A vacation dream realized

Saturday, December 3, 2016

It feels like ages ago, but maybe it’s better I’ve taken so long to put together this blog post about our summer vacation. It feels right to do it now, because as the weather becomes increasingly cold and gray, looking at pictures of a sunny destination makes me happy.

My husband and I talked about visiting Portugal for years! He is of Portuguese descent and has very fond memories of visiting as a child. But the summers passed, we had kids, booked other destinations, just never Portugal. But this year it finally happened, we spent a glorious 14 days exploring Lisbon and a bit of the Algarve coast.

The beach stay in Portimao on the Algarve Coast gave us the opportunity to meet friends, relax, have delicious food, talk late into the night over a glass of wine while listening to the rhythmic crash of the waves on the shore and taking deep breaths of salty ocean air. I did not want that week to end. We spent the days lazing around at the beach, building sandcastles, jumping head-first into waves. We took naps. I read a book and did some knitting. I completed disconnected, it felt so great to slow down and forget about everything, live in the moment.

Returning to Lisbon, we adopted a quicker pace. We stayed in a tiny but adorable apartment in the old part of town, Alfama. A perfect location in my opinion, it puts you in the heart of the city. I loved hearing the sounds of all the goings-on drifting in the open windows. At night, while everyone else was asleep, I’d lay awake (as I found out white wine gives me insomnia) listening to the clinking of dishes from the restaurants close-by, the excited chatter of locals and tourists alike, the fado singers entertaining guests. Similarly, early mornings were signaled by the clattering of roller suitcases over cobblestones, tourists departing or arriving, the smell of freshly baked pasteis nata wafting through the alleys.

We took our time exploring different neighborhoods, all of which have a distinct charm and their own vibe. There are countless things I loved about the city,  the black and white cobblestone streets with all its mosaics, the ceramic tiled colorful buildings, the lemon tree lined streets, the hidden alleys, the brilliant blue skies, the viewpoints dotted all over the seven hills that make up the city, the funiculars which are national treasures, the fresh sea food, I could go on and on. There are so many more corners that have been left unexplored and that I cannot wait to discover one day.

I took countless pictures and I will leave you here with a  sampling of my favourites.

All images via my Instagram account.


  1. What a stunning place! Lisbon is on my bucket list :) Everyone who visited it wants to come back and I can see one - sunny, cozy and with beautiful architecture - what not to love... Thank you for this visual walk, I did enjoy it...

    1. Thank you Alina, it really is a lovely place to visit and stay, I cannot wait to go back!

  2. Beautiful beautiful photos!!! What a lovely memory.

    1. Thank you Steph, it really is. Part of me was afraid that the actual place would not live up to the hype, but it certainly did!