I landed on Friday night having travelled for 20 hours Hong Kong - Paris - Lisbon. I gave up coffee a while ago after reaching a triple espresso stage and realizing that coffee was starting to give me headaches, yet with all the jetlagging it seemed coffee was my only option. Upon arrival on Friday night I changed in 15 minutes, came out for 30 minutes, saw the bride to be and went back to the hotel where I passed out :)
Saturday the wedding day I woke up at 6.45 am - Ooohhhhhh ze evil jet lag; yet what it meant is that I could explore the city without tourists from 7.30 am until lunchtime. I have only been to Lisbon once before and remember it as a city full of nostalgia for the glorious days when Portugal was an empire and Vasco da Gama has just embarked on his travels, Athens gave me a similar feeling. An old empire.
This time though instead of the feeling of charming and nostalgic decay, the city felt new, strong, growing. The old streets and 300 year old buildings were still there, as the were the famous cafes and pastelerias yet there were new shops and galleries everywhere. Despite Portugal going through a really tough time economically, the city felt full of movement and creative change.
As I walked onto the streets the first thing that struck me, were the beautiful blue skies, Hong Kong pollution and typhoons mean that blue skies become a rarity. There was a freshness in the air, the city was just waking up. An agricultural fair was set up on the main street and it was quite surreal yet beautiful to find a small field of sunflowers, some cows and a few sheep in the middle of Lisbon.
The world was slowly waking up in front of my eyes and I dissolved into the fabric of the city , got lost in the streets forgot the concrete jungle of Hong Kong and just walked. I tried to take in every image, every taste and smell: the Cafes with freshly brewed coffee, monuments, cobbled streets with the winding tram ways and the glimpses of the ocean, Lisbon reminded me again what I miss about Europe.
I walked and walked and tried the delicious Portuguese coffee and drooled over the pastries, I went to the two notorious cafes CAFÉ A BRASILEIRA and Nicolas, but I did prefer the newer KAFFEEHAUS though: less of an institution more of a fresh, cosy and quirky coffee place, set up by an Austrian girl in my favourite area of Lisbon called Chiado.
It was in Chiado, where I found the coolest concept store called VOA with the most perfect selection of beach towels, vintage bath stuffs, lights, kitchenware, a super chic flower shop, delicious in house cafe with yummy-looking carrot cake and a perfect selection of books on art, design and food and a mini deli with tea and organic honey and jam: basically pretty much my idea of heaven.
I ran by a modern art museum afterwards, stumbled upon a vintage street book fair and bumped into a super stylish couple from France (check out the girls summer chic style on the photos, love her shorts and loafers) and did a little shopping at Zara (it's much cheaper in Europe).
As I looked at my watch it was time to rush back to the hotel to take some sun with my friends (which I have not seem in far too long) and get dressed for the wedding!
And what a beautiful wedding it was!
Outfit: skirt D&G, cropped top H&M, clutch self made, shoes ZARA, bracelets Hermes, sunglasses Raybans