It's all about the tartsYesterday in Portugal ⋅ ⛅ 19 °C
Day 1 of our Portugal tour, and we met our driver/guide, Rui, for a 9am departure.
We started the day heading inland along the River Tagus to the site of the 1998 World Expo, next to the Vasco Da Gama Bridge - the second longest bridge in Europe at 12.3km (the longest is the Crimean Bridge in Ukraine).
Bek and Jake visited the Lisbon Aquarium, while Oliver and I went caching in the area.
We then drove back into the centre of town for a lookout view over Lisbon, toward Belem, our next destination.
The Belem District is dedicated to the Portuguese explorers of the 15th and 16th centuries, with the Monument of the Discoveries featuring statues of 33 of their sailors and explorers.
The Tower of Belem, built in 1514 and one of the few structures unaffected by the 1755 earthquake, is a defensive fortress and ceremonial gateway to the city.
Belem is also the home of the Portuguese custard tart (Pastel de Nata, originally known as Pastel de Belem). The original bakery has been baking them since 1837 and had quite a queue to purchase some. Fortunately Rui has a tour guide "skip the line pass" and walked straight into the shop to purchase ours 😁
Lunch was at a local restaurant - grilled octopus, and seafood skewers.
We then crossed the Tagus River on the 25 April Bridge - if you think it looks familiar, it is based in part on two San Francisco bridges. It's paint is the same colour as the Golden Gate Bridge (International Orange), and the design is similar to the Oakland Bay Bridge, built by the same company.
On the other side is the Christ the King Monument (completed 1959), inspired by the Christ the Redeemer statue of Rio de Janeiro after the Cardinal of Lisbon visited that monument in 1934.Read more