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  • Day29

    Come rain, come shine: visit to Lisbon

    April 22 in Portugal ⋅ 🌧 10 °C

    When exploring Portugal from north to south, a visit to the capital city of Portugal, Lisbon, can not be missed. We park our camper at the only camper ground around (and priced as such too - with no competition they can ask for a lot!) and get ready to explore. Knowing that the weather was going to be rainy we kind of timed to be in the city as it’s slightly more pleasant to visit urban environments in rainy weather than it is to walk in nature in the rain.

    Being Portugal largest city it is remarkably small compared to some other European cities (less than 3 million people compared to, for example, 11 million in Paris / 9 million in London / 4 million in Rome) and also remarkably charming. It doesn’t have the big city feels, probably thanks to its age (it is the second oldest city of Europe, right after Athens in Greece). Once again we can stroll through steep cobbled zigzag streets and get inspired by the tiled facades. I have a love for anything tiled (you have probably noticed by now :-)) and so I eat my heart out! Fun fact: Portugal has so many tiled facades as their waterproof glazed surface helps to protect the houses from damp weather and low temperatures. It is basically for the same reason as to why our bathrooms and kitchens are typically tiled, only used on the exterior of the house (and making it an art to have the most beautiful patterns). It might not be such a bad idea to have more of this in The Netherlands too!

    Thanks to Evelien (my sister who lived in Lisbon for some time) we came prepared with tips on which highlights to visit, what to do indoors when it rains, and where to eat the best food. It isn’t the first time that we feed our itinerary on Evelien’s experience going places before us and so we know we are in for a treat following her advice.

    We spent a good deal of the first day walking around checking off most of the “miradouro” (viewpoints) and the famous points of interest in the city. For lunch we arrive just in time at a adorable cafe with less than ten small tables scattered on a sloping little street. A small crowd of people have already gathered for it to open in 10 minutes time, obediently following a sign that says “please do not sit at the tables”. We join the queue as anything with a queue is usually worth waiting for, and are lucky to get the last table available after some other people who clearly arrived last rudely pushed ahead of the queue before us. A small annoyance that’s quickly forgotten when we feast on our grilled sardines (Tim) and Alheira (a Portuguese sausage made of chicken, bread and garlic - Judith).

    Walking on we see a small shop with its owner having a smoke in the doorway. It’s a hairdresser “for men only”, located in a tiny space with two seats, a television showing a football match, and the smell of cigarette smoke. The perfect place for Tim to get a haircut local style! The barber puts his cigarette down, still lit and spreading its smoke in the small space, and after some Google Translate magic to explain in Portuguese what Tim wants we pray he understands it and he gets going. The result was a little different (and quite a bit shorter) from what Tim had imagined but ah well, still a proper €10 investment. The shorter the hair, the longer it will take before he needs a haircut again.

    The highlight of the day is THE BEST pastel de nata of Lisbon, some say of Portugal, at Manteigaria. Evelien made it a side job while living in Lisbon to try out many different bakeries specialised in this yellow little custard tart and called this one out to be the actual best. We can’t say we stuck to trying just this one (they are hard to resist when you see them somewhere baked fresh) but we do agree full heartedly that these are the most delicious ones we have had. Good thing we ordered not two, but four! Unfortunately the side effect is that we are so full that we can’t 100% enjoy the Israeli food also recommended by my sister. It is a cute place and the food we eat is great but we simply can’t eat so much… the owners are happy to have us though, especially after sending them Evelien’s regards. The fact that they knew who I referred to without finishing my sentence to describe her as the Dutch girl probably gives away how much time she spent here quite a few years ago :-) (of course she is also a gem of a human hard to forget!).

    The second day is giving us more rain than the first and so after visiting the tower of Belém we spent the rest of the day in a few museums and a hipster neighbourhood of an old factory that now hosts boutique shops and restaurants. Despite the weather we have a great day but without any noteworthy stories to tell. It’s a good thing we didn’t skip this characteristic city this trip. Tchau, Lisboa!
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    Willemien Sloetjes

    in gedachten ben ik meegewandeld.Dr nauwe straatjes met onmogelijke kinderkopjes om fatsoenlijk op te lopen,de authentieke gevels en de prachtige mozaïeken! Je brengt me helemaal terug naar deze mooie stad. Wat leuk dat je gegeten hebt bij de Israëlier. Het was daar zo'n warm welkom: alsof we familie waren en dat alleen omdat Evelien daar zo vaak at.. geweldig! En de pastel de nata: zelden zoiets lekkers geproefd. Jammer dat het regenachtige weer niet meewerkte, maar daardoor hebben jullie weer andere dingen gedaan en gezien. Ondertussen zal Tim wel gewend zijn aan zijn coupe de Lisboa,(haha....) Groetjes mama

    5/2/22Reply
    Jack van Delft

    Jaaa daar ben ik ook geweest. Mooie en leuke stad. Fijn om deze foto's te zien.

    5/2/22Reply

    Zo blij dat jullie een leuke tijd hebben gehad! De foto’s brengen mij ook helemaal terug. En in the mood voor pastel de nata 🥹🤤 Jullie hebben er zo te lezen veel uitgehaald. Zelf was je na je laatste traumatische ervaring nog niet toe aan een nieuwe knipbeurt? 😅 Leuk ook dat jullie Manteigaria ook de lekkerste vonden. Heb je je tomatenjam al opgemaakt? 💖 [Evelien]

    5/3/22Reply
    Willemien Sloetjes

    oh ja! tomatenjam Judith!!

    5/3/22Reply
    Two peas in a pod

    Ik heb alweer een aantal nieuwe potjes ingeslagen 😂 zo lekker! Ik laat mijn gehavende lokken nog even groeien voor ik er weer iemand aan laat zitten - en dan wel in Nederland deze keer 😜

    5/3/22Reply
    Willemien Sloetjes

    hahaha

    5/3/22Reply
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