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Lisbon…up and down the town

A few days ago we joined up in Lisbon for my first tour of the summer.  This is a pretty easy gig!  There are six of us touring Portugal and southern Spain for a few days.  The group consists of two old farts (me and Gerry), three guys ages 18-24 (Jay, Ryan, and Preston), and Natalie.

Lisbon is a great city.  It really consists of three towns in one.  Imagine two hills with a deep valley between them running out to the river, harbor, and finally ocean.  So now that you´ve got a mental picture of the city here are the details.  The valley contains the ¨new¨town which was built in the years following a 1795 earthquake.  On one hill is the Barrio Alto area, home to local people, bars, shopping centers, and traditional folk singing, known as Fado.  Across the valley is the Alfama area home to medieval Lisbon, crooked streets, a castle, and rugged sailor´s quarters from centuries past.

On our first night we visited the castle for great views of the city, harbor, and ocean beyond.  It was kind of funny that I bargained for a¨family entrance¨ with Gerry being the grandpa, me the father, Natalie the wife, and our three boys!  We got in for half price and the ticket salesman got a kick out of it too.

After the castle we found a great little tapas bar and restaurant called Resto.  It was situated in a courtyard.  Funky lamps hung from tree with electrical wiring strung about like silly string, none of which would ever meet electrical code back home.  This was my kind of place where you can sit back with a drink and a friend and enjoy the ambiance of the city. We ordered the local fresh white wine known as Vinho Verde and an assortment of Tapas.  Our waitress, Susannah, helped us out all night with the menu and insider tips on Lisbon´s nightlife and culture.  We had plans to explore elsewhere, but why!  This was a great evening. 

I think it was here that Ryan, Jay, and Preston dreamed up a new slogan for my tours…

¨Take a BITE OUT OF EUROPE¨ with David McGuffin´s Exploring Europe.

What do you think?

About the Author

David McGuffin established David McGuffin’s Exploring Europe, Inc. in 2001 to formally offer European tours. Since then, he has taken several thousand satisfied customers on memorable and educational tours to Europe.

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