I made a pitch for a cycling advocacy platform idea at the VeloCity conference held in Lisbon during September. The idea was based on my Ringstrasse150 project from a few years ago. Ten great ideas were pitched and it was great to have been selected, but I didn’t win. Better luck next time.

It was my first long distance trip since COVID and reminded me how much fun travel can be. Lisbon is a beautiful city and, of course, I have a warm place in my heart for historic trams, hills and the ocean – and did I mention the great food?

VeloCity was full of positive energy. Great organization. Interesting presentations. Hundreds of good people doing excellent work. It was also my first “silent conference” which means you get headphones, tune into a channel, and can listen to the presentations from anywhere in the big exhibition area. Fantastic … it made physical distancing easy, you could get a coffee without missing a presentation, go to the WC, etc. Highly recommended.

I was able to squeeze in visits to the National Coach Museum in Belém and the Carris Museum (Lisbon’s public transport system) – great website by the way, both were wonderful. (I visited the Mosteiro dos Jerónimos on a previous trip – otherwise it would have been a must see!)

And, of course, the food was fantastic. On my first night I went early to Zapata and treated myself to fresh seafood. It was great, sitting at the counter as locals walked in for a quick beer, coffee or glass of wine – talking with the owner, and watching the trams pass by through the open doorway. Very friendly people, excellent food, low prices. In Belém I tried to eat at O Frade – which looked wonderful, but was full, so make a reservation. Right around the corner was a small place called Belém Food Shop. They specialize in roast pork. I had a great sandwich with homemade potato chips and water for about 7 euros – it was fast and perfect.

For dinner one night I returned to Taberna da Rua das Flores, a favorite from my last visit – still great! – and tried out Lisboa Tu e Eu 2 – which is a restaurant although they also rent rooms (or used to). After taking one look at the menu I wanted to try everything and so they brought me half orders. Tu e Eu was a tip from Luis, a brewer from Dois Corvos (excellent beers), who I met at the Sputnik craft beer bar. This was quite cool because Sputnik was a one-block walk from the famous 28 tram … and Tu e Eu is right around the Cathedral tram stop – so perfect for a tram nerd like me.