Monday, February 18, 2013

Short trip to Lisbon

When was the last time you did regret a decision? Just lately maybe? I did - on Friday night when I left Lisbon, the capitol city of Portugal.
It was company offsite time again! We usually work in smaller groups spread out over several countries and communicate mostly over phone, messenger and video meetings, but of course that is nothing like being all together at one place and that is why we enjoy our offsites always a lot. This time we all met in Lisbon from Wednesday to Friday last week. When we were planning I shortly considered to extend the trip on my own expense over the weekend but ended up not doing it because of all the traveling I have already booked and planned for this year. STUPID ME!


Lisabon turned out to be absolutely beautiful. The weather is warm and sunny, the sent of ocean is in the air, people are friendly, almost everybody speaks English and on top of it all it is very affordable. Could there be a better place for a taking a break from the endless Bavarian winter? STUPID ME!
We did not have much time since our schedule was of course packed with presentations and meetings, but the bus tour around the city we did was gorgeous and I so wish I would have had time to go back to all the beautiful places we were just passing by, but there was sadly no time left to do so. I need DEFINITELY go back to Lisbon really soon to fix my mistake and enjoy more of this great city! 

Sadly we had not many stops at our bus tour and I had a crappy seat for taking photos, but here are at least a few:

Park Eduardo VII 


Elevators & Inclines

Lisbon is built on hills and has a couple of inclines and elevators to allow easy access to the higher neighborhoods. 



Jerónimos Monastery

Here I had finally the chance  to play a bit with the camera in the stunningly beautiful evening light




Belém Tower (Tower of St. Vincent)

Very close to the monastary down at the water we came to this absolute magical place - The Tower of  St. Vincent also known as Torre de Belém. Dating back to the 16th century this tower has seen hundred thousands of ships leaving for an uncountable numbers of journeys  ...  I was blown away by the beauty and the mystic energy of the place. 



  



25 de Abril Bridge

And of course this one cannot be missed - after all we had a couple of people from San Francisco in the group and we had to show the bridge to them to avoid them getting homesick ;)

In fact the 25 de Abril Bridge was built by the same company that built the Oakland Bay Bridge. What I thought was really fascinating is that if you come from the city center the bridge looks indeed a lot like the Bay Bridge.  But if you come closer, recognize the red color and get the view from the Belém side it looks A LOT like the Golden Gate Bridge.  Either way .... it is beautiful!


HOT TIP:

If you travel to Lisbon and would like to go out for a fantastic dinner then check out the restaurants of the young and popular chef José Avillez. We spent a night at his Cantinho do Avillez and it was amazing. The place is small and relaxed. The service is super nice and the food is outstanding. We had the pleasure to try a huge number of delicious starters as well as the "pregos" - the steak sandwiches. And what looked like a really simple meal turned out to be fantastic. The bread is fresh baked and topped with a wonderful mix of oil, garlic and herbs and the steak was right to the point - medium and delicious. The lemon basil sorbet for dessert was such a killer that we begged the waiters for MORE (successfully). 

One more social network ...

Although I had promised myself that I would not join another social networking platform I finally gave in and just lately joined Instagramm. The slow and relatively uncomfortable image uploads to Facebook and Twitter was just too annoying. 

Here are some of my first Instagramm shots and I have to admit I enjoy playing with the filters ....




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