoe deposit, then you have to wash your hands, and you have to cover your hair (the devotes have turbans) on your way up from the stairs they have also like a small pool for the feet so you wash them. Then you walk up and stand in a cue to go and pray in front of a altar with a statue, there’s live music there too and people along the sides just praying, tv cameras and all.

Me in front of the Sikh Temple

Me in front of the Sikh Temple, Gurudwara Bangla Sahib

The inside of the temple, all the people waiting in line to go to pray in the altar

The inside of the temple, all the people waiting in line to go to pray in the altar

Very crowded inside too!

Very crowded inside too!

Then you walk around inside the palace and go out along the courtyard where they have a big pool with holy water, the Sarovar, which volunteers still are helping to build.. You walk around the water pool the whole way and then you are offered some sweet like mushed thing that you eat, and then it’s done. All about 30 minutes. They pray everytime they go up for a stair or down. Very cool to see. So crowded!

Volunteers helping to build the pool outside the tempel!

Volunteers helping to build the pool outside the tempel!

At the Sikh Tempel with Torun

At the Sikh Tempel with Torun

Except for the Sarovara (pool) and the Gurdwara (temple) – they also have a kitchen there and a school and an art gallery. In all the Sikh Gurdwaras, the concept of langar is practiced, that is the term used in the Sikh religion for common kitchen/canteen where food is served to all the visitors (without distinction of background) for free. So regardless of race or religion you may eat in the langar hall. The food is prepared by gursikhs who work there and also by volunteers who like to help out. About a half million people eat there daily, and they are serving food the 24 hours. The funds of this mostly come from donations of people visiting the Gurudwhara. Lovely!

The hall where you can have food, Langar, every day! 500.000 people eat here every day!

The hall where you can have food, Langar, every day! 500.000 people eat here every day!

The hall where they serve food all they long

The hall where they serve food all day long

Then the sun went down and we walked along Connaguht circle and visited the market. I bought some bangles and scarves haha. People are very friendly. Tarun was going to meet up his friend later so he had time to show me around. Then he helped me to get a tuk tuk, took the licence plate of the tuk tuk, said it was only going to be 50 rupees (normally I have to pay 100 rupees for this road) and he took my number so that he could call and see that I arrived well. So sweet and gentleman. (You see mum, everyone takes care of me all the time ;)

Back at the hostel I organized my backpack and then sat in the silence room and wrote a little for the blog before going to sleep.

Enjoying the cuddly silence room :)

Enjoying the cuddly silence room :)

Next day, Monday, I ate breakfast, yummy as always, said bye to the staff, to Martin from Argentina and Eric from Malaysia, took a tuktuk to new Delhi metro station, where the airport metro line goes from. What a nice airport express metro!

The wagons have lots of seats and there are few stops, only people going to the airport. Very quickly. More expensiv though, costed 60 rupees (normal metro costs 15-20 rupes depending on how far you are traveling). Since I was flying with indigo they had their terminal and metro stop in aerocity, so I got down there and had to take a speed bus (shuttle bus) to the airport, 30 rupees. But funny thing is that even if the metro stops there on that terminal T3, the shuttle bus from the airport metro line to the actual terminal took like 20 minutes.

It was full but a man gave me his seat, guess it’s because I’m a woman. Sweet. At the airport it was crowded aswell. Didn’t have to pay for exceed luggage even though I had 3 kgs extra. The security didn’t allow any electronic items, had to take out laptop (that’s normal) but also phone, cameras, iphone cable, headphones, usb memories etc and they throw my lighter for macrame :(

Got many stamps on boarding card and on the bag that everything had been checked, and then went to the gate – but I couldn’t go in until it was less than 1 hour for departure. While waiting outside for 30 minutes there were like 4 other flights leaving for Goa. So yeah, there’s a lot of airway traffic here aswell!

So many stamps, both on the boarding and and on my rucksack!

Stamps, both on the boarding and and on my rucksack! 

Next post will be about my stay in Swan Yoga in Goa.

 

The city of the 7 hills – Lisbon, Portugal

Note: This post is from April, 2015

 

Leaving fairly cold Sweden for Portugal!

Leaving fairly cold Sweden for Portugal!

We were all excited about our trip Portugal, but the first day didn’t start so well. Yes, since I had written this down, I feel like I have to complain a bit. But if you’re interested in what Lisbon has to offer, just scroll down! :)

We arrived in Lisbon Wednesday evening. The flight went quickly even though we had a stopover in Vienna. But from Vienna to Lisbon we got our seats on different rows…  Well, doesn’t matter that much, it was a short flight. Also there was no vegetarian food for me, of couse… There’s never. So now I don’t like Lufthansa so much.

We arrived in Lisbon quite late around 21 and took a taxi to our hostel. The taxameter was on 11,50 euros, but then the driver wanted to charge us 19 euro because we had luggage with us! We got to see the chart were it says that yes, it costs like 4 euros for luggage, extra 3 euros for airport etc etc. So well. We paid that.

