Europe, Travel diary

Loving Lisbon: where every morning is a Good Morning

I was holding Lisbon on a serious pedestal before I went. I had only heard raving reviews, which can sometimes lead to disappointment. However, when I started to research hostels, and they all had higher ratings than I’d ever seen before, I thought it would probably be ok. Having learnt my lesson from previous trips, I picked Good Morning Hostel, with good atmosphere (and everything else) ratings, and hoped for the best.

 I got lost trying to find the place. A waiter from a nearby restaurant ended up taking me for a walk to find it. Lisbon brownie point number um. The hostel is through a gift shop. In hindsight this definitely was in an email that I didn’t pay a whole lot of attention to!

I climbed the stairs to reception (complete with how many calories you’re burning, it comes in handy later), to the most amazing check-in greeting I have ever received. Anna, one of the staff, shook my hand, and introduced me to some other staff as they rushed past. She gave me a thorough rundown of the hostel, and the city. Partway through, another Kiwi rocked up, so she went through it all with us together. She had mentioned a place for dinner called Restaurante Bonjardim that did peri peri chicken, so I asked new mate Justin if he wanted to join me.

We walked past it twice before we we stopped by the staff, telling us to check their menu. We had looked, but it didn’t make much mention of chicken. Once we finally found it (it’s listed under meat), we grabbed a table. If you don’t need bread, tell them not to give it to you, or it’ll wiggle its way onto the bill. The chicken was amazing, we each ordered half a chicken, and ‘Brazilian rice’ at the hostels recommendation, and were over the moon. The rice sounds gross, but it has meat and herbs through it, and was mindblowing. Including the salad and bread, we paid less than €10 each, for an absolute feast.

I was told we should be back in time for free sangria night. I assumed it was maybe a drink or two each. Nope. They had a bathtub full of the stuff, and slowly people made their way to the common area. It was awesome how many solo travelers there were, I’ve never stayed somewhere with so many people on their own. From Estonia, another Kiwi, Americans, Polish, German. Such a cool crazy mix of people, all on their own and experiencing new things.

The hostel staff were amazing, drinking with us and getting everyone mingling. By the time the pub crawl company came round to take people off, the lights were off, the couches were pushed into a corner, and everyone was dancing around the room. I don’t think anyone left for the pub crawl, we were all having too much of a good time. Booked a surf lesson plenty of sangrias in, which seemed like a wonderful idea. The staff also seemed to think white wine is a good way to get red wine stains out of white t-shirts. Full of so much wisdom!

Sangria night didn’t feel like such a good idea the next morning, but the smell of waffles got sorry bodies out of bed. The staff were as shady as the guests, but were cheerful, making the best waffles I’ve ever had. Their breakfasts are included, and are the best hostel breakfast I’ve ever had. Amazing toasted sandwiches, eggs (cooked different ways depending how nice you ask), fresh fruit, veges, Nesquik (yaaaas!), all the goodness. Ate so much I got through a walking tour and surf lesson and still wasn’t hungry. Ftw.

I definitely embraced making the most of all the hostel had to offer. Their free sangria, cocktail night, group dinner, cooking class, Sintra tour, walking tour, bike tour, and surf lessons are all amazing!! It made for a whirlwind trip, but I wouldn’t have had it any other way.

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