Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Day 13: Lisbon

Day 13:  Lisbon
THB's usual: apple on cereal

POTD:  Where is?:  Onde é que é?, Onde fica...? Onde é...?

Weather: Sun, sun, sun

THB gets a good night sleep, arises early and heads to the FC. You need a code to get in, and upon arriving, the code doesn’t work. Fortunately the guy from the front desk arrives and unlocks the door (double locking the fitness center? At least nobody is walking off with the elliptical, though somebody did take the treadmill).

Breakfast buffet, with a bread basket on the table. Combo cereals and an apple for THB. As always, cost is included.

We’re off and running at 9:30: a wild taxi ride to the Tower of Belem (e.g., speeding down hills, running red lights…that sort of thing you might not associate with Lisbon drivers), 8E. We decide not to go in the Tower, and start walking towards the local monastery (which is a huge building). Before reaching the monastery, we detour into the Museo Colecao Berardo.

BONANZA!!! Another great combo of the building (and curator) making the art look good and a terrific collection. We decide (unintentionally) to go backwards, looking at the contemporary stuff first and then weaving our way back in time to Duchamp. THB thinks that we’ve managed to see two of the top five art collections and buildings in the world within a week of each other. Big bonus: the place is empty! We see more staff than visitors.

Best of show!

We walk just past the monastery (noting the lines) to get more of those custard tarts at the most highly rated spot: Pasteis de Belem. THB is a bad boy and buys 6 (at a euro each) to share among the four of us. Excellente!

Best of Lisbon

More walking (we’re getting in our steps today!) to LX Factory, a street full of casual cafes and hipster style stores, and one huge book store. Lots of good pics:

SA's shoe store

More walking (are you getting the theme here) to lunch…except this highly rate Yelp spot is actually a cafeteria. Hop in a taxi to the Mercado di Ribeira, a monster food court. The place is full of local spots with mini-menus. And 100s of people sitting at the open communal dining tables in the middle.

THB and DB settle on a place called Sea Me, ordering sardines (which turn out to come sushi style), crab and salmon salad, and tuna sashimi salad, with a beer and water: 30E. DA and SA each select at a different site, there food takes much longer than ours.

DA's moules

SA side of cheese on toast: excellent

More walking, this time straight back up the hill to our hotel, in a slightly round-about (and longer) route, which is fine because we’re seeing more of the small streets in the Bairro Alto area.
The path to hotel parallels the funicular

Finally…finally back to the hotel to rest up. That doesn’t dissuade DB and SA, they take short rests and are back out shopping for about an hour.
The Terrace: great spot for a drink

Around 6:15, we reconvene on the hotel terrace for a drink before heading out into the night (well, it doesn’t get dark until after 9) for Moroccan food at Restaurante Flor Da Laranja. You find the place by knowing the address and ringing the bell. No signs outside.  

Dinner is excellent and low key: it’s a one-woman show, and we’re the first to arrive. THB has kebabs (really sausage, not chunks of meat) with smattering of sides and some of DB’s couscous, DB has chicken, DA (lamb tagine) and SA (shrimp tagine) have similar main dishes (without couscous either), with dates and cheese on toast to start. Our chef-server-sommelier recommends a terrific wine, EA, and as the place fills up (she chases several non-reservation folks away and one couple comes back to take our place), we settle up: 100E for four.

With the elliptical and the step-count, THB gets up over 11 miles. Is that possible? 

Shots from around town:

Denim laundry day

Egg carton clothing line

Egg carton shoes!

School kids around the world now wearing hats

Hidden lounge at hotel

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