We stayed at Passport Lisbon Hostel, right in the famous Praça Luís de Camões. But we couldn’t find the entrance…. We were just outside the number 36, and it was a just a regular door to an apartment building, with a code, and we did not have any code… So we stood there for a while until some other girls were going in to the hostel, and followed in. The elevator was so small we couldn’t fit our two together and our packback… So we walked up to the reception, which was also super small. We checked in and bought a beer there to bring up to our rooms, hehe, well worth it after all the floors we had to walk up!

We got in to our room and it was…… not as expected. Sure we are not luxury-travelers or anything, but the hostel looked really cool when we looked it up on booking. We got a room just next to the kitchen, and we had a private toilet but it was outside our room, so we had to go out in the hallway to go to the toilet.. .Which means you have to get dressed if you want to pee in the night. Well well… Also not that big deal.

This is what our room looked like, but it was not as spacious as it looks, and nothing else there... Picture taken from their website

This is what our room looked like. Picture taken from their website

But then the room was very basic, everything I had seen online that made it look rustic and awesome on the pictures actually just looked rusty and dusty in reality. We did not have a working night lamp, our night stand was broken (it was a book screwed into the wall that has broken, so it was just a book on the floor now), there was NO furniture at all – basically just a bed and you had to put your backpack and your clothes on the floor… no balcony (most of the rooms have a french balcony), we only got 1 really thing pillow each… And on top of that  it was super hot this nigh (it was really unnecessary for us to bring so much long-sleeved). I didn’t manage to fall asleep until 6 in the morning. Buh :(

Next day we woke up when the hostel started serving breakfast, since we could hear everything in our room. Not that much of a breakfast, yoghurt, cereal and white bread with cheese. There’s some construction going out just outside so it was not so pleaseant sound at when we had the window opened. We started by asking the reception to fix the light in the room and to give us a few extra pillows, there was no problem with that at all. Then we took a couple of chairs from the kitchen ”borrowed it” to have as furniture in our room, haha.

THEN, FINALLT, the adventure began!

View over Elevador Santa Justa from the hilltop

View over Elevador Santa Justa from the hilltop

Lisbon is the capital and the largest city of Portugal, it has about 550000 habitants. It’s one of the oldest cities in the world, actually older then London, Paris and Rome by centuries. It’s built on 7 hills, so you are almost always going either up or down :)

Our hostel was in the Bairro Alto (the upper town), in one of the hills in Lisbon.

We walked down towards the water and the neighbourhood Baixa (lower town). We could se the big Christ on the other side of the water, we had also seen him from the flight yesterday. The Monument is in Almada on the other side of the river Tagus, it resembles de Corcovado monument in Rio De Janeiro and was built after the second world war as a memorial of thanks that Portugal was spared of the destruction of the war.

It was beautiful down by the water, nice walking areas, boats, people walking everywhere… It reminds me of Spains coast.

Within 15-20 minutes three different guys asked us if we wanted to buy Marijuana/Hash/Cocaine. We were quite chocked first, but we got used to it. I don’t know if it’s because of my dreads or Duilios curly hair, if we are a young couple, or if they just ask everyone. Haha.

It was a sunny and super warm day, about 30 degrees. Not that very common for being april! Of course we found some Swedes in bikinis in the small beach by Praca do comercio, haha.

Quite odd plastic puffs to sit on next to the water

Quite odd plastic puffs to sit on next to the water

Tourists enjoying the small city beach :)

Tourists enjoying the small city beach :)

The gate of Praca do Comercio, and a guy trying to sell us drugs

The gate of Praca do Comercio, and a guy trying to sell us drugs

We visited a lot of small artisanian shops.The daughter of one of the managers in a small shop we visited painted a drawing and gave to Duilio. So sweet :) She spoke spanish because her father is Peruvian. We kept walking around for a few hours along the water, then we needed to cool down and eat something, so we walked all the way back and then sat down at Café Vitoria in one of the main streets the city center.

Lisbon is full of trams, cars, there are constructions everywhere, half torn down buildings, but it feels safe and very homely. But yes, the traffic is horrific, I would NEVER drive here! There are cars and trams coming from all the sides! Haha

In the center of Lisboa there are quite many downed buildings... some of them even abandoned

In the center of Lisboa there are quite many downed buildings… some of them even abandoned

The buildings around here have quite spectacular facades..

Some of the buildings around here have quite spectacular facades..

Along the beach walk - painted house

Along the beach walk – painted house

Visiting crafts shops close to Praca do comercio - please notice the white man in the back who is painting his face white in the reflection of the window :)

Visiting crafts shops close to Praca do comercio – please notice the white man in the back who is painting his face white in the reflection of the window :)

The famous trams

The famous trams


There’s a lot of traffic everywhere
, but there is a few main streets in the center that are closed and only to shops and restaurants so it was peaceful there. We ordered fried potatoes and vegetarian crepes and tried Pera de gallinha and some other portuguese thing, and I ordered a medium beer which was huge! We were enjoying our selves so much this first chill vacation days with hot weather, haha.

