While Lisbon is so impossibly picturesque that you feel compelled to take pictures of everything, it is also heaven for shopping. Not even in London did I find so many unique items for gifts and myself, of course.
Where to begin? Well, there is the LX Factory under the bridge that looks like the Golden Gate. Filled with shops and cafes, it also houses the coolest bookstore I have seen and I LOVE bookstores. Obolodamarta not only had multiple levels filled with books, it also had a temporary exhibit of Kinetic Art. The inventor himself walked us around and told us stories about each of his creations. From a miniature printing press to a Charlie Chaplin story machine, it was so fun and interesting. I love just stumbling into these experiences as we often do as we wander.
Thom was tempted to get a tattoo at the local artist shop at LX Factory but I veered him away and took some great pics of street art instead. Who knows if he will leave Portugal with new ink but maybe another day. Tattoos are not a decision to be made in the moment but after careful reflection.
The next day we left our Alfama district and meandered up and down the cobblestone streets. Definitely need to have sturdy shoes with grip to hike these streets in Lisbon especially as they get slippery in the rain that was off and on all day. Finding a store that made bags out of recycled signs and garbage as well as bicycle tires, I was tempted but held off buying. Pricey but worthy.
Ducking out of the rain into the Cork Store by the fort proved to be an expensive interlude as we bought multiple gifts for folks who read this blog so I will say no more. Let’s just say I bought so much I asked for a quantity discount and got it. Always the bargainer I am! Just expect Christmas present from Portugal my family and friends. Thom is obsessed with man jewelry and got yet another bracelet for his already full wrist. Seriously, that man wears way more bangles than I do.
Thom also loves shoes so when we found a store with the unique concept of buy a pair of awesome shoes, get a bottle of wine, we both considered it but wisely remembered how full our closets are back home. We also passed on the sardine shop knowing that while they look cute, they aren’t our cup of tea.
At Typographia, we could have gone wild but restrained ourselves to buy only 2 t-shirts. Very similar to our favorite store in Shanghai that had original creative designs on quality t’s, this little shop had so many cool t’s to choose from that it was hard to narrow it down but the one we choose for James was the best. In chatting with the shop clerk as she rang us out, she asked if I had really read the words spelled out on the typewriter keys. I had and it was hilarious but irreverent, just like our son, who will be the recipient. We laughed and then the conversation somehow turned to weed. In Portugal, the legal limit of pot is one gram but it’s still not legal though they won’t arrest you with that amount or less we were told. Sharing that we didn’t smell it all the time like we did in Seattle walking the streets, she said we just weren’t walking the right streets. Point taken. Shirts bought.
When visiting Portugal, I would suggest packing an empty suitcase and LOTS of Euros. Whether you go for cork or sardines (they are obsessed with this salty little feller) or Port wine, etc. you will enjoy engaging with the locals as you find treasures to bring home. Here’s hoping our luggage isn’t over the weight limit going home!