I would do it again, the festival, discovering the city and surroundings, maybe accompanied next time!
This was the ending phrase of NOS Alive'17 post from two years ago. And two years later it came true. We decided to go to the festival one month ago. Maria, a friend of us, was telling us about her plans to go to the festival, and me and Ioana were immediately convinced that we should join. And we did and it was amazing: the music, the food, the drinks, the sun, the people, everything.
We arrived in Lisbon on Thursday evening and from the airport we went directly to the Airbnb, which turned to be a disappointment, luckily we didn't spend too much time inside.
The Cure playing @NOS Alive'19
After we checked in we went to eat something before going to the festival. The Airbnb host recommended us a restaurant close by, but somehow in Lisbon the Google Maps is faulty and we ended up in another restaurant frequented by locals.
Pastel de nata 😋
After dinner we went to the festival. Funny thing. We didn't have tickets. With Ioana's experience in bargaining, we manage to buy cheaper tickets from dealers. You shouldn't do that!
Here you have my Spotify playlist with my favourites from this edition. Unfortunately I didn't see all of them playing.
On the first night of the festival we enjoyed 2h of The Cure playing. Friday I'm in love! That was the shortest night. We went to bed at 5am and Ioana was the first to wake up because she worked from "home". I had one or two hours extra of sleep before meeting with Maria for a ride along the coast.
First stop: Cabo da Roca, the most westernmost point of mainland Europe. I have been here before but it was nice to revisit.
“Aqui, onde a terra se acaba e o mar começa…” [Here, where the land ends and the sea begins…] – Luís de Camões, Os Lusíadas
From Cabo da Roca we headed to Guincho Beach, surfers heaven.
Golden sand dunes @ Paraia do Guincho
The water was too cold for a swim, but we enjoyed the sun while it lasted, because a storm was approaching.
The thunders and the big rain drops made us leave.
From the beach, we went to Cascais and I returned back to Lisbon with the train. Ioana finished her work and was waiting for me. After a power nap I was refreshed and ready for another festival night. But first food!!!
Lisbon is full of street art. This one is from a train station staircase.
I have mentioned before that the food is amazing but I didn't give too many details. During this trip I have ate a lot of fish and seafood. Dinner with a view!
Grilled sardines & squid. Ioana passed the travel companion test: she was willing to share food 😊!
At the festival we saw Vampire Weekend and Deejay Kamala. The previous night Ioana started to talk with a Portuguese guy, who became our guide the next day.
After the breakfast, our guide picked us up and headed to Cascais to pick up a friend of him, and then the four of us headed to Sintra, to Park and National Palace of Pena. I've been there before but I didn't visit the castle, just the park surrounding the castle.
The castle constitutes one of the major expressions of 19th-century Romanticism in the world.
The Arches yard
Pena Palace structure
From Sintra we drove to Praia Grande where we had late lunch or early dinner (I like the world one of my friends came up for it: dinch).
Grilled octopus, a delicacy!
Stuffed crab with shrimps and goose barnacles(the black weird things, in Portuguese is percebes, which also means understanding)
And the view for the experience to be completed!
Praia Grande is another haven for surfing!
Apparently the cliffs are home to an interesting set of fossilised dinosaur footprints.
Enjoying the remains of the day!
One last stop before going to the last night of the festival.
View from Núcleo de Interpretação da Duna da Cresmina, an observatory point. On the right side it's Praia do Guincho.
On the last night of the festival we listened to Bon Iver, The Smashing Pumpkins, The Chemical Brothers and Thom Yorke.
We spent the last day wandering in the city.
Cobbled streets leading up the steep hill
We couldn't leave before having another taste of Portuguese delicacies.
Cheese platter with honey and pumpkin jam
More food to share!
If you are convinced to go to NOS Alive and Lisbon, here are some useful tips:
- NOS Alive is at Passeio Marítimo de Algés; to get there you have different options:
by train: Lisbon Train – Cascais Line ( route Cais Sodré – Algés); you can buy a Viva viagem card and top-up with money
Uber: it's very cheap and if you are sharing it, it's better
Bus: I tried this option two years ago and I prefer best the first two options because are faster
- If it's your first time in Lisbon you should consider accommodation close to the city centre, preferably near Cais Sodré station, otherwise, you can look for something close to any train station on route Cais Sodré – Algés. We stayed around Alcantara Mar.
- If you plan to visit Sintra, I recommend to buy online tickets in advance to skip the lines. The ticket to visit the Park and the National Palace of Pena was 7,13 €. The interior of the palace is not included in this ticket. In my previous trip I visited also the Mourish castle which is at walking distance from Pena.
Something tells me this will not be the last time going to the festival, especially now that I have met Ioana, an enthusiastic traveller as myself!
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