A bit about me…
I am a Zimbabwean and have been living in Lisbon and loving every minute of it. I grew up and went to school in Harare, the capital city of Zimbabwe and have spent the majority of my life living in Africa (between Zimbabwe, South Africa and Swaziland) and this has engendered in me a love of open spaces, sunshine and hot weather.
After living in London for several years after attending University, I felt that I was losing my zest for life and so applied, through my company at the time, for a brief secondment to a country where the sun shines. I arrived here for 16 months and that was 4 years ago. I am no longer working for that company but have fallen in love with this city and so have decided to stay as long as I can.
How do you like being a Spotter?
Being a Spotter has been a great experience because it has made me look at the city through the eyes of someone seeing everything for the first time. I have had to look for things in the city that I think visitors, or other inhabitants, may be interested in and convert these things into words so people can read what I see.
When visiting Lisbon I would definitely recommend visiting as many of the outdoor spaces as possible and you absolutely must try a pastel de nata or pastel de belem (custard tart). As with any city, you need to be watchful of any valuables, especially on the 28E tram.
Can you describe a perfect day in your city?
A perfect day in Lisbon is one of the many where the sun shines and I am able to walk around the city absorbing the energy and the atmosphere that abounds. I would start out late morning and make my way slowly towards Miradouro de São Pedro de Alcantâra where I would sit at the café there enjoying a coffee and taking in the view over Baixa towards the Castelo and the river. After this, my route would take me through the streets of Principe Real and Sao Bento up to the Jardim da Estrela to wander through the leafy park.
After that I would take tram 28E (a great way to trundle through some of the old suburbs of Chiado and Baixa) up to the suburb of Graça in time for lunch at O Pitéu Graca. After lunch, I would recommend popping around the corner from the restaurant to see the Miradouro da Graça and then perhaps walking slowly across to either the Castelo or the Portas do Sol café to have some late afternoon drinks whilst watching the sun set. As you can see, perfection, in my mind involves lovely views, tasty food and lots of wandering around absorbing the essence of the city.
Is there something else you want to share?
Walking is definitely the best way to see Lisbon, especially in the older parts of the city where every turn can delight with a beautifully tiled building, or a picturesque cobbled street. A lot of these views are missed when using public transport as the streets are too narrow and winding for bigger vehicles to travel along. Lisbon is also an infinitely photogenic city, and the white marble buildings offset against the blue skies and the red roofs lends itself to some striking photographic images.