Lisbon – our Portuguese apartment, tiles and laundry
We rent an apartment in Belém, Lisbon’s most monumental and historic hub. The area where you can witness the Age of Discovery, grandiose monuments and top museums.
We admittedly don’t live right next door to those pearls, still we are on Ajuda hill in Belém where I can brag about the closeness to some prime Portuguese property.
Ajuda hill is where the Portuguese king acquired a piece of land and build one of the most imposing residential palaces – Ajuda Palace… is the generic name. Maybe that is why it is off the beaten tourist track.
Okay, the truth is from one side, the palace seriously looks like a miserable ruin… which… does not matter at all because I was going to show you our residence anyhow.
Our area in Belém is very residential. And calm. It feels like being part of the neighbourhood family.
Within the micro-cosmos of our small street environment, I knew whose kids were running around, I fed and petted the neighbour’s dog, I watched the daily activities of those living around us (streets are narrow and windows facing each other, very close).
In turn, people watched us. And greeted. Which was nice.
Looking out the window. We can see the Tagus river!
The trash truck comes everyday and everyday there was a new trash pile at the corner.
Peek into our habitat where we resided for two weeks. Mum and Tomek all excited.
The living room. BTW, can you believe that mum is actually left handed but was forced to write with her right hand in school?! Medieval times in the 1950s.
Every flat has its unique items. Tomek with the apartment’s rangers’ hat.
Decoration was plenty. The apartment had many paintings and vintage furniture. Some of it was just aged and covered up but hey, I do that everyday to my face.
Just a pretty picture of mum checking her picture souvenirs.
We had a well sized kitchen and (sometimes) cooked at home.
Our everyday (very late) breakfasts looked like this. Mum prepared the daily fresh fruit salad (mango,papaya or any other fruits from the local grocery store) and she toasted each slice of Portuguese corn bread which turned crisp and tasty.
Further, we have a variety of delish goat cheese, olives (there is no meal without starter olives in Portugal), Portuguese fish paste spread and a very good (not to bitter not too sweet) Portuguese marmalade-jelly.
The jelly, in the top left corner, is made from Portuguese quinces, called marmelo. The English word marmalade comes from the Portuguese word marmelada, meaning quince preparation. It all makes sweet sense.
The evening meal. We got hooked onto Portuguese style starter tapas.
Portuguese wine is fantastic. Can’t wait to try vinho do porto in Porto!
We buy all groceries in the mini mercado (mini supermarket) around the corner.
Outdoor entertainment can be seeked on laundry days. Clothes dryers are a rarity.
Welcome to a world of laundry – free of electricity-sucking dryers.
The outdoor drying rack. There is no shame in showing off your knickers.
I can only imagine how well Lisbonians must schedule their washing and drying.
Let’s take a walk around our hilly neighbourhood. Lisbon’s twin statue of the Rio de Janeiro-Jesus and the sibling of the Golden Gate Bridge, in the distance.
First thing you might spot in Portugal are azulejos.
Azulejos are traditional Portuguese tiles.
Tile popularity for unicolour 50s tiles is fading.
Speaking of popularity. 21st century street art is obligatory. More so in times of crisis – as we noticed in Athens.
The outdoor laundry+graffiti combo.
I liked the post boxes. All have exactly the same classy correio (meaning mail) signs.
Some very antique doors still have the old lion head or hand doorknocker.
Portugal loves colours.
Contemporary residential architecture.
We are in the capital but it feels so rural with many small shops, local groceries and pastelaria cafés. Even the supermarkets on the shopping streets are tiny.
Lisbon. Well, I would say the capital is under construction.