Portugal

On Friday April 12 I flew out to Lisbon (through Barcelona) to meet Mom and Dad who has come through Amsterdam a day early because of blizzards in the US. Mehra happened to be on the same flight as them so we all met up at the Lisbon airport and took a cab to the Airbnb. It was super nice- 2 bathrooms, 2 bedrooms (King and two twins), kitchen and living room.

(Our room with the twin beds).

On our way to dinner at Cabacas with Uncle Thomas from Germany, we stopped at tourist information to get Lisboa cards (~€15-20 per day, making most of the transportation and sites free to visit). For dinner was typical Portuguese food- seafood heavy, especially cod.

After dinner, we had some of the best gelato I’ve had in Europe so far at Sorbettini. (I tried dulce de leche, salted caramel and chocolate). Then, back to the hotel to sleep.

In the morning we made our way to the Oceanario, one of the best aquariums in the world.

Next stop, lunch. More Portuguese food (although most of us tried to stay away from fish after the aquarium..) so I had a burger and others had salads or octopus or something else.

Then, the famous Tile Museum. Portugal is known for azulejo, normally blue and white but can be any color tiles hand painted, usually to form scenes or people, etc. Many of the houses are covered in them not just for easy decoration but also because they are fireproof (something people were worried about after the fall of Lisbon due to the combined earthquake, tsunami, and fire (all due to the tectonic plates shifting- the fire was caused by candles falling).

More modern tiles:

Now, while talking about tiles, let’s take a moment to morn for the horrible renditions of animals as shown below. (Don’t worry there were many more).

We went next to the main square next to the waterfront (common misconception- this is actually a river in Lisboa, not the ocean) called Praça do Comércio. The arch, Arco da Rua Augusta, has stairs inside so we went up for a great view of the city. Bonus points for rubbing the feet (or really baby toes) of the large statue on top- it’s supposed to bring good luck.

For dinner we went to Thomas’ favorite restaurant, Le Petite Café. I had some decent duck served on potatoes before a chocolate mousse.

Sunday! Belém!

The monastery of San Jerónimo.

— break for pastries, including the famous Pastel de Nata in the original cafe, Pasteis de Belém.–

Monument for explorers (aka conquers, killers, whichever name you prefer).

Tower of Belém

Coach museum

Portable trunk cot, the original sofa bed.

Palace

An actual good rendition of dogs- in the dog room of the palace.

Afterwards we went to the LX Factory, an artsy district of shops and had amazing cheesecake.

MONDAY SINTRA and the Pena Palace

Tuesday

We slept in and then did a food tour with a charismatic tour guide. Starting with sardines we also had, among other things, cod pancakes, chorizo, ham, cheese and quince fruit jelly (my favorite thing here), bean cakes and pastel de nata.

Wednesday- Porto

After taking a 3 hour train up, we started a private tour in a car. It was pouring so we were glad to see the whole town while kept dry.

Jellyfish monument

Super amazing tuna steak (rather than canned tuna it’s a fillet) with mushrooms.

Thursday- shopping

GF chocolate and strawberry pancakes.

Super fancy shopping mall.

On Friday we went to the airport to leave.

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