Sunday, June 21, 2015

Day 25: Lovely Lisbon

The day started out cool and cloudy. So cool that many of my fellow tourists, myself included, removed ourselves from the top of the double decker bus to hunker down below. As we drove on a highway, the cool wind became a blast of frigid air.

The tour was supposed to take us past the beaches at Cascais, a town just outside of Lisbon or maybe a suburb of it. But there was a bicycle race in town, certain streets were closed off. I assumed that was the case when the driver told us he would not be able to stop at certain places. 

But as we closed in on Belem and Cascais, the driver was getting irritated with more closures and detours. Things weren't going as planned. 

But since I had rolled my left ankle yesterday and the evening was one of sheer pain, walking wasn't much of an option for me so my intention was to sit on the bus and just ride along.

But it might have been nice to see the beaches. I did get to see some very nice neighborhoods, they had to be their version of Beverly Hills, who else have homes big enough to have a flag pole and giant flags?

The audio wasn't working on the bus so my imagination went all over the place. I have no educational tidbits today. 

My host at the hostel told me about a place in Belem where the best pastel de nata (Portuguese egg tart) was made at a place called Pasteis de Belem. He warned me the lines for "take away" would be long but told me to go inside and take a table and "someone will come to serve you".

He wasn't joking, the line stretched to the end of the block and it was all for the "take away" or as we say in Chicago, "to go". But there was no line for the "table service".

So I slid into the restaurant, I noticed a sign that said "400 lugar" I think it means it holds 400 seats which is huge! When I stepped out I noticed that I was several doors away from the main entrance!

There was a line all the way in the back where there was a security guard to point us to a table and keep things from getting out of hand. As soon as a table opened up, regardless if it was cleared or not, the guard directed people to sit. I got lucky with a little table that allowed me to sit with my back to a wall. I saw people ordinary piles of the pastry as well as many to go bags.

I was introduced to these pastries several years ago in Shanghai of all places. My Chinese co-workers were in love with them and they were being sold only by KFC. What a global village we really live in!

When I left Pasteis de Belem, I walked to the Jerónimos Monastery, a giant building easily a city block long. I'd always wanted to visit a monastery. It would cost me €10 to get into the Monastery but the church was free. 

I was on the verge of starting a gofund me page because I am literally running out of money. My hotels and transportations are mostly paid for, but feeding myself is turning into a scavenger hunt for a grocery store and eating cheap food. But I figured, I could use to lose so weight, so