Sunday, August 15, 2010

Lisbon My Home Town

Great video with shots of the 28 tram that passes my front door on its travels through the city Lisbon.. See it the next time you are here or take a tour with me - we follow the tram through the Alfama on my private guided tour included in the Lisbon highlights sightseeing tour - don't miss it if you visit or are just on a cruise stop over for the day.

Lisbon from alvaro tapia hidalgo on Vimeo.




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Saturday, August 14, 2010

Lisbon top 10 Travel Destinations

Lisbon Portugal
Lisbon
The slippery streets of connecting the bars of Barrio Alto, sardines cooking uncovered at every corner. The winding passageways adrift in Fado music leading to the Moorish castle atop the Alfama district. The immense festivals that bring visitors from all over the continent. Lisbon might not be the first capital you think of when planning a trip to Europe, but it will rank high on anyone's list of best European travel destinations and is often regarded as one of the top travel destinations around the world.
 Lisbon CastleImage via Wikipedia
When in Lisbon visit the many museums in the city. The Gulbenkian Museum has an incredible collection of art. Art lovers should also visit the Berardo Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art during Lisbon travel. The National Azulejo Museum, Coach Museum or Tile Museum, should be visited during Lisbon vacations. It has a wonderful collection of religious, decorative tiles many which were made in Lisbon Portugal.
 Tiles (c.1660) in the National Tile Museum in ...Image via Wikipedia
Discover the city’s narrow streets and many barrio’s, or quarters, that have made Lisbon tourism famous. With over 20 centuries of history Lisbon travel offers guests a look back into the past that shaped the country. The old quarters of Mouraria and Castelo are perfect for interesting day trips. Lisbon travel is excellent in June as the streets come refreshingly alive with feats that honor patron saints. People come out in festive moods and walk through medieval streets celebrating. Alfama is also a great area to celebrate in at this time of year. It’s one of the biggest tourist attractions and one of the oldest quarters of the city.
View of Alfama from the Miradouro of Santa Luz...Image via Wikipedia
Lisbon vacations should include a walk to the Tagus River where there are a variety of leisure areas and historical monuments to see. Here you can view the Torre de Belem in all her glory and get great views of the city. A short walk from the tower is the Mosteiro dos Jeronimos which is a highlight of Lisbon tourism. This historic monastery’s architecture and mere presence awe people during Lisbon vacations.
 Seven Wonders of PortugalImage via Wikipedia
When in this area of Lisbon travel to the Museu Nacional de Arte Antiga and view impressive antique art pieces.

Take a walk to the Moorish Sao Jorge Castle and see breathtaking views of the city below. Lisbon vacations along the coast offer fine sandy beaches at Estoril and Cascais as well as old fishing villages such as Sesimbra. For a beautiful nautical view hop on a boat ride along the Tagus or Sado and watch Lisbon life from the sea.
 Centre of Cascais.Image via Wikipedia


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Friday, August 13, 2010

Grilled Swordfish Perfect Lisbon Lunch

#97460 - Swordfish Steak with Salt Pepper and Coriander: "199834
Hot days in Lisbon call for a light and tasty lunch along with that glass of cool vinho verde. Here is a great suggestion to try to remind you of your trip or to get you in the mood for a visit to Portugal's number 1 city.
Sustainable swordfish steak seasoned with salt, pepper and coriander then grilled and topped with butter, cilantro leaves and lime.
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Summer in the City Lisbon Style

