The best of . ..
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How I love Lisbon!
Looking back in time, my first contacts with the city come to mind, in an end-of-holiday atmosphere with my parents and siblings.
My Belgian mother could not do without annual trips to her country, while my father couldn't miss a week in Paris, a city with which he kept a tight-knit relationship because of its culture and his friends who lived there. In this way, since I was very young, I got used to embarking on English and French ships departing from the island of Madeira bound for Southampton or Le Havre to continue on to Brussels and then Paris. The return was done systematically on the Sud-Express train. After 26 hours on the train, we would arrive in Lisbon. I don't have the best memory of our capital from these times, since despite being close to the sea and endowed with the magnificent estuary of the Tejo River, I didn't make much use of them.
I went to university there, although Lisbon was looking inward at this time, without taking much advantage of its geographic location. But its light, its historic districts, typical neighbourhoods, monumentality and museums were all there, and started to take their first steps in showing their "true benefits”.
With Expo 98 and the progressive opening of new air access, Lisbon learned that, by looking to the Tejo and the sea, it gains dimension and charm, making it grow and take on its own competitiveness as an urban destination par excellence, worthy of a top ranking among Europe's best cities to visit and live in.
With the opening of our PortoBay, Liberdade and Marquês hotels, I became aware of an attribute which is hard to find in other capitals. Normally, cities stand out for their different "hubs of development” which are geographically separated and impossible to connect on foot. However, the development of leisure areas in Lisbon has been achieved on a broader scope.
Along with these unique areas (such as the zones of Belém, the Expo, and the Alfama, for example), there is a new pedestrian hub (for those staying at our hotels) which, in an atmosphere featuring a successive line-up of attractions, provides several hours of walking which are truly well spent. Starting at Largo do Rato, going across Príncipe Real, visiting Bairro Alto and the Chiado, descending to Cais do Sodré, stopping at Ribeira das Naus or Terreiro do Paço, going along Rua Augusta, seeing the Rossio and Restauradores and finally ascending one of Europe's broadest and most interesting avenues, Avenida da Liberdade, you finally come to the exit point, a PortoBay hotel, where we do everything we can to make every stay unique and memorable.
However, Lisbon is much more than this. It is its unique light, the pleasant way we receive visitors, and its monumentality, thanks to a rich history of many centuries... it is its cuisine, its "dolce fare niente” ever present in its bars and corner taverns, its commerce, its seven hills, its "retro” trams, its many cultural events, it is…. what happens in a city where "many things happen”.And this is also why... I love Lisbon so much!