Last year, I was so lucky to be able to travel to Portugal with my very best friend, Heidi. She is my soul sister and I couldn’t have asked for a better way to celebrate our 50th birthdays than this trip. She did have to put up with me taking a million pictures and yes, dear readers, I took many of the plant life there. Mind you, I was truly fascinated by the architecture…so beautiful and intricate. The tiles were colorful and awe inspiring.
Honestly, thinking back on the trip I was remembering very few trees and plants throughout the streets of Lisbon. I was thinking of the praças (plazas) that were located every few blocks that had maybe one tree next to the coffee/beer huts with tables scattered underneath them. But even in the more residential areas that were we staying in there were very few trees or flowers. And then I went back and looked at my pictures and realized, I wasn’t wrong, very few trees along the streets but just as many Jardims (gardens) as there were stony praças. And two were right in our neighborhood…three if you include the Botanico.
Our first day there, we visited the Jardim Botanico which was only a few blocks from our apartment. The grounds were beautiful and we took a leisurely stroll through. I hadn’t ever seen this lovely pink blossomed tree before… called a Chorisia Speciosa or silk floss tree. A relative of the baobab tree which you can see in the way the bottom of the trunk is shaped.
In the Jardim do Príncipe Real (which was the district we were staying in) there is this gorgeous Cyprus tree that sprawls out so wide that they placed a iron arbor underneath to hold it up. Spectacular!
Of course I had to find flower stalls, shops, and wholesalers.
Lisbon is so large that I think we could have spent another month there and not see a quarter of it. But, we left to explore other cities. Our next stop was Coimbra which has a large university situated at the top of a hill. We, unfortunately, could not visit the university’s Botanico because of a hurricane that had come through the week prior and damage was done to some of the trees. Which I had noticed on the train ride up, seems a lot of trees were affected throughout the region.
Check out these massive Kokadamas hanging in a window of a vegan restaurant we ate at in Porto…yes, I ate in a vegan restaurant and lived to tell about it. Lol!
Our final city that we visited was a day trip to Sintra. But I think that will be next week’s post as the gardens there were magical…especially because the day was dreary and foggy…giving it a very mystical feel. But you’ll see that in next week’s post.
P.S. For those of you who are following along, I’m happy to report I did my financial audit and my desk is still a mess!
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May your day we filled with flowers!