Introduction: This was such a busy day! It was Laura’s Mum’s day off so her and Grandmother went us with to Lisbon for basically a walking tour of Lisbon. I saw so much in Lisbon that day alone, including lots of streets, shops, view, plazas and an incredible church. This too was my first chance to try the traditional custard tarts (pastéis de nata) here and learn a lot about both Lisbon’s and Portugal’s history. In the evening we went to dinner with some of Laura’s friend’s in a traditional Portuguese local’s restaurant, trying to get use to Portuguese customs.
Our Late Start
We were still very tired from the day before so we had a lie in. This also worked out well as Laura’s Mum and Grandmother were going to go with us to Lisbon as it was her day off, and they wanted the morning to sort some errands in the morning. We had breakfast, which I was now getting use to, because bread with just butter seemed strange without being toasted, etc but now it seemed quite normal. We then got the ferry again across to Lisbon. Although we practically had to run there it seemed and lucky to catch the boat.
Laura’s kettle, I just had to take a photo as it’s been ages since I have seen one, we generally just have electric
Terreiro do Paço
From the ferry we walked towards Terreiro do Paço. As we did this we walked past the Marinha Ministerio Defesa Nacional (Marine National Ministry of Defense). We walked about the plaza at Terreiro do Paço, as Laura told me all the history regarding [Wikipedia link]. It use to be until recently where most of the ministries but now it is more touristy in a bid to get people to visit more. In one corner too there was a little cafe called ‘Martinho de D’Acarde’. This is a cafe which a famous Portuguese writer Fernando Pessoa use to visit and this is where he use to sit at the time. So this table is set up how it use to be when he visited in the early 1900s with photos and memorabilia around it.
The Marinha Ministerio Defesa Nacional
At Terreiro do Paço
The side of the square the Ministries use to be which are now cafes
The corner in Martinho de D’Acarde dedicated to Fernando Pessoa
The table itself
More photos from around this area here
Into the Centre of Lisbon
From he we went through the archway leading into the more central part of the city. The layout is similar to a America with the grid system so every junction you would see small road leading off. Also not only buses but trams everywhere; some new and some very old fashioned.
Looking back to Terreiro do Paço from the other side
One of the little side street
The floor, this what what the pedestrian roads are like everywhere you go
This is traditional style of building with these types of tiles all over it
More photos from the streets in Lisbon here
Small Very Old Shops
We walked up one side to Praça do Rossio (Rossio Square) we walked but down the other. This occurred in many street but here more than most: There were very old shops, most dating back to the 1800s or so. They were all clearly very proud of their age and tradition. Others such as bakeries, which Lisbon seems to be famous for might be not quite as old in places but with just as much tradition and heritage.
One of the little old bakeries
A tiny little glove shop
An old style van selling Fado musical (traditional to Portugal)
Saw this in one of the old fashioned book shops which made me laugh
More photos from the shops in this area here
After a while we stopped at a cafe called ‘A Brazileira’. We were having a very traditional snack which is typically what most people have in the cafes here. It is a pastry in the form of a kind of custard tart, called pastéis de nata [Wikipedia link]. Which are very traditional in Portugal. They are quite small though and they often sprinkle cinnamon on the top. The other difference I suppose I should be use to is the coffee they have usually more like an Espresso than an Americano.
Outside the cafe was a statue of the writer (as mentioned before) Fernando Pessoa. Next to this statue is a seat, so being the tourist that I am, I did the whole have your photo taken with Fernando Pessoa.
The sign of the cafe we went to
Inside the cafe
The custard tarts (pastéis de nata)
More importantly us eating them
Me outside with Fernando Pessoa
More photos from this cafe (inside and surrounding area) here
Igreja de S. Roque (the Church of St Roque)
We then walked up to an amazing church called Igreja de S. Roque (the Church of St Roque). It traditional style of Catholic churches especially this background it was basically just all gold inside with really impressively painted ceilings; in a way that I don’t think an photo could do it credit. It was definitely one you had to see first hand.
As soon as you arrive in the church
Another view looking to the front of the church
One of the little alcoves
A box where it believed if you out money in it and make a wish you will find love
More photos from within the church here
Link to it on Wikipedia
Escardinhas do Duque
We headed back towards Praça do Rossio. To get there we went down what they consider a kind of staircase. It had great views the whole way; especially the castle which was almost framed between the buildings. Over the top of the roads and stairs was what seemed to be streamers and tinsel. This was actually left from a festival back in June, for some reason elements still remained. The other thing that several times were the sights of old cafes and some based on what small old cafes up in the north of the country look like. When we got back to the square we also passed a very old train station, then finally the square itself.
One of these mock up cafes as mentioned
Me on these stairs talked about; looking down on Lisbon with the castle in background
Looking back the way we came
Arriving in Praça do Rossio
More photos from here
Praça do Rossio (Rossio Square)
At the square this is when Laura’s Mother and Grandmother left us. From by the sounds of it, this Square is basically the equivalent of Trafalgar Square for Lisbon. They were going home but me and Laura were staying in Lisbon still as we were having dinner with some of Laura’s friends. We sat and ate some sandwiches here before heading around the corner to a kind of shopping centre called Chiado which had a Starbucks in so we could get some Frappe but more importantly use the internet and charge our phones.
A different view of the Square
Us in the Square
The building at the back of the square
The square next door which is a lot smaller
More photos from in Rossio Sqaure here
More info from Wikipedia
Dinner with Laura’s friends
This was interesting and another chance to try some Portuguese food again. There also seemed to what appeared to be an endless supply of Sangria too; this was clearly a locals restaurant than a normal touristy one. We got to the restaurant called Arguivo Geral rather early. The first thing which I found at this point is that unlike restaurants in this country who don’t seem to like it when you have a massive party and you have to book in advance, in Portugal these particular restaurants they generally won’t take any bookings of less that 13 to 15!
The next thing I found strange when Laura’s friends arrived was that they all greet each other with 2 kisses. In British social culture that is rarity and you may get a few strange looks for but here it was the same for everyone you met, whether you had known them for a while or this was the first time! We planned how I could speak fast and in Geordie so they wouldn’t understand if I needed to ask Laura anything. It actually didn’t matter as they couldn’t understand what I said anyway; saying I speak to fast and my accent is too strong and that is even when I spoke very slowly.
The Long Journey Home
As we were going back to late the boat to Seixal wasn’t running. We had to get another and then a bus from there back home. Being me I desperately needed the toilets by the time we reached the ferry terminal and we just missed the bus. There was a cafe actually open just outside luckily so we stopped for a cup of coffee so I could use their toilets. This too is when I learnt that me and tram tracks don’t go well I caught my foot in one and went flying, after that I was really, really careful with them.