Lisbon was – I’m devastated to say – a huge disappointment. I’d always thought Portugal would be similar to her Mediterranean neighbours… you know, cosy little stone-paved alleyways leading to family-owned cafes and bodegas, a beautiful coastline and rolling countryside littered with abundant vineyards and olive groves. Taking a road trip from Porto through Duoro all the way down to Albufeira and then back up, visiting Lisbon on the way, however, was quite the antithesis of my Mediterranean dream.
Amongst the beauty of the coastline and the rolling hills, a lot of Portugal seemed to be just completely dilapidated. Every town or city – no matter how large or small – displayed more than their fair share of complete dilapidation. From whole buildings on the brink of collapse to tiny, deserted old shop fronts to mountains of crumbling, decorative tiles. It was sad to see. Lisbon was a great city to wander around for a day or so, and we visited THE BEST RESTAURANT EVER (Clube de Jornalistas – go there if you ever get a chance!). But would I recommend it…? Probably not. Sorry, Portugal!
Photo, as ever, by Charl van Rooy