Jardim Botânico da Universidade de Lisboa, Lisbon
The botanical garden of Lisbon is tucked away in the middle of the city center. Although it is covering over ten acres it seems almost invisible at first sight. That is why it is all the more surprising to enter through the ornamental steel doorway and discover the forest that is hidden behind it.
We were welcomed by the sight of a humongous grafted Moreton Bay fig tree, in all its glory. Living fossils like these bear witness to the fact that the park is created several hundred years ago. The story goes that the park is founded by a king who wanted to collect one of every type of plant in the world. And although that is a little ambitious, there are many trees and plants from different climates growing next to each other in apparent harmony.
This is what makes the botanical garden so enchanting; for a brief moment you have stepped into several continents at once - from the tropical vibes of South-America to the serene tranquility of Japan.