Wednesday, October 10, 2018

May 12th: Lots of Walking and Lots of Snacks

The next morning we grabbed breakfast in the hotel, hopped on the Metro, took a short bus ride, and made our way to...

...the Belem area. Time to explore a different part of Lisbon!

One of our first stops was Pasteis de Belem. This is the original home of the pastel de nata, so I couldn't pass up the chance to eat one directly from the source.

We definitely weren't the only ones with that idea; the place was absolutely packed. The line moved fairly quickly, though, and a few minutes later we had a bag of tasty treats and were headed out the door.

We walked over to a nearby park to eat our pasteis de nata (which were delicious). There was a Thai festival going on while we were there, so we took a few minutes to check that out before eventually making our way out of the park.

A short walk later, we were at the Padrao dos Descobrimentos (Monument of the Discoveries). It's a monument to the Portuguese explorers of the 15th and 16th centuries; many of those ships sailed right through this area.

There were dozens of boats in the river near the monument. It looked like they had a few different sailing classes going at the same time; there were clumps of similar sized boats scattered through the water.

There was a really chill atmosphere down by the water; there were people wandering around, taking pictures and watching the boats and talking, and street musicians were set up here and there along the water.

We slowly made our way along the river, checking out the views as we went.

After a little while, we wound up at the Belem Tower. It was built in the early 1500s, and played a part in a number of wars and battles.

We briefly thought about checking out the inside, but the line was pretty long so we decided to just enjoy the view of the outside instead.

We started to make our way back along the river. Along the way, we passed this neat monument. It was the Sacadura Cabral and Gago Coutinho Monument celebrating the first aerial crossing of the South Atlantic.

There was even a map outlining the route flown. The flight took place in 1922; I had no idea it was even a thing, so it was pretty cool to randomly find this as we wandered through Lisbon.

We eventually wound up back at the Padrao dos Descobrimentos.

We spent a few more minutes watching the boats in the river. There were a few weird bus boats, which were pretty funny to watch.

We eventually tore ourselves away from the action on the river and started heading inland. One of the first things we came across was the Jeronimos Monastery. It was built in the early 1500s; an order of monks lived here, and their orders were to pray for the King's eternal soul and provide spiritual guidance to the navigators and sailors who were heading out to explore the world. Vasco da Gama spent the night here before he left for India, and now he's buried here (which is kind of crazy).

There were also a bazillion people here (that's what we get for sightseeing on a Saturday), so we just wandered around the outside.

A short walk from the Monastery was the Tropical Botanical Garden. You had to pay a small fee to get in, which apparently discouraged all of the giant crowds from entering. It was so peaceful!

There were nice-smelling flowering trees...

...and peacocks wandering around...

...and neat old buildings.

I especially liked this giant cactus.

One of the bigger buildings had a really neat manicured yard in the front. We wound up going inside and checking out an art exhibit inside (though I didn't wind up taking any pictures since the guards looked a bit grumpy).

We saw some little ducks as we were leaving the gardens.

A short bus ride later...

...we were at the Timeout Market. It's just a short walk from the end of the Metro, and has dozens of vendors selling all sorts of tasty food and drinks.

We wandered through the vendors, then grabbed some seats and snacks and drinks. We hung out for a while, enjoying the tasty things and people watching, before eventually taking the metro back to the hotel.

We hung out at the hotel for a bit, drinking port on the balcony, and eventually decided to head out for dinner. I had wanted to try a francesinha, which is a giant cheese-covered meat-filled sandwich that originated in Porto. I found a place that was only a few blocks from the hotel, so we made our way over there...only to find it completely closed. Like, boxes and random things on the sidewalk and no sign of life at all. So much for that!

Lucky for us, though, Republica das Tapas was just around the corner. We hung out for a while, stuffing ourselves with tasty food and wine.

Mmm...tapas.   :)

We eventually finished stuffing ourselves and walked back to the hotel. We made it just in time to catch the Eurovision final. 

I managed to stay up for the entire thing, though Mark fell asleep partway through. Some of the countries had really cool songs; it was hard to pick one that was clearly better than all the rest. Israel wound up winning the competition in the end. I fell asleep right after it ended; we only had one day left in Portugal, and I wanted to make the most of it!

No comments:

Post a Comment