In my post A Short Lisbon Story I mentioned that there are great ways to learn more about the country you’re visiting, and one of them is: Couchsurfing (though their new terms of service are more than ridiculous).

Before I went to Portugal I contacted several CouchSurfers. I hoped to meet people with similar interests, people who can show me things I wouldn’t find as a “normal tourist” - and my hopes weren’t deceived:

My lady and I met with CouchSurfer Margarida, a very warm-hearted & talented illustrator/writer and art educator, on our second day in Lisbon. She gave us soooo many great tips what to (and what not to) see in Portugal. Some of them are still “unchecked”, but it’s great to know that there are so many more things to see next time I travel to Portugal. Thanks again, Margarida!

We met at her friend’s café and bakery, O Pão Nosso (right next to the Jardim da Fundação Calouste Gulbenkian). If you should ever go there: try the home made strawberry-champagne jam, it’s amazing! You can also browse through and buy Margarida’s wonderful books there (e.g. ‘Eva’; watch an animated short here, more info about the book here).

Another great thing I experienced on my second visit (something that would NEVER happen in Austria): the saleslady said that I can come back after visiting the Gulbenkian museum and pay later if I’d like to. That’s what I call faith! Ok, we’re talking about 5 to 6 bucks here, but anyways, I was quite impressed. I never thought I look that trustworthy.

In the next post I’m going to write about an exhibition at the Gulbenkian museum, so if you plan to go there say hello to Miguel & the guys at O Pão Nosso!

ALL IMAGES: © Gérard Castello-Lopes

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