lisbon day 2


By our second full day in Lisbon, the penultimate day of our entire trip, reality was beginning to set in. The nomadic lifestyle we had become accustomed to over the past 5 months was about to come to an end; like all good things must. Determined not to let the future of uncertainty seep into our mindsets and attitudes, we set out to squeeze every last bit of enjoyment and adventure we could from this amazing city we were lucky enough to inhabit at that very moment. Cemeteries had become one of our favorite destinations while trying to get to know a new city, so we set out to visit one of the prettiest ones Lisbon has to offer: Prazeres Cemetery (Cemetery of ‘Pleasures,’ which is the name of the parish it originally served). It was created in the 1800’s after an outbreak of cholera swept the city, and many famous Portuguese celebrities are buried there. We enjoyed a quiet walk amongst the decorative above-ground tombs, each enclosed by a colorful door, in this place that seemed protected from the urban clatter waiting for us just outside its gates. From the cemetery we decided to take a joy ride on the entire length of tram line 28. It’s basically the quintessential tram ride of Lisbon; snaking its way through the tight, winding streets of some of the city’s most interesting neighborhoods. It’s a great way to get the lay of the land on a first visit to this awesome city!


As sunset rolled around we headed down to the main public transit hub to catch a ferry across the river Tagus to an industrial outcropping called Cacilhas. Walking along the river opposite of Lisbon we passed one abandoned warehouse after another, all adorned with graffiti and murals of varying quality. We passed fishermen and workers winding down the day, packing up their equipment and pausing to look West, where the sun was peaking through the clouds to cover the 25 de Abril Bridge in sharp, radiant beams. We were headed to the restaurant Ponto Final, a favorite memory of Addie’s visit to Lisbon 8 years earlier and one of the only reasons why a tourist would cross the river at the current progress of the area’s development. Aside from fabulous, authentic Portuguese food, Ponto Final provides quite a unique, and slightly nerve-wracking, atmosphere. Part of its footprint includes an old jetty that juts 15 or 20 meters out into the river, unequipped with guardrails of any kind. We were lucky enough to have the best seat in the house; the outermost table situated at the farthest corner of the jetty almost literally floating above the river a few meters below. We watched the light transition from gold to deep magenta as we ate delicious seafood and drank red wine; enjoying one of our trip’s final meals in a state of blissful disregard of everything other than that very place and time. A soft satisfaction buzzed around our heads by the time we got up and walked back toward the ferry. We greeted the cool night air timidly knowing that the last day of our travels sat waiting for us in the morning sun on its other side.