Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Lisbon - Part 2

We spent a lovely day browsing the large permanent produce market where you can buy fresh local fruit and veg, cheeses, fish and much much more. 

After our shopping we walked along the riverside as far as the centre of town where we had a pit stop and enjoyed a chilled beer and fishcakes with serra cheese, delicious! 

We had some really tasty food in Lisbon and we were pleased to find a number of vegetarian and vegan restaurants and options available to us. We had devoured some almond paste filled crossants for breakfast and given the custard tarts we were eating on a daily basis the evening walk we did to the top on one of the very steep hills may have been hard going but was necessary!!!

The following day we took the train to the coast and the small town of Cascais on the Iberian peninsula. It was a lovely day weather-wise and the sea breeze was welcome. Taking the train gave us the chance to see the coastline and it was nice to head out of the city and get a glimpse of the neighbourhoods along the way. We enjoyed a picnic lunch on the beach and then had a stroll around the town before heading back. Supper was freshly caught salmon from our local fishmonger!!

After shopping for provisions at the Saturday market next day we had some downtime at the apartment catching up on emails and reading in the little garden.

On Sunday we took the train again, this time to the town of Belem, famous for it's custard tarts! (Said to be the original recipe). We queued with lots of others to sample them but, to be honest, we thought they tasted the same as the others we had sampled! Very good though nonetheless.

Belem is a lovely compact town and we walked around all the main sights including the explorers monument from where you get a fantastic view of the bridge and the river. We also visited the monastrey and the Belem Tower. 

On our way back to the station at the end of a great day we crossed a local park where there was some kind of fair going on with people dressed in local costumes and dancing to fado music. It was a real bonus!

Our final day we spent visiting the town of Sintra. Again we took the very efficient, clean and cheap train service for the 1hr long journey. Sintra is quite kitsch in design but has a certain charm. It is small enough to explore on foot in a couple of hours so after wandering the little cobbled streets we headed for a local cafe where we enjoyed a superb al fresco lunch before heading back to take the train to the airport and home.

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