Lisbon’s Top 5 Summer Rooftop Terraces: "
Because summer in Lisbon lasts until October, there’s still plenty of time to enjoy some of the best spots of the season. Of the many terraces in the city (from outdoor cafés to riverfront restaurants), the ones to seek this summer are high up on the rooftops, offering views, cooler air, drinks, and relaxation after a day of sightseeing, meetings, or work:
SKY BAR
Sky Bar, Tivoli Lisboa Hotel
It was one of the most talked-about bars last summer and it’s back this year. The views alone are worth a visit, but then there is also a good variety of cocktails (including a couple of non-alcoholic choices), soups, salads, wraps and noodles. It’s found at the top of the Tivoli Lisboa Hotel and it’s especially recommended late in the afternoon, staying for a light dinner as the sun sets followed by late-night cocktails.
BRASSERIE ROSSIO
Brasserie Rossio
It’s one of Lisbon’s newest restaurants in one of the city’s newest hotels (Altis Avenida). So not too many people know that from here there are beautiful views of downtown all the way to the river, standing above Rossio Station and Restauradores Square. Although the dining area is indoors (but still offering views through its glassed walls), tables and chairs have been placed on the terrace so you can enjoy a light meal or simply a drink at any time of the day. And that’s open to everyone, including non-hotel guests.
NH LIBERDADE
NH Liberdade Hotel
Right in the center of Lisbon’s busiest avenue, Avenida da Liberdade, is one of the city’s top secrets. It’s on the top floor of the NH Liberdade Hotel, a terrace with a pool open to non-hotel guests. For 20 euros (quite reasonable for a hotel pool in the city center), you can spend the day diving and swimming surrounded by city views. When you need to regain some energy, there are salads, sandwiches, juices and beer to enjoy poolside until the sun sets.
TERRACE
Terrace, Bairro Alto Hotel
It’s quite small and all the seats are usually taken when you get there, but it’s worth waiting for a spot at this rooftop bar in the Bairro Alto Hotel. Recommended for the afternoon, the drink to get on the hottest days is the “granizado,” a crushed ice and fruit blend.
ENTRETANTO
Entretanto Bar, Hotel do Chiado
Perhaps the best-known of all Lisbon’s rooftop terraces, “Entretanto” of the Hotel do Chiado is nontheless looking to surprise its guests. It’s offering a “happy hour” late in the afternoon which actually lasts for more than 60 minutes, allowing you to enjoy special drinks and snacks at more reasonable prices. To accompany them are fantastic city views, from the castle to the top of the triumphal arch of Comercio Square.
Related posts:
  1. Lisbon’s Best Rooftop Bars In a city so stunningly sited down a number of...
  2. Sky Bar: A New Chill Out Lounge Overlooking Lisbon This Summer When you want to go for a drink while overlooking...
  3. Enjoying Moonlit Lisbon at “Portas do Sol” “Portas do Sol” may mean “the sun’s gateway,” but it’s...
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Balsamic Lemonade Vodka Cocktail

#97461 - Balsamic Lemonade Vodka Cocktail: "199841
Balsamic Lemonade + Vodka = A Perfect Summertime Cocktail! A great alternative to a Vinho Verde cooler on these hot days of Summer here in Lisbon.

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Tuesday, August 10, 2010

To Kiss or Not to Kiss

To Kiss or Not to Kiss: Top 10 Tips for Greeting Fellow Europeans: "






1. Learning a Few Key Phrases

Greetings can take many forms, but there is nothing more universally appreciated than an attempt to engage a wine lover in their native language. “A trick to engage someone [in Greece] is to use some Greek words, even just a basic Kalimera (good morning) or Kalispera (good evening) will work wonders,” says Markus Stolz of Elloinos.com .

Suggestion: For those of you who are currently breaking out in hives, panicking that you’ll butcher said language into a mangled pile of unrecognizable verbal goo, rest assured that you’re far from a pioneer. Many before you have mistakenly mispronounced greetings such as, “Calimari” for “Kalimera”, leaving your new Greek friends looking rather befuddled at your greeting of “Fried squid”! No harm done, though, and generally a good laugh will be had by all. The key to success is through practice, and well…failure. So keep at it!



2. The Solid Handshake

After verbal greetings, the handshake is by far the most common form of greeting among both males and females in Europe. This is especially true for the first meeting. “In England, adults, across all levels of society, handshake on greeting and on parting. Small digression here. I read an interesting book on body language, which included handshakes: UK is a brisk couple of shakes, American is a long pump-action that can be disconcerting to Brits and Europeans who want to get on with life, German is a single hard downward yank,” states Kathryn McWhirter & Charles Metcalfe.

Suggestion: My advice is to go for the firm grasp instead of the wet noodle handshake. I would rather put my hand on ice after having it broken in 15 places than feeling as if I just shook hands with overcooked udon. And if you’re wondering whether Obama had any impact in spreading the fist bump throughout Europe, the answer would be emphatically, no! Though the secret handshake is making a fabulous comeback. Just remember, go into every handshake with strength and confidence.



3. Air Kissing

There are many places throughout Europe that a kiss on either cheek is common when greeting one another, particularly after the first meeting. In Spain, Portugal and Italy, for example, it is common to brush cheeks and make a kissing sound – though if the mood strikes, don’t be surprised if lips “magically” find their way on bare cheeks. Per Karlsson of BKwine.com suggests that, “in France, the lips never (never!) touch anything, nor cheek, nor lips. You touch cheeks and make a kissing sound!”

Suggestion: Remember that the air kissing sound should never make someone fear that an industrial sized vacuum is about to suck their brains out, nor should it be reminiscent of a nail gun. Between both extremes lies the perfect auditory pitch to make your new international friend come back for seconds.



