Porto to Lisbon: Thursday 14th May 2009
We took the train from Porto at 11am and arrived in Lisbon at 2pm. A smooth journey. The only issue was a couple came along and had been allocated the same seats as us. Luckily the conductor found them alternative seats. The interesting thing was the elderly gentlemen spoke good English, where many of his younger countrymen have next to no English (we don’t expect people to speak English, it’s
just a comment)
We arrived at Santa Apolliana station, took the metro and found our apartment off Rossio square and settled in. ( four floors up narrow stairs)
We took tram 15 the 6km out to Belem. Here, our destination was not the Jeronimo Monastery or the Coach museum it was simply to visit the famous Pastelaria that makes literally thousands of these custard tarts each day and has been doing so since 1837. The recipe is top secret, but they are sold slightly warm, with a light eggy custard encased in crisp pastry. Across the top is icing sugar and cinnamon. http://www.pasteisdebelem.pt/ The calling for these pastries has been long (more than 18 months since I was in Lisbon with Chloe). They are just such a delight that I required four of them in a single sitting to address the deprivation. Luckily we had purchased 2 packs of six.
We came back to Lisbon city and headed out to the massive Spanish department store El Corte Ingles. We checked out the seven floors from top to bottom. It was more a browsing mission as there was not much needed, but managed to purchased some food, wine, a couple of books etc.
Next was the number 28 tram up to the Alfama district so I could book a table at a restaurant for Monday night. Having stayed in the Alfama we knew the trick about getting on the tram at an early stop. The tram was full and the tourists are terrible: they line up like lemmings!
After the table was booked, we sat at a lookout over the city in the sun and had a beer had looking over the water.