Monday, June 7, 2010

Ubiquitous lantana, even here in Portugal

Greetings from lovely Lisbon—our first visit! We’re staying in a vacation apartment rental in the city center overlooking the busy Rossio square and have great views from three sets of double full-lite doors.

We’ve never done the international apartment rental thing before, but this one’s working out well, especially because we can sleep late and make our own breakfast in the kitchenette. Also, it’s nice to have the option of cooking here whenever, because there are two national holidays this week and one last week when many restaurants (and our corner supermercado) are closed.

Weather’s been sunny and warm but not really hot, plus there always seems to be a good breeze. Heavenly.

I'm a sucker for hydrangeas.

More lantana. That’s not a cloud above; there was a big fire somewhere in the Mouraria neighborhood today while we were exploring the Alfama neighborhood.

Huge wall of morning glories?

Love these purple mimosa trees, Jacaranda Mimosifolia, native to Argentina but adapted here, and found on many downtown streets.

Closeup of purple mimosa tree


Some relative of agapanthus? The graffiti refers to Portugal’s national champion soccer team, Benfica, some of whose members we think will be playing in the World Cup.

Big thanks to our stellar house-, garden-, and pet-sitter, Raphael, who happens to have a Portuguese grandmother who lives outside Lisbon.

We have a limited daily internet allotment at this apartment, so I may not get to comments promptly but will try. Salud!


Daphne Richards said...

Ab-fab, Iris! Thanks for spending a little of your allotted net time sharing with us back home.

Iris said...

Hi Daphne--You're quite welcome!

k said...

Oh! Y'all are in Portugal!! I knew you were going, but not exactly when. Love the pictures!

Beyond The Garden said...

The purple mimosas are wonderful. Thanks for giving us some of your vacation time.

LindaCTG said...

Absolutely lovely! Thanks for writing in. Boy, I'm not sure I'd ever come home.

Meredith said...

Gorgeous, Iris! What a beautiful vacation you are having. FYI, Austin is actually getting some rain while you are gone! Your garden will be green, lush, and overgrown!

Iris said...

k--Thanks! Will try to post again in a few days.

Beyond The Garden--Aren't the purple mimosas great? They're all over Lisbon, not just the city center.

Linda--It IS really lovely here but we'll be happy to be home when we finally get back. After all, travel is a fool's paradise.

Meredith--So glad to hear Austin's getting rain! Thanks.

Kurt said...

"Lisbon—our first visit"...and probably our last? We still have a few days left before we make our final assessment, but Zihuatanejo Mexico would be a more affordable alternative for roughly the same experience. On the other hand, high temps here of 70-89 F are hard to beat right now!

vertie said...

Looks beautiful. your apartment looks great! Can't wait to hear more when you get back.

Kathleen Scott said...

Way cool! Apartments are the best way to see Europe, I think. You get to live rather than visit.

Loved seeing the blooms. Who knew Portugal had adopted lantana and jacaranda?

Iris said...

vertie--This apartment is really great but not for everyone because it's very urban/noisy. We brought earplugs but haven't had to use them yet.

Kathleen--Yes, who knew? And we're with you on European apartments! Not for everyone but good for us because, like you said, we get to live more than just tour. More our style.

Thanks, y'all!

reneesroots said...

What a great view from your apartment! And that purple mimosa is lovely. Look forward to hearing more about the trip when you get home.

Iris said...

Renee--Our view is fantastic. Today is some kind of national holiday and there are two big groups of costumed singers and a band down in the square. We can see and hear all from our window!

TexasDeb said...

So much fun to see another place this way - through a local gardener's eyes. The pinks and purples are right up your alley, yes?

Hope you continue to have a lovely time (especially enjoy those cooler temps because rain or no, we are heating up predictably here) and I'll keep fingers crossed for another recipe from you brought back as a souvenir of your travels.

Lynell said...

Sounds like you're having a lovely time--so glad the apartment is working out. The purple mimosa is beautiful! I look forward to seeing more pictures.

Lancashire rose said...

What a great idea to rent an apartment for your visit. So nice to be able to come home to your own place at the end of the day. Must learn more about how you found it. Have fun.

Iris said...

TexasDeb--Yep, those colors were definitely up my alley! The things we're going to try to make when we return, based on food we've had here, are sardine pate and a simple tomato rice side dish.

Lynell--Yes, the apartment has worked out well, overall! There are tradeoffs because there's no one on site when something goes wrong, but the apt. management folks have been easy to reach and we've only had minor problems (fingers crossed.)

Lancashire Rose--It really is great to come "home" after a long day of exploring and have your own wine and snack. Will tell you more details when we return!

Annie in Austin said...

Catching up with your Portugal posts, Iris... how beautiful it all looks- am picturing you walking in and doing a little happy dance when you saw the views from the balcony doors

Annie at the Transplantable Rose