We arrived first in Lisbon and rented a great airbnb apartment in the Chiado Neighbourhood, which is very central to the metro, museums, shopping, the ocean and most importantly right in the middle of the quaint winding, cobblestone streets. Our favourite thing to do in interesting cities is to wander about and see what we find. The streets of Lisbon did not disappoint!
While we generally do not buy much when travelling we do like to continue the world wide search for the retitrement Picasso. This search brought us to the flea market; "Lisbon's flea market is called locally the Feira da Ladra, often thought to mean "Thieve's Market" (in Portuguese "ladra" is a woman thief) but it actually derives from "ladro," a bug found in antiques. A market of this type is thought to have been in place in Lisbon since the 12th Century and the name Feira da Ladra was first mentioned in the 17th Century." The market sprawls along narrow streets perched on a steep hill and sells assorted junk, art, ceramics, used clothes, household items and antiques. We love antique stores and flea markets; they give a great glimpse into life over the years. It is like going to a free museum where if you really like an item you can take it home! I couldn't resist and picked up a colourful, small, locally made ceramic sardine. J asked me several times if I might want to purchase a second but I insisted one would be fine. (Of course days later we made the trek again when I needed a second). We try to not have a completely packed schedule so we can be open to what ever comes our way, which also allowed us to stumble across a Vintage Festival packed with vehicles, antique furniture, art and other treasures from Portugal's past.
Then we set off for 5 nights in Porto taking the train north and enjoying the scenery as it rushed past. We again had a well situated airbnb which happened to have 2 bedrooms which ended up coming in handy. Porto has some amazing graffiti art so we spent quite a bit of time exploring the streets taking photos. Our luck followed us to Porto and we arrived just after the exhibit featuring works by Joan Miro, opened at the Serralves Foundation. The works were confiscated from a bankrupt bank and had not previously been on public display. Joan Miro is a favourite artist of mine, and while his museum is Spain is even more impressive, this exhibit was full of very interesting works and we enjoyed a documentary of his artistic process. The museum also had several other fabulous exhibits and is situated in a lush garden. While in Porto, we had the extra special surprise of being joined by our dear friends for a night, on their way home from hiking in the Azores. We spent a day with them checking out the amazing bridges, architecture, a ride in the Funicular, and shared a great Thanksgiving dinner.
After Porto we took the train back to Lisbon and spent a luxurious night in the Memmo Alfama boutique hotel before heading to Morocco. Check out my Portugal Photos here: https://www.flickr.com/photos/8751723@N02/albums/72157673489976092