Friday 30 September 2016

Saturday 24 September 2016

A visual diary: 5 days in Lisbon

Anyone who's known me for more than a minute will be well-acquainted with my inbuilt need for regular spells of solitude. As sociable as I love to be – above all with my favourite few – my energy reserves swiftly deplete if I don't take (see: make) the time to get a little inward and prioritise self-nurturing once in a while. 
No doubt the rest of the introvert crew will be familiar with this feeling!

Although I do incorporate little solo "dates" into my everyday, over the past year or so they've been shoehorned in amongst non-stop adulting and general life madness: it's a modern luxury for us to make it our pure focus and intention. While I take none of the aforementioned madness for granted – I'm more than content with my present reality – I'd recently felt the ever more intense and urgent yearning to just. switch. off. from. everything. No screens, no work, no habitual routines, and most importantly for me: no social media. 

My recent Lisbon jaunt gave me just that: A total mind/body/soul kinda reset, made up of solo exploring, reading, journaling, morning runs, enough sleep (a rare occurrence of late), amazing foods and even a spot of sun worshipping. When it comes to much-craved getaway time, it really is a matter of quality > quantity. 


Since I only went very loosely by the (intentionally few) recommendations I sought beforehand, my list of Lisbon loves is by no means exhaustive, but I definitely hit upon a bunch of standout spots worth shouting about. 
Sharing is caring n all that. 

Liv'in Hostel

The space I called "home" during my stay, Liv'in deserves a star for each of the five nights I stayed there. Amazing staff, sweet suites (I had my own little mezzanine room), ideal location and a super sociable setup. I'll be back.

Just a five minute walk from my accommodation, Fábrica served the best brew I had in the city by far. A must-go for anybody that loves a fine bean. 

LX Factory

A concentrated crop of creative outlets and general delights, LX is a must-see for little culture/coffee nerds like myself. Particularly recommendable are: Wish (slow coffee house and concept store), Café na Fábrica (lovely location for food/bevs), Mag (cute container feat. fabulous publications) and Ler Devagar (iconic-looking bookstore – dreamy to peruse). Special mention goes to the gorgeous Sunday market too, where I picked up the most adorable pins and patches. 

Just a little further down from LX Factory is darlin' district Belém, set right by the water and full of cute cultural nooks. While there, I hit upon: Second Chance (petite outlet selling 50 cent coffee, handmade illustrations and second hand garms), MAAT (Museum of Art, Architecture and Technology) and the quaint circular chair constructs, where I perched peacefully for a good hour.

This photogenic town was one of the most recommended spots I garnered before I left, and it was easy to see why! With historical, cultural and scenic goodies in abundance, Sintra made for quite the day trip (and people watching stint). 

My final find of the trip, I fuelled up here before catching my flight back to Berlin – and was so happy I did. Their plant-based lunch buffet and super fresh juice were a delight, not to mention their garden area (where I closed my eyes and pretended I didn't need to rush off to the airport immediately afterwards). 

Hands down one of my favourite day excursions (I hopped on the train there two days in a row). Apart from scoring a sunny glow and the most delectable dark chocolate gelato, this beautiful coastal town is also home to what quickly became my most-loved food find of the trip (see below). 

Very aptly named, this veggie dreamland comprises of the most gorgeous rooftop overlooking Cascais and amazing – amazing – plant-based plates, sweet treats, fresh juices and customer service. The "Garden Mezze" plate was everything. 

While I appreciate that solitary vacays perhaps aren't everyone's idea of a good time, I will gently stress the unadulterated bliss and respite that can be achieved through solo wanderings (and wonderings). And if you're dithering about where to seek that spell of single-handed solace, Lisbon should fo sho make it onto your hit list.