This latest guest post is brought to you by Marie Craus, the queen of strange satire and hilarious hints & tips. Check out her blog denialface.wordpress.com if you want to laugh a lot and also be a bit confused at the same time. My personal favourite is her most recent guide ‘How to write an essay’ which has really (not really) helped me with all of the stressful work I have to do at the moment. (Thanks!)
Here Marie has used her knowledge of Portugal’s capital city to somehow magically combine a travel guide to the best tourist spots, with a guide for escaped convicts (or other people on the run). “How the hell has she done that!?” I hear you ask, well my friends- read on.
Escape to Lisbon
So you’re in a bit of a jam. Due to various unfortunate, yet probably hilarious-in-hindsight reasons; you’ve been forced to go on the run. It happens to the best of us. Don’t worry too much about it. Just pack yourself an inconspicuous-looking bag and get running! If you don’t already know where to go, why not Lisbon? Searching for sun? Looking for love? Want to catch a bit of culture? Lisbon has all of those things, and it’s also quite far away! Here, I tell you everything you need to know about the heart of Portugal so that you can have the welcome escape from work, stress and mysterious threatening figures that you deserve.
As the capital city of Portugal, Lisbon is packed to the brim with an array of things to do and see – it has something for everyone.
Climb to Castelo de São Jorge
Take the Castelo de São Jorge, for instance. Built in the mid-11th century, this is a beautiful national monument with breath-taking views across the whole of Lisbon and the Tejo river. This is a truly remarkable area of the city, and one with a fascinating history. When you’re done looking around, take a seat in one of the castle’s many gardens and seating areas. Plus, if anybody ~in particular~ did so happen to chase you right out to the Iberian Peninsula (unlikely, but certainly possible – this is the Big Brother age, after all), this is the perfect vantage point to spot them in advance and quickly move along before they would even have had the chance to get near you!
Cross the 25th April Bridge
But if that’s not your thing, don’t worry! There are still plenty of other things to do and places to see, you might even find it hard to fit it all in! Definitely try to see the 25th April Bridge, though. Its size and vibrant colour is really quite something. It also pays to know that there are alternative routes out of the city, should things take a sinister turn, if you know what I’m saying. And just because you’re fleeing for your life isn’t to say you shouldn’t enjoy yourself! If you’re in the mood for a quiet afternoon, Lisbon is packed with cute little winding roads. It’s so easy to spend a couple of hours exploring the little eccentricities that its tiny back streets have to offer. Lined with beautifully picturesque Portuguese houses and shops, it’s difficult not to become enamoured.
Surf, Swim, and Jog
As for the sports lovers out there, don’t think that just because you’re on the run you’ll be forced into giving up your labour of love for the rest of your life.
Lisbon has an abundance of sporty aspects that’ll be sure to get that body moving, and not, in this instance, because you’re having to rapidly get away from something chasing you. Only a short train ride away there are a whole host of perfect little beach towns where you can surf and swim and jog to your heart’s desire. If you aren’t in such an adventurous mood though, Lisbon is notoriously quite a hilly place. You’ll still be sure to get those endorphin’s rising simply by taking a short trip to your local supermarket and back.
Don’t forget Belém!
Now, if I were to write this whole article telling you all about why Lisbon is the perfect place to flee to, and neglect to tell you about Belém, well I just wouldn’t be doing my job properly, and frankly I would probably deserve to be sued for all I’ve got, for my atrociously gross misconduct. So here we are: go to Belém! Go to Belém! Go to Belém! You will not regret it.
Filled with colour, beauty and culture, Belém is the place where every escapee needs to be. Upon mentioning Belém to any forward-thinking Lisbon lover, you will undoubtedly receive an immediate and enthusiastic recommendation of the area’s famous Pastéis de Belém. I, a forward-thinking Lisbon lover, am about to do just this. Get down to Belém and try one! I promise you, you will not regret it! Creamy and delicious, just one bite of these sultry little Portuguese pastries will immediately have you convulsing with delight, and every negative thought of leaving your former life and family behind will totally leave your mind. Bear in mind that these perfect little pockets of love are extremely popular, and with good reason. Before getting one, you will queue for what feels like hours and hours. But I assure you, it will all be worth it in the end.
Sounds too good to be true?
I’ll bet you’re thinking that a suitcase full of piles and piles of money is imperative to having a successful escape mission. It would certainly make sense. Fleeing to any city, never mind a big metropolis like Lisbon is bound to cost literal oodles of money. And I’d wager that leaving your whole life behind and starting completely afresh is a sure-fire way to land yourself in heaps of debt.
Well, surprise! Lisbon is known for its extremely reasonable cost of living! There, it’s perfectly reasonable to get by on just a fraction of what you might in say, London or Paris. Worrying about what to eat? Worry no more! In many of Lisbon’s chain supermarkets, you can easily buy a week’s worth of groceries for 10€ or less. And that’s including meat! If you’re not a great cook (don’t worry none of us are perfect), there are some lovely restaurants in the hidden corners of the city which charge some decent prices and keep you well fed all at the same time!
So here we have it. If you’re planning on escaping, escape to Lisbon – a city where old meets new, culture wins out, and a multitude of long and winding roads ensures a quick getaway at a moment’s notice, should necessity call for it. With its ageless beauty and friendly, welcoming nature, it’s nigh-on impossible not to feel at home as soon as you arrive. To quote the Eagles’ song Hotel California – You can check out, but you’ll never leave.