{LIS} a serving of rain, with a side of pastéis de nata, with fado for dessert.

So this morning, after a lovely breakfast at the hostel of scrambled eggs and toast (with some awesome jam!), we headed out, intending to follow one of the walks laid out in the Lonely Planet book. However, it was a bit of a miserable day, with the rain more on then off. Add to the fact that we didn’t really have a proper map that detailed precisely where we were going…

And so in the middle of a heavy ‘on’ period in the rain, we found ourselves at the Military Museum (Largo do Museu da Artilharia, 1100-366 LISBOA). For the €3 entry fee, it seemed like a bit of an underwhelming place to dry off, but once we got past the room of canons and headed upstairs, we were faced with room after room after room of everything related to the military. Granted, it was mostly guns and the like, but it was still all rather interesting with Ben telling me the entire history of the use of weaponry in warfare.

After a fair amount of time, and feeling almost dry, we headed out again, and found that it had decided to stop raining a little bit. So we decided to walk towards Igreja de Santa Engrácia, also known as the National Pantheon. As we did so, we strolled through the streets of Alfama, which I think were a treat in themselves. :)

I’m that kind of tourist I think. While I am very interested in seeing the main sites and that kind of thing, I also enjoy just walking around the streets and looking at buildings and what not… that’s the kind of thing that appeals to me I think. Otherwise one can get too bogged down in ticking off all the places to see and you can forget to just… absorb.

Anyway, yep… so then we made it to the church and decided not to go inside, but just have a peek from the door.

We then decided to head in what we thought was the direction of Castelo de São Jorge (The Castle of St George), but we got distracted by pretty views at times… and then deterred some by torrential rain.

Once we finally did make it to the castle, we decided to go back tomorrow, seeing as it was pouring, and we were both pretty drenched from the rain.

Made our way back to the hostel to dry off for a bit. I got Ben some food, since the poor kid only had one pair of pants, and after relaxing a bit, and signing up for the Sintra tour tomorrow (run by the awesome hostel!), I headed out to Praça do Comércio to catch tram 15E towards Belém, in search of the famous Pastéis de Belém, as recommended by M and reconfirmed by the hostel staff. But more on that later.

After an amusing tram ride, I arrived at Mosteiro dos Jerónimos (Jerónimos Monastery)and stuck my camera in around there, before wandering past Centro Cultural de Belém (Cultural Center of Belém) in search of the Torre de Belém (Tower of Belém). I did not realise that the tower was so far away… and I also had to cross an overhead bridge, that had my mini fear of heights kick in a little bit…!

But the Tower was pretty enough, and the sun setting a little bit behind the clouds and all made for fun picture-taking.

Then I turned around and headed back, getting a little distracted by the “Golden Gate Bridge” (aka 25 de Abril Bridge) and by the time I got back to the Monument to the Discoveries, it was getting rather dark. Of course, I took pictures anyway… :)

It was almost time to head back, but I was still yet to have my Portuguese tarts (pastéis de nata). And so I went in search of Pastéis de Belém (Rua de Belém 84-92, 1300-085 LISBOA). It was super easy to find, just a little bit away from the monastery. I got my 6 for €5.40 and took them back to the hostel to eat. I was super impressed with the added icing sugar and cinnamon packets too. :)

pastéis de belém. (source: flickr)

BOY WERE THEY DELICIOUS!!! Crispy, flaky pastry that melted in your mouth, and a just-right egg custard filling that was not too sweet. Mmm… thinking about them now, I want to go back for more!!

After stuffing myself with four, it was time for Ben and I to head out to the Museum of Fado, to meet up with Clark and Nasim, who we had met last night during dinner.

We found them at Ti Camila Taberna, a little hole in the wall opposite the museum, where we tried a pork sandwich, which was delicious, albeit served with potato chips…!

Then we wandered around a little bit, stopping at what has become Clark’s local bar, before wandering around some more, only to head back to the little restaurant that we had passed earlier on.

Restaurante Esquina de Alfama (Rua de São Pedro 4, 1100 LISBOA) offered ‘fado’ performances from 20.00-0.00, so we ducked in to have dinner and enjoy the traditional Portuguese style of music. It was definitely an awesome experience, and I am super glad that we ended up going. It had an awesome vibe, and I ended up trying Portuguese cod and that was yum, if a little too salty…

The fado performances were super awesome, and all the singers had really great voices, but were also performers in their own right. I was slightly miffed at the Asian eyes and expectation that I was Japanese though…! But he came around later and actually did ask where I was from, so that’s fine.

But now I am back at the hostel, and I should get to sleep so that I can wake up in the morning for the tour. Praying for good weather too…!


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  • Comments (2)
    • Mom
    • January 7th, 2011

    You are so much like Daddy. Look at buildings etc. and taking your own sweet time

    • André Horta
    • January 11th, 2011

    Dear Lindy Tan,

    Today I founded your blog, you have some comments about your visit in Lisboa. You mentioned passing by Alfama, and eaten on Taberna Ti Camila. Well, I´m the son of the owner of that little hole opposite to Museu do Fado, on Nº32. Really grateful for your comment about our food, and regarding the potato chips, we will solve that problem.

    Hope you had enjoyed your time in Lisboa, until next time.
    Best Regards,

    André Horta

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