Que pasa? Lulled by air conditioning in sumptuous cotton king bed, we awoke well past pequena almoco (breakfast). Non plussed, we prepared ourselves for a neighborhood walk to last several hours. Since we discovered a pastelaria the night before, we decided to make a street picnic before launching. We made our way to Bela Ipanema (beautiful bakery) and had our first foodie tour of Portuguese pastries. We ordered a chicken, ham, and goat curd sandwich to share, requisite apple ((my http://www.healthy-options.com friends will be proud) and a panoply of treats – gelea slice, custard tarts and a ‘reasonable’ American coffee. As we sit and take it in. We are thinking that Lisboa reminds us of Saint John, New Brunswick for it is a city that is worn, slightly disheveled from life, and especially hard times. It looks easy on the surface, but people are working hard to make a living to support the life they’ve already made for themselves. On our walking tour we discovered the ‘sidestreets’ with real life-frutaria (stopped for water and oranges), farmacia and souvenirs. My grandson wants a shirt from Portugal but ‘not a team shirt Nana’. As I see things I am reminded of dear ones at home – an orange stone ring (Nancy), Gucci (you know who you are…), fruit markets (my counselors from Healthy…), the shirt for my precious grandson and the most beautiful baby shop (the most special baby girl) ‘Papa look…’ A sweet purchase and off we go again. Since it is about 36 degrees Celsius, we shop for some shoes and then decide to take a rest. We took advantage of a WC (bathrooms are labeled this way – thanks Britain) at McDonalds and we trudge off for a sidewalk cafe where we shared Portuguese scones, ham and brie panini – interesting iced tea and air conditioning. The streets gain strength in activity after siesta and we meander in more stores while making our way to the Port of Lisboa at the mouth of the Targus River. As I write this it is late afternoon and waves are crashing on the stairs where my Beloved is recharging. It’s a bit of a photo stop and happy vacationers are taking pictures of one another when a rogue wave surprised us and we decided it was our sign to move along and make our way back to public parks, and a hilltop viewing point. Through narrow streets we walk on the beautiful sidewalks, some patterned with intricate designs.
Since pastelaria abound, there are as many cake and pastry choices as individual places, all taking pride in their special creations. One common bread are the sweet and creamy custard tarts. The shopkeeper accommodated our request for ‘American coffee and we indulged again in a dense pound cake and Valencia orange peel smeared in dark chocolate. This was sufficient calorie intake to fuel the hilly return to the hotel.
We refreshed, paid some bills (reality existed for a few minutes) and when My Beloved googled Royal Bank – he was directed to a very long swim westward to Newfoundland!
Once ready to venture for dinner (8 PM and on), we are planning to locate a place discovered today for grilled cod. We knew walking down hill that ‘what goes down must go up’. We press on like city pros. The restauranteur recognized us, unbelievably, and got us a great table immediately. Thoughtfully ensuring I ordered a salad, we imbibed sardine pate, olives, goat and cow curd and then codfish ‘bras’- fish mashed with potato – Portuguese comfort food! Please hear me yelling ‘delicious’. With sangria (does this count as a fruit serving?) and busker serenades, we finished the evening with a brisk walk uphill to turn in as very happy tourists. Tomorrow will yield a new adventure as we wrap up our stay in lovely Lisboa and relocate to the Algarve.