4. Kissing Wars

If a culture embraces kissing as a form of greeting, one of the most difficult lessons is to learn how many and to whom! “In the south of France, where I live, it’s three, in Burgundy, the Jura and Paris (Bordeaux and Champagne too, I’m sure) it’s two. In some regions just outside of Paris, the number is four!!? That is exasperating as by the time you are done you practically have bruises on your cheek,” says Amy Lillard of La Gramiere.

Suggestion: Never feel embarrassed to simply ask, “So…are you more of a double kisser or are we aiming to break the Guinness Book of World Records here?” And for those of you who walk away with rather unsightly black and blue marks from people not abiding by the “no touching” principal in the last lesson, never hesitate to reinvigorate those rosy cheeks by drinking some Iberian wine. You’ll be amazed at the results!



5. Right, Left and Backwards

Just to make your life more difficult, if knowing how many kisses, and to whom, in which culture, is confusing enough, try remembering what side to start on! In Italy, you start right to left, but “…in Portugal, a woman usually adds a quick kiss on both cheeks (from your left to your right), but if you already know the person for a long time, a kiss and a quick hug will do the trick, ” says Jose Eduardo Silvia of Cortes de Cima.

Suggestion: Though there is a push to have the EU regulate the side for which one starts the kissing process in Europe, it has yet to gain traction. In part, this is because there a certain strategic advantage in keeping the surrounding countries in the dark as to which side you’re going to start on. So rest assured that everyone else is as confused as you are. Pick a pattern and stick with it.

6. Embrace Your Metrosexual Side

There are countries, and regions, throughout Europe where men greet one another with kisses on either cheek. “Unlike Portugal, Italian men kiss between them. This was a teachable moment when an Italian guy in the US suddenly started kissing me. I was so shocked that I stood speechless for several seconds,” confesses Oscar Quevedo of Quevedo Port Wine.

Suggestion: I’m sure you all realize that this norm was actually devised by hot Italian women who wanted their men to sympathize with their suffering when brushing up against scruffy, unshaven beards. So when you men walk away red, irritated and wishing for a bottle of cool Aloe Vera, know that females internationally are smiling with secret vengeance. And remember, if it’s good enough for David Beckham, it’s good enough for you.



7. When Continents Collide

Ironically, the number one situation where I find myself completely at a lost is when meeting a fellow expat. I’m generally the idiot who usually kisses when I’m supposed to hug, hug when I supposed to kiss, and shake hands when a wave is sufficient. “Sometimes if an expat meets another expat, it’s hard to gauge the correct number of kisses. If one wants to kiss more, just go ahead. We usually laugh about it afterwards!” says Thomas Perry of Inside Rioja.

Suggestion: Regardless if you’re meeting a German in Spain, a Spaniard in Norway or a Norwegian in France, be prepared to make a complete ass out of yourself no matter what you do.



8. Women Rule!

As a general rule, women have the universal power to dictate proximity. “The woman has to take charge to avoid any awkwardness…In Europe, I don’t have many problems. I usually kiss women and shake hands with men, especially in Southern Europe where a misunderstanding is common (heard of Latin lovers?). In Northern Europe, I just shake hands, period! In the States, I shake hand first and then I usually get “grabbed” at the end for a kiss,” admits Evelyne Resnick of Wine Brands Blog.

Suggestion: I have no idea where men learn the sly handshake to kiss maneuver, but I’ll admit that I’ve fallen prey to it every time! Women, watch out! If a guy looks suspiciously like John Travolta in “Staying Alive” and they start with the “innocent” hand extension, immediately thwart them with a curtsy. They’ll never know what hit them.



9. There are No Rules!

As much as I would love to tell you exactly what to do in each and every situation, greetings can vary dependent on one’s age, class, culture, region or personality. Hence, I prefer to take Wink Lorch‘s advice, “This is not an exact science at all and I’ve learned not to be embarrassed because I often get it ‘wrong’ and in the end, it doesn’t really matter as long as you smile.” Beautifully stated and completely accurate!

Suggestion: As much as you should be sensitive to cultural norms, realize that we’ve all unintentionally made out with our new international friends. Simply look at it as the beginning of a beautiful friendship.



10. Share your experiences!

Do you have a good story about greeting someone from another culture? Tell us in the comments below!



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Monday, August 9, 2010

Temperamento New Lisbon Gourmet

“Temperamento”: A New Shop for Contemporary Portuguese Crafts and Gourmet Products in Lisbon: "






Temperamento, Lisbon

Taking home a souvenir from Lisbon no longer has to be from the typical kitsch shops so common around the world. There are now several places in the city offering more authentic choices and original items, actually made in Portugal by local artists and companies.

