First day in Lisbon, Portugal
The date was March 1, 2023. It was the end of a long day, my first in the city of Lisbon, Portugal. I had long wanted to visit Portugal and check it out, and now it was finally happening! I got into Lisbon in the morning, and after getting settled in my hotel, I took a nap to counteract the effects of jet lag. In the afternoon, I set out on a walk to start exploring the town. My first destination was a 10 minute walk from my hotel – the Marquês de Pombal square. After walking around for a while, I happened upon a very nice hotel near the square – the Epic Sana Marques. Inside I found a very well-stocked bar and friendly bartenders, and a lovely young lady was playing the piano and singing. My kind of place!
Time for Fado
I hung out there for a while, but I wanted to have dinner that first night at a Fado club. Fado is a traditional style of Portuguese entertainment that is usually offered in small, intimate establishments that also serve food and wine. It is one of those things that a new visitor to Portugal must experience. On the advice of one of the bartenders, Jesse, I grabbed a taxi and headed for a place called Club de Fado.
Back to Marques
After enjoying the Fado, I took a taxi back to the Epic Sana Marques to have a nightcap and enjoy some more piano music. My enjoyment must have been obvious (and audible), because the bartender said, “you should sing a song with the musician!” Well, ham that I am, that was all I needed to hear. The piano player, Joana Rodrigues, was both talented and gracious, and we performed a few songs together. We even attempted a Stevie Wonder song, “Overjoyed,” and Joana did a good job with it even though it wasn’t a regular part of her repertoire. As I said, she was very talented. We did the classic “Misty,” and Joana was flawless on that one. The bartender recorded part of the performance – you can see it below.
What a day!
The friendliness and hospitality I experienced on my first day in Portugal made an indelible impression on me. I went to bed that first night feeling good and looking forward to learning more about this fascinating country.