Forgive me, Reader.
For I am apparently incapable of posting travel photos unless they were taken over a year ago. And since so much time has elapsed, I am also terrible at coming up with words to accompany them.
I hadn’t planned on posting these photos, initially. I’ve been to Lisbon before, and I’ve blogged about it. But this trip was entirely different. This trip was the antithesis to the trip I took in 2013. That trip was taken with my partner at the time, and given our tight budget and the whole couple dynamic, it felt as though the trip was characterized by constraints. This trip, on the other hand, felt much the opposite. I travelled with an extremely close friend, a male friend, and the dynamic was on a-whole-nother level. What was so remarkable to me was the lack of pressure that I felt. There was no pressure to create romantic moments, or to have a trip worthy of being a relationship milestone. There was no pressure to conform to the other person’s agenda, or to narrow down the itinerary to our collective preferences, as spending some days apart was also an easy option. (In the end we only spent one afternoon apart – it didn’t hurt that we value the same things when it comes to vacations. ;) Rather than feeling like I had to cater to his preferences, I felt free to openly state mine. We were not a couple, but we were a team.
Plus, we did a fair amount of research ahead of time and as a result had plenty of solid recommendations to go on. This time around, I feel like I really got to know Lisbon for the fantastic little city that it is.
There’s a certain comfort in having people in your life who know your past, who know who you were and have witnessed your evolution into the person you are today. I feel that this additional context is essential to truly understanding a person. Just today Ryan reminded me of a little fact that I don’t think about very often – that I had once planned on being a lawyer and had even studied for the LSAT. How many memories and details fade away just because we don’t have another person there to remind us of them? I don’t want my personal history to just be the product of my selective memory.
And that’s another reason why this trip, and this friendship with Anders means so very much to me. When you break up with someone you’ve been with for a while, it can feel like the majority of your identity washes away. You don’t hang out at the same bars anymore. You don’t see the same people around anymore. You lose touch with your former self, and the people who knew that person. I made scores of friends my first few years in Berlin, but somehow, most of them have in one way or another drifted away. Anders is one of the few friends I made my first year living in Berlin who remains a strong and meaningful presence in my life. And whatever I take away from my time living here, I am thankful that his friendship will be part of it.
- Dinner at Principe do Calhariz.
- Nightcap at Vinharia, a hipstery sort of winery/wine bar.
- Self-guided sightseeing tour (thanks, Andy!). Stops included: Praça da Figueira, São Carlos Opera House.
- Getting lit at Mercado da Ribeira, a food market so delicious that we went back two more times! Had amazing salmon tartar, ceviche, and octopus salad.
- Continuation of our self-guided sightseeing tour. Stops included: trippy office building we stumbled upon not far from the market, Assembleia da Republica, Jardim da Estrela, and an aqueduct (Aqueduto das Águas Livres) that sounded really cool in theory but was kind of underwhelming. Took us way out to the outskirts though!
- Dinner at the justifiably hyped Cervejaria Ramiro, where we had tiger prawns so gigantic and so sweet that I shed tears of joy.