I arrived in Lisbon late in the afternoon on a pleasant April day after a flight from Amsterdam. My taxi drops me at my address, after what seemed a very long drive. I have rented an apartment for my twelve day stay. It’s a very old three story building, with three doorbells. I ring them all. No answer.
A voice from around the corner: “Mr. George! Mr. George!” and here is Ana Paula, the owner. We go around the corner and stop in at Leitaria Confianca.
Owned by Ana Paula, it’s a combination variety store, coffee shop, restaurant and neighbourhood hangout. I have a beer and a chat, and get the keys to my new temporary flat. Ana Paula will run a tab for my entire stay.
The street is only one block long, and I’m in door number two. Up a flight of stairs and I’m inside. I have a living room with two juliette balconies, a bedroom with a closet, a kitchen with a very odd stove I didn’t use during my stay, and a very tiny and inconvenient bathroom. Lots of HD channels on the television, and working WiFi.
There is another apartment above me. The apartment below is entered through door number four.
Now I’m safely in the Santa Catarina district of Lisbon, a short walk to Miradouro de Santa Catarina, when everybody gets a great view of the Tagus River and can drink a beer, or have a coffee in the park. Further on is Rua do Loreto, where there is a small grocery store, and lots of local shops. Near the end of this street is Praça Luís de Camões.
I return to my apartment in the early evening, having walked around to get a feel for the area, stocked up on a few foods, stopped at the nearest bar (Le Marais), and begin planning activities for the next day.