Part Three of the Mother/Daughter European Adventure....
We arrived in Lisbon, Portugal around 3pm in the afternoon (having flown there directly from our leg in Barcelona) and snagged a taxi to the area where our flat was situated. Because of a communication mishap, we were stuck lugging around our rolling suitcases for the next three hours. A major bummer. Lisbon is not a city to be hauling around a heavy bag on wheels (as much of Lisbon is hilly and all the streets are cobbled). However we made the best of it and hunkered down in a trendy/cozy cafe called Tease for some fierce Mille Bornes playing and competition, coupled with tea, tasty sandwich and quiche and a sweet finale in the form of an apple cinnamon cupcake. We had loads of fun doing this for almost two hours.
Afterwards, we explored the neighborhood around our flat on foot, walking through a serene and tiny square of a park...stopping to take photographs of colorful, crumbling building facades or intricately tiled apartment fronts.
We finally got into the apartment around 6pm, put down our bags and headed back out into the city for the evening. We caught the famous #28 tram up into the winding hills of the Alfama district, all narrow alleyways, cobbled streets, worn facades, glowing streetlamps, incredibly magical and romantic. Some of the hairpin turns the trolley makes have you wondering if you will make it through or if instead the trolley will scrape loudly against the side of the building instead.
We stopped on the way for some of the sweet bread which captured my heart so devoutly the last time I was in Lisbon. I bought 4 rolls without contemplation, handing over one to my Mom, devouring another myself and saving the other two for later.
As nighttime fell, we went in search of food. We made our way down from the hills of the Alfama and back into the happening center of the city, stopping at the doorways of numerous hole-in-the-wall restaurants to read through their menus before we finally settled on a plain, homey looking place which had won Trip Adviser Award of excellence last year. We were sold.
The meal was delicious. we shared garlic shrimp and a rice/fish bake of some sort. Super simple but incredibly tasty and well cooked. Afterwards, both exhausted, we stumbled back to our flat and fell asleep.
On our second day in Lisbon, we wandered the area near our flat. This consists of a bustling park, lots of cool boutique shops, and of course the requisite building front after building front all in a smattering of gorgeous tiled pattern. There happened to be a street market happening right next to the park, so we wandered this leisurely for around an hour. we sample different foods, Mom bought a homemade salsa to bring back home with her, I purchased a few homemade chocolates which were excellent, and then we headed further into the city on foot.
We stopped at a sweeping viewpoint which showed a gorgeous swatch of Lisbon as well as an ancient looking castle across the way from us. Here, Mom poured over cork bags for around 45 minutes, deliberating between a couple of different ones she really liked. Finally, she picked a lovely cork bag with a pocket covered in an elegant blue flowered print, like tiny bluebells almost. Later on in the day, I stumbled upon a simple, elegant, beautful cork bracelet when we ducked into a fancy boutique selling bags, jewelry and more, all of which was made with cork. The bracelet is a thin cord with 5 small charms on it which resemble little logs off a tree in varying natural colors. I bought it and have worn it a number of days since our trip. It always makes me think of this entire European adventure with my Mom.
We shared a relaxed lunch of soups and Cesar salad at Cafe No Chiado. I had the chestnut soup which was excellent, the standout item of the meal. Then the wandering commenced. We stopped off at the bakery, Tartine. Supposedly one of the best in the city. And while I haven't sampled nearly enough to be able to validate that claim, I would agree the sweets there are awesome. This time around, we only purchased the Lisbon famous custard tarts for my Mom to try. But last year at this bakery, I tried a sweet cheese tart and a chocolate tart. Both were mouthwateringly delicious.
Late in the afternoon, it began to pour rain. A slightly chilly breeze whipped through the trees. Perfect time for tea, we decided. So we headed into a hotel on one of the street corners where we had tea, were shocked be the tastiness of the small plate of cookies that came complimentary with the tea, and where we resumed our Mille Bornes playing.
After our tea break, we headed out for dinner. We had made reservations at Cervejaria Ramiro, a place I had found online that had RAVE reviews. Literally thousands of them. Supposedly some of the best seafood in Lisbon. Let me preface this with saying it was delicious, absolutely. However, one disappointment. We ordered crab. This was delivered to us in two ways. One via crab legs which we had to break open ourselves to get the meat out from inside (standard, all good), the other via a soupy texture served inside a crab shell. This sauce/soup was DELICIOUS, but it was cold. That was off putting. It was not nearly as satisfying as it would have been warm. So it was very tasty, but I would have wanted to eat way more of it had it been warm. On the other hand, the crusty buttered bread we were served in a towering heap was AWESOME. I ate way too much of that. And the large shrimp we ordered were excellent. Those were the best part of the meal. And they were warm ;.)
We had an awesome trip together. Completely and totally awesome. So many moments filled with laughter, heart-to-heart conversations, silly moments, a couple of stressful or scary moments (mostly related to timetables, as well as skiing the alps haha). We ate incredibly food, we walked all over mind-blowing cities, we explored dark cobbled alleys and narrow streets, we ate plethora's of dessert, we played cards, we drank loads of tea, we walked though a totally magical Alpine village, we skied the death-defying Swiss Alps, the list goes on. OUTSTANDING.
I actually dont think I could have loved this trip more. It was that good.
|Can you see the cute elderly couple watching the world from out of their window? ;-p|
|Be still my heart. Pao De Deus, a Portuguese sweet specialty.|
|Views of Lisbon from up in the Alfama district.|
|This would be the outside of the local bank in Lisbon.|
|Gorgeous little dessert shop in Frankfurt. Check out that wallpaper.|