Lisbon starts via Vespa

by Andrew Stein

Our first honeymoon adventure is a Lindsey surprise.  Without telling me where we’re headed, we venture out into Lisbon after a redeye flight, a quick bite to eat, and a short snooze.  Asking lots of questions on our way through the city’s narrow, beautifully cobblestoned streets, I can’t imagine what the surprise is going to be until we arrive in front of a Vespa rental shop.  I’d been talking about renting vespas the entire week leading up to the wedding in Santa Barbara, and now, half way around the world, we’re going to scooter up!

Aboard orange and white, Lindsey and I get our lay of the land via the humming, toy-like scooters made popular in Italy back in the 1940s.  Balancing above cobblestones and tramcar grooves, all the while dodging pedestrians, cars, and road construction, we realize how small, beautiful, and coherent is the picturesque city of Lisbon.  Meanwhile, the adrenaline that comes with doing something that could easily be considered a bit dangerous makes sure that we don’t feel any jet lag through our 4-hour tour.

Lisbon is made of seven hills and it feels like we hit all of them stopping at each of the most expansive view points.  We start with the Parque Eduardo VII, Lisbon’s landscaped central park. We stop at Miradouro das Portas do Sol and lean over the railing for a better view. And we check out the Golden Gate Bridge’s doppelgänger from Miradouro da Graça.  Although we’re just getting to know the city, as long as we keep the Sao Jorge Castle in sight, we can figure out where we are and where home is.