Tag Archives: Portugal

LisVegas: The Six Coolest Things About Lisbon (Part II)

ORIGINAL SINTRA

The medieval town of Sintra is less than an hour from the heart of Lisbon by train, and is home to a really cool castle, so you’d have to be a complete Wally not to go out there. The town itself is situated in a lush valley, with the ancient monuments perched high up on the cliffs surrounding it. There are Thai tuk-tuks to take you to the top (but, sadly, no Thai ladyboys to take you to the brink of orgasmic bliss), or else it’s a pleasant walk up the hill. The trail winds along cobblestone streets and through centuries-old villages, all to the sounds of birds singing.

Castelo dos Mouros was built by the Moors (Dudley, Mandy, Roger and Billy) in the 10th century to defend the city against evil, bible-thumping Christians, but these days has been overrun by Chinese tourists. It costs eight Euros to visit, so I waited until the guard was looking the other way and snuck in. Shit, no wonder the bloody Christians conquered the place so easily!

IT’S HIP TO BE SQUARE

Portugal once suffered from the highest rate of drug abuse in Europe, so back in 2001 the government decriminalised Persian Rugs and saw a massive drop in the number of people wandering around with needles in their arms. You wouldn’t know it from walking around Lisbon’s many scenic town squares, though, because they’re absolutely crawling with crack-peddling cretins, deadshits and low-lifes.

It’s a shame, because the architecture surrounding the squares – Praça do Comércio being the most prominent – is stunning, with beautiful old buildings running up the surrounding hills and impressive statues gazing proudly over the city. It’s kinda hard to soak in the historic ambiance when some fuckwit in a fedora is trying to sell you a bag of cocaine. I’m always one to make the best of a bad situation, so I grabbed some magic mushrooms and a handful of Viagra tablets off a scummy-looking little bloke, and spent the night wanking myself off while watching episodes of Powerpuff Girls back at the hostel. Good times!

PUNK IN DRUBLIC

Grab a few dozen cheap cans of Super Bock from a shop, find a park without too many vagrants in it, quaff the booze, argue with a dog, pass out in the sun, shit yourself. It’s one of Lisbon’s greatest cultural experiences!

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LisVegas: The Six Coolest Things About Lisbon

1. I FORTE THE LAW

Lisbon doesn’t have a spectacular harbour like Sydney, Hong Kong or Woy Woy, but it is on the water, and has a few things to offer those who are after a stroll along the agua. The 25 de Abril bridge looks a bit like that one in San Francisco, but hopefully not as many people commit suicide by jumping off it. Maybe it’s because the bridge is next to Santuário de Cristo Rei, a statue of Jesus that looks just like the one in Rio. I like to think the big fella has a quiet word with anyone feeling blue enough to end it all.

A short powerwalk along the Tagus River reveals the enormous Padrão dos Descobrimentos, a 52-metre-high monument to Portugal’s history of exploration. It was finished in 1960 and boasts 33 statues of famous Portuguese explorers, all of whom have funny names. It costs five Euros to climb to the top, but I didn’t because I got distracted by a chick with big tits and forgot to.

The best thing to see along the waterfront is the 500-year-old Belém Tower, which was originally built defend the city before being converted into a place to imprison homosexuals. Once it became obvious that the homosexuals quite enjoyed being locked up in a dungeon with dozens of like-minded individuals, they were all drowned in the river and it was converted into a regular prison, with only a three percent drop in the amount of gay sex.

2. BOUND FOR GLORIA

Lisbon is really hilly and the Portuguese only have little legs, so they built a bunch of funicular railways to carry them home after loading up on bacalhau and vinho verde. The most famous of the three remaining funiculars is the Elevador da Glória, which was handily located just around the corner from my hostel (which was very handy for getting home after drinking my body weight in cheap supermarket beer).

Gloria was opened in 1885 and rolls a few hundred metres from Baixa up to Bairro Alto. It costs three Euros to head up or down, so it’s best to buy a transport day pass for six Euros and ride the bloody thing all day long. The best part is that when you get off at the top, you can dance around like you’re in the opening of Full House.

3. BLISTER IN THE SUNSET

There are few things more enjoyable than smashing ice-cold beers while watching a glorious sunset in an exotic city. Alright, maybe watching the Raiders beat Manly 50-0 in the grand final with an endless supply of free beer and meat pies at hand would top it, but you get the point. Lisbon is an ace place for watching the sun go down because it faces west over the ocean and has heaps of stunning lookouts.

Miradouro de Santa Catarina and Miradouro Santa Luzia are great spots, but the best I found was the snappily-titled Miradouro da Nossa Senhora do Monte. The name means ‘Our Lady of the Hill’, and it’s easily accessible by wandering through the Graca district’s labyrinthine alleyways until you either stumble upon it or die of starvation. Situated in the grounds of an ancient church, the view is tops, but the best thing is that there’s a bar serving nice big jugs of Sagres (and some overpriced food, so bring a bag of chips). By the time the sun finally disappears, you’ll be so smashed they’ll have to roll you back down the hill!

Livin’ la vida, LAGOS!

Lagos is a disgraceful Nigerian city where the kids walk around with AK-47S, the prostitutes are overflowing with AIDS, and every second person is an internet scam artist (hi, Prince Bobongi). So rather than risking my life by going to that Lagos, I went to the Portuguese version, which turned out to be a particularly pleasant place to spend a week.

Lagos is one of the major destinations in the world famous Algarve region, and more than 5 million sunseekers from around the world descend upon its glorious beaches every year (alright, I made that number up because I couldn’t find any figures on Wikipedia). Sun, sand, surf and sandwiches are all available in this Portuguese paradise.

