We also had an unscheduled overnight stay in Lisbon on the way back from the Gambia when a passenger fell ill on our plane but we didn't get to see anything of the city on that occasion.
Anyhow, when the chance to pet and house sit in the city of Lisbon presented itself we jumped at the chance and so it was that we found ourselves in this beautiful city for 10 days in June this year.
The apartment we stayed in was perfect for our needs, located in a quiet residential street but only a short walk to all the shops, market, parks and sights.
The two pooches we were charged with looking after were adorable and their routine easy which enabled us to fulfill our responsibility to them and explore the city at the same time. Result!
The local fruit and veg market was a 10 min walk from the apartment and this is where we headed first thing the day after our arrival. We were seriously impressed with the produce available, most of which was organic and the prices were very reasonable too!
In fact, throughout our stay in Lisbon we were pleased to find that most things were cheaper than other places we have visited in Europe and we could get groceries and eat out at very reasonable prices. The wines were also a surprise being very drinkable and cheap!
We explored the neighbourhood whilst walking the two dogs, and discovered the famous Lisbon custard tarts! After this we enjoyed these delicious pastries most days!!
Once we had familiarised ourselves with the local streets, found the bakery and grocery store plus parks and market we explored further afield. This was made easy as whilst the city is very, very hilly(!) it is compact and easy to navigate.
We visited the Baixa and Chiado districts as well as the Biarro Alto and Rato (the local area).
The following day we spent at the apartment recovering from all the walking and exploring the previous day! In the evening we wandered out and enjoyed a beautiful sunset and moonrise from a lovely vantage point overlooking the city. Nightcaps back in the small garden at the apartment finished the day off perfectly.
A late breakfast the following day and then we headed off to join one of the free guided discovery walks. The one we opted for was a walking tour of the Alfama district which we thoroughly enjoyed.
Yet more vino verde and pastel de nata (green wine and custard tarts!) and a relaxing evening in front of the tv!
We had done some research and discovered that the oldest vegetarian restaurant in Lisbon was close by so the next day we decided to lunch there. We were not disappointed. We enjoyed several courses of delicious home cooked food and met the lovely old lady who runs the place single handedly. A real gem of a place with great views of the streets outside. A very warm day at 30 degrees+ meant that there was little sight seeing after our scrummy lunch!