Gallinha de Pera and Crepe Vegetal

Gallinha de Pera and Crepe Vegetal

At café Vitoria, enjoying or "medium sized beer" :)

At café Vitoria, enjoying or ”medium sized beer” :)

We went to visit the famous Castelo de São Jorge, a hilltop fortification that you can see from wherever you are in Lisboa. On our way up there we passed some really cool streets with plenty of beautiful street art on the walls. Loved it!

Around alfama on our way up to Castelo Sao Jorge, beautiful grafitti!

Around alfama on our way up to Castelo Sao Jorge, beautiful grafitti!

The last bit we took the elevator up to the Colina. The entrance fee to Castelo had gone up to 8,5 euros per person. There was a lovely view from there, you could see the whole Lisboa in front of you. Apparently all the houses have orange ceiling! I couldn’t stop singing the intro song to the series Weeds ”Little houses on the hillside” when I was there, haha.

View over the orange roof tops in Lisboa

View over the orange roof tops in Lisboa

But anyhow, the proper Castelo de S. Jorge wasn’t that much of a big deal – I know it has been there for a long time and lived through Visigoths in the 5th century, Moors in the 9th century, Christians in the 12th century, royals from the 14th to 16th centuries, and convicts in every century.. But now it’s pretty much just stones. You could walk around there above the walls and inside, but it wasn’t that special inside.

Castelo Sao Jorge

Castelo Sao Jorge

Outside Castelo Sao Jorge, duilio is hiding from the sun.

Outside Castelo Sao Jorge, duilio is hiding from the sun.

We went home for a quick shower and then just walked outside our hostel  – just in the square ”Praça Luís de Camões” – to join the Free walking tour that had their meeting point there :)
It was quite a big group – and guess what – ONLY spanish people!! Duilio was the only one that wasn’t from Spain. Haha. Since it was easter – all the spanish had a few days of do travel in the areas around, and they all got here to Lisbon. We heard spanish eeeeverywhere.

Our guide was funny, he really loved his countrys’ food and music, but hated its politics. We discovered a lot of new places, around in Bairro Alto, Chiado and Alfama.

A street with a nose. (Apparently there are many restaurants around here so this is a good place to smell Lisboa)

A street with a nose. (Apparently there are many restaurants around here so this is a good place to smell Lisboa)

Street music around Bairro Alto

Street music around Bairro Alto

With our guide in the middle of the mainstreet Rua Augusta

With our guide in the middle of the mainstreet Rua Augusta

A wall in Bairro Alto where they have azulejo of all the typical and traditional portuguese things

A wall in Bairro Alto where they have azulejo of all the typical and traditional portuguese things

Alfama is the oldest district of Lisbon, it was the largest part of the city during the Islamic Invasion of Ibera. Increasingly, the Alfama was inhabited by fishermen and the poor, and it continues so to this day. We got to hear about the Great Earthquake that destroyed almost everything in the year 1755 – except for Alfama, thanks to its compact labyrinth of narrow streets and probably because it’s built on firmer rock. Alfama is cozy and historical, old buildings mixed with Fado bars, restaurants, small shops and pracas. And yes, you can easily get lost there ;)

While there we tried Ginja de obidos, a liquor not to far from here – so good! We also listened to the traditional music Fado. After a few hours of walking around the tour ended and we watched the sunset from the roofs of Alafama. Then we were hungry!!

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Ginja D’Obidos – a liquor from Obidos, fruity and sweet!

Alfama, narrow streets and restaurants or bars in every corner

Alfama, narrow streets and restaurants or bars in every corner

In Alfama, the typical square where there are nice restaurants with fado.... And where they never even intended to invite us in..

In Alfama, the typical square where there are nice restaurants with fado…. And where they never even intended to invite us in..

We walked around in Alafama to find a good but cheap and not so touristic place to eat, that also had something vegetarian. Most of the waiters didn’t even bother to look at us or invite us in, or even show us the menu.. We probably looked to poor to them and they were out after more spending tourists. Well… F them – so we kept walking and walking until we found a cute little restaurant – called ”Almargem” very close to the Cathedral – and the waiter was lovely! He showed us the meny and in portuguese of course, told all about how it was made and what was in it. It was a great service!

Our waitor at Almargem :)

Our waitor at Almargem :)

Very happy with my vegetarian Caldereida :)

Very happy with my vegetarian Caldereida :)

The entrance of the restaurant

The entrance of the restaurant

They had the typical portuguese course ”Caldeleira” in a vegetarian option – and it was soooo good! Duilio had som Bacalao, a fish which they have everywhere here and can cook in about 4000 different ways, haha. We were surprised that you pay for entrances (different cheeses and bread) since we didn’t request them and they brought them just like that to the the table, so we thought it was free and was super happy about it and ate it all –  but that was not the case… Haha. It was around 8 euros. And since we had a very nice experience at that restaurant, we didn’t mind paying that either, it was good cheese and bread :)

Then we went home for some good sleep.

Next day; BELEM! I will tell you in another post, this is to long!