I stayed a bit out of town at the Ocean View Hostel, which I liked because it’s cheap, has a nice pool, and serves cold drinks. It’s also located close to Praiha Porto de Mos’s blue waters and the spectacular cliff walk that leads up from the sand. Unless you’ve got money for a helicopter or something (and I barely have money to wipe my arse) this is the best way to see the Algarve’s rugged coast.

The town centre is grouse if you’re the sort of person who likes to drink good food and eat good beer while watching stunning Euro ladies saunter past wearing next to nothing. If you’re the sort of person who prefers to slam your cock in a mouse trap or lip sync to Milli Vanilla in front of the bathroom mirror, you might want to try somewhere else. Lots of the bars are aimed at visiting Poms (and priced as such), but there’s a great party vibe pretty much every night of the week. I got so hammered on Sagres and cheap Portuguese boxed wine that I stripped down to my boxer shorts and got caught drink driving. I’m a bloody idiot.

Being a seaside resort town, there’s a pleasant waterfront area that looks out over about a billion dollars worth of yachts. About the closest I’ve been to riding a yacht was when I dry humped a yak while I was in India (he never accepted my Facebook friend request, by the way) but the waterfront is still a cool place to stroll along. There’s even a little stretch of sand called Praiha Batata, which means Potato Beach, and is the best name this side of Eggs and Bacon Bay.

Forte da Ponta da Bandeira was built in the late 1600s to protect the city from sea snakes, and it’s still in pretty good shape. There’s a museum inside that has all sorts of information on Portugal’s marine history, but that sounds boring so I didn’t check it out. Apparently it’s still used to imprison local sex pests, perverts and rapists, so I made sure to go easy on the nude selfies whilst in Lagos (that noise you hear is about 50 girls from Tinder calling, “Bullshit!”).

Being a touristy sort of place, there are shitloads of activities to do, but I didn’t bother with any of them because I was either too drunk or too hungover all the time. But here are some delightful photos of other idiots having fun in Lagos. Look how much fun they’re having!

The fella in that last foto is Dewey, a loudmouthed Yank who I had the extreme misfortune to share a room with. As well as masturbating regularly and enthusiastically, he jabbered non-stop about shit I couldn’t care less about. The only thing I remember him saying is, “It’s funny they call this place Lagos, because I have the lagos dick in town!” I hope he ended his trip in the rape fort.

Balls-out in Setúbal

My girlfriend is Brazilian, so whenever I do something stupid and she starts yelling at me, I don’t have a clue what she’s saying because I don’t speak Portuguese. It’s always “small penis” this and “useless fucking dickhead” that, which makes no sense to me because I don’t understand the language. So, in an effort to strengthen the relationship, I left the epic mountains of Switzerland and headed to the home of the Portuguese language and Portuguese fried chicken – Portugal!

My first stop was the port(uguese) city of Setúbal, which is about an hour south of Lisbon by bus. The actual city is a bit rough and working class, and smells like a fisherman’s finger, but the plentiful coffee shops, seafood restaurants and bars scattered along the cobblestone streets give it a somewhat bohemian feel. Try the choco frito, it’s grouse!

Scattered throughout the streets are dozens of really weird statues, from dolphins to fat ladies and explorers to stuff I can’t even begin to explain. There’s even a gigantic squid escaping certain death in a searing hot frying pan, which I found kind of terrifying. If I’d known they possessed such emotions, I wouldn’t have eaten a bunch of the pricks for dinner.

There are some nice old buildings, and it can be pleasant along the waterfront, but you wouldn’t travel around the world to see it. The nearby national park, however, is absolutely glorious and well worth the trip.

The Parque Natural da Arrábida is home to golden beaches, blue waters, and steep, rocky cliffs. It’s not far from town by bus – I didn’t even have time to finish my can of Super Bock before climbing off at Figueirinha Beach. ‘Figgy’ isn’t the place to stay, because it’s pretty crowded and there are kids kicking soccer balls everywhere, so either jump on the free park shuttle to get further into the park, or get up off your fat arse and wander along the beautiful coast.

There are a few zesty tracks to wander along, but it’s best to just pick one of the quiet beaches and spread out by the water for a day in the sun. I like going naked, as is nature’s way, and nobody had a problem with that – I even received a few high-fives and a kind warning that “your sausage will sizzle if you don’t turn it over” from a local pervert. Just to be clear, I declined his kind offer to rub sunscreen on my old fella.

Honestly, these beaches are some of the best in Europe and it’s a top part of the world, with eagles soaring along the ridges and fish diving through the cool water. There are a handful of ancient ruins scattered around, and on a good day it offers some of the best coastal paragliding on the planet. It feels a lot like the Greek islands, which makes sense considering where it’s located, but it’s cheaper and quieter. Even better, this is Europe so there are chicks with their big tits out everywhere!

After a few days in Setúbal, I felt like I’d picked up enough of the local lingo to impress my girlfriend with my Portuguese skills, so I gave her a call while watching the blazing sunset.

“Ola, bebezinho,” I said smugly, looking around to see if anyone mistook me for a local. “Posso comer sua enguia? Faz um chapéu.”

“Are you sure you’re in Portugal? Because it sounds like you’re talking shit,” she replied, obviously using a regional dialect I was unfamiliar with. “Honestly, you’re as bad with languages as you are in bed.”

I’m pretty sure that means “I love you” in Portuguese 😍😍😍