The newest one is “Temperamento” downtown, a small space that’s big on the quality of the selection of crafts and gourmet products. These are products not just targeted at tourists but also at the local population, telling stories of Portuguese traditions and craftsmanship much appreciated by those with a more refined taste.

There are of course the famous Portuguese soaps and fragranced candles of the Portus Cale brand, together with the traditional biscuits, olive oils, jams, and ceramics and design pieces by young Portuguese artists.

Unlike many shops in the neighborhood, this one is open on Saturdays.

Temperamento, Lisbon

Temperamento, Lisbon

Address: Rua da Madalena, 182B (Baixa)

Telephone: (+351) 218 876 208

Website: www.temperamento.pt

Temperamento, Lisbon




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Cork onYour Lisbon Shopping List?

Making Your Lisbon Shopping List? Put Cork In It: "


Cork & Co., Lisbon

Portugal’s biggest export is not wine or shoes, it’s cork. This is the world’s biggest cork-producing country, supplying around 70% of it. That all-natural material comes mostly from the Alentejo region, and can be molded into a variety of products. A new shop in Lisbon’s Bairro Alto shows that this fully recyclable material is quickly becoming one of Portugal’s trademarks, especially in the design world. New York’s MoMA recently presented some of the best of Portuguese design, and many of the selected pieces were made with cork. You can now see many of those examples at the new “Cork & Co.” shop, offering fashion accessories and furniture all made with that very Portuguese material. These are all products with unique and exceptional characteristics, and entirely made in Portugal. On a trip to Lisbon this is a place to include in your itinerary if you’re looking for local creativity, high-quality eco-friendly products, and distinctive design.

The address is number 10 of Rua das Salgadeiras, just around the corner from Camões Square. This being Bairro Alto, it opens late and stays open at night — 2PM-10PM Monday to Wednesday, and 2PM to 11PM Thursday to Saturday. The phone number is (+351) 216 090 231

Cork & Co., Lisbon

Cork & Co., Lisbon






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Lisbon Summer in the City

Lisbon’s Top 5 Summer Rooftop Terraces: "


Because summer in Lisbon lasts until October, there’s still plenty of time to enjoy some of the best spots of the season. Of the many terraces in the city (from outdoor cafés to riverfront restaurants), the ones to seek this summer are high up on the rooftops, offering views, cooler air, drinks, and relaxation after a day of sightseeing, meetings, or work:

SKY BAR

Sky Bar, Tivoli Lisboa Hotel

It was one of the most talked-about bars last summer and it’s back this year. The views alone are worth a visit, but then there is also a good variety of cocktails (including a couple of non-alcoholic choices), soups, salads, wraps and noodles. It’s found at the top of the Tivoli Lisboa Hotel and it’s especially recommended late in the afternoon, staying for a light dinner as the sun sets followed by late-night cocktails.

BRASSERIE ROSSIO

Brasserie Rossio

It’s one of Lisbon’s newest restaurants in one of the city’s newest hotels (Altis Avenida). So not too many people know that from here there are beautiful views of downtown all the way to the river, standing above Rossio Station and Restauradores Square. Although the dining area is indoors (but still offering views through its glassed walls), tables and chairs have been placed on the terrace so you can enjoy a light meal or simply a drink at any time of the day. And that’s open to everyone, including non-hotel guests.

NH LIBERDADE

NH Liberdade Hotel

Right in the center of Lisbon’s busiest avenue, Avenida da Liberdade, is one of the city’s top secrets. It’s on the top floor of the NH Liberdade Hotel, a terrace with a pool open to non-hotel guests. For 20 euros (quite reasonable for a hotel pool in the city center), you can spend the day diving and swimming surrounded by city views. When you need to regain some energy, there are salads, sandwiches, juices and beer to enjoy poolside until the sun sets.

TERRACE

Terrace, Bairro Alto Hotel

It’s quite small and all the seats are usually taken when you get there, but it’s worth waiting for a spot at this rooftop bar in the Bairro Alto Hotel. Recommended for the afternoon, the drink to get on the hottest days is the “granizado,” a crushed ice and fruit blend.

ENTRETANTO

Entretanto Bar, Hotel do Chiado

Perhaps the best-known of all Lisbon’s rooftop terraces, “Entretanto” of the Hotel do Chiado is nontheless looking to surprise its guests. It’s offering a “happy hour” late in the afternoon which actually lasts for more than 60 minutes, allowing you to enjoy special drinks and snacks at more reasonable prices. To accompany them are fantastic city views, from the castle to the top of the triumphal arch of Comercio Square.
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