Monday, 8 January 2018

Christmas Time in Lisbon - Part I

Hello ladies and gents

I hope you had a fantastic New Year’s Eve and that you entered 2018 with optimism, joy and a head full of dreams.

Talking of dreams, I had an amazing vacation in early December. I’ve finally put together my post about my trip to Lisbon - the reason why it’s taken so long is because I took far too many photos and have been a bit busy.

First of all, Lisbon is incredible. You need to go if you’ve not been.

I love how Lisbon’s airport truly gets into the spirit of things… in particular its gorgeous Christmas trees. I think they’re the best I’ve seen at an airport in recent memory! What a great welcome!

During my stay in Lisbon, we went for a Christmas tour around Lisbon’s centre: Baixa, Terreiro do Paço, Chiado and Restauradores. It is such a pleasant place to go for a walk. Lisbon never looks more fairy tale than at Christmas and these photos are both fun and beautiful!

I was told that the city has 36 streets, avenues and squares that display Christmas decorations. There are more than two million lamps that illuminate Lisbon until the beginning of January.

I love how the Dona Maria II National Theatre sparkles

Avenida da Liberdade, Lisbon’s main boulevard, is the city’s version of Paris’s Champs Elysées. It’s a tree-lined avenue with cobbled mosaics connecting Praça dos Restauradores and Praça do Marquês de Pombal and it is known for its luxury stores.

Rossio - Christmas market in the square. We wandered around admiring the craft and food stalls; the dried fruit and nut stall was very popular and smelt wonderful!

The majestic Confeitaria National (founded in 1829) in Praça da Figueira is the place to go for a tea-break. It is an ornate pastry shop with cream-coloured walls trimmed in gold and overlooked by mirrored ceiling.

We could enjoy the brightness of the lights of the Portuguese House of Pastel de Bacalhau at Rua Augusta 106. Bacalhau is the national dish, which is dried and salted codfish. It’s often rehydrated and served as salt codfish cakes and many other dishes.

The Christmas tree of Praça do Comércio is 30 metres high, like a 10-storey building. Since December it has been illuminated by more than 86,000 LED lamps.

Chiado, Lisbon’s most elegant and trendiest neighbourhood, is where everyone meets for coffee, shopping or a drink before dinner.

Check out the pretty Christmas tree on the façade of the Chiado warehouses

We saw spontaneous outdoor performances

You only need walk along some of Lisbon’s most beautiful streets to see the capital all lit up!

The best King Cake (Bolo Rei) is sold at the Alcoa at Rua Garrett 36 in Chiado.

The King Cake is baked from soft, white dough, with raisins, various nuts and crystallised fruit, it is round, with a large hole in the centre, resembling a crown covered with crystallised and dried fruit. A dried fava bean is included within the cake and tradition says that whoever finds the fava bean has to pay for the Bolo Rei the following year. A small porcelain prize is also included within the cake.

During the month of December, several activities were planned for Terreiro do Paço, Rua Augusta, Rossio and Praça Luís de Camões. In addition to the lights, there were fireworks and concerts.

I did not spend Christmas Eve or New Year’s Eve in Lisbon, but I know they were magnificent.

Stay tuned for Part II