I was going to include this as part of my "Lusitano Diaries" but it really deserves a chapter of its own. On Monday 23rd January, I went on a guided tour of Lisbon with Paulo and Agnes of Amazing Discovery Tours. What a fabulous day!
We started off in Belem, where there are many significant monuments and historic buildings (I have included hyperlinks for those wanting more historical information). The first of note is the Tower of Belem . This is just magnificent!
We then visited the Monument To The Discoveries. It is difficult to comprehend the size of this until you are right up next to it.
Nearby is a world map set in tiles...
Next up was morning tea at Pasteis de Belem - home of the Pastel de Belem, their spin on the Pastel de Nata (or as most Aussies would say, a custard tart). They are quite different to the custard tarts we are accustomed to. The pastry is light, more like a puffed pastry, and the egg custard filling more fluffy. They were delicious - I had mine with cinnamon and sugar.
They even have a display window so you can see them being baked ;)
From Belem, we moved to explore the older part of the city. Alfama is on the slope towards St Jorge Castle. The old houses with coloured walls and distinct terracotta coloured roofs make a magnificent picture.
It was then time for lunch, so we moved into the Central district.
We had a delicious tapas lunch with piri piri chicken, cuts of cured pork, local cheeses (including goat & sheep milk cheeses) with bread, cod cakes and a local white wine (sorry, totally forgotten region!).
Then it was more exploring of the central district -
Anyone for some vintage port? It was only €1,000 odd...
We finished our meandering through town with a visit to a Ginjinha bar. Yep, you just walk in to be served your shot of cherry liqueur. Bottoms up!
!!! Felt a bit lightheaded after that at 4 o'clock in the afternoon.
On that note, I have to say I had a really enjoyable day. There's heaps more to explore, but it has given me a taste of many of the things Lisbon has to offer. A good reason for a return trip ;)
Thankyou to Amazing Discovery Tours - it was great to have company and to learn more than I would have exploring on my own. One day I will have to come back in the summer time to see the city at night, with all the restaurants and Fado singers bringing the city to life.