Best of 2017 Travels

Sightseeing. The year began with an Arctic snap, which meant the Balaton was almost completely frozen over, and thus just in the perfect state for my tastes- its summery outing as a sea instead of a sea will stay forever alien to someone who grew up with an actual sea- it’s dark yes, and filled…

Barlove: Fábrica Coffee Roasters

Finding good coffee in a foreign town is never easy. You may look at your map, see a lot of little cups marking the spot here and there and go: how hard can it be? Well, very hard. There are three basic possibilities: the coffee capital, such as Berlin or London, where there are so…

Bookstore Ramblings- Lisbon’s Ler Devagar

I am sure you have been missing the litany of my defeats, so here comes another one, just to keep things exciting: I don’t speak Portuguese. Now this, obviously, is true of many people, but perhaps mine is made worse by a context that, for once, pertains to something I can do: I speak other…

Day Trip to Paradise: Sintra and Cabo da Roca

Lisbon is a city of only half a million people in the heart of an urban conglomerate of almost three, so there are plenty of exciting day trips to be made. Possibly the best one is to Sintra and Cabo da Roca, though, as the Lisbon to Sintra line is one of the most crowded…

Splendour on the Estuary- Lisbon Guide Part Three

What to see. When a bit of a city looks like a chessboard, it is highly likely some luminary’s fever dream, and in keeping with the maxim, the Baixa was thought up by the Marquess de Pombal, the minister of Joseph I of Portugal, in the wake of the devastating quake of 1755- being on…

Beer Fiends in Wine Country- Lisbon Guide Part Two

What to eat and drink. For those who have chanced on this blog before, it’s perhaps clear that we are firmly positioned on the beer side of life, so any judgement passed on wine will be of the lay kind. And for the lay wine drinker Lisbon is paradise. The variety of wines, both red…

Plenty of Stairways to Heaven- Lisbon Guide Part One

How to get there and around.  Unless you happen to live in the western bit of Spain or are Vasco da Gama returning with galleons laden with gold and spices, flying seems the best idea. Lisbon Portela airport is incredibly pleasantly located within the city limits, quite a rarity these days, and all central locations…

An Impractical Guide to Lisbon

Lisbon then is at the end of the world, on the edge of it, Lisbon is the fear of toppling over into the abyss of what you do not yet know. Lisbon is the city of dozens of sad poets walking the pavements shiny with the mild rain of the Mediterranean, which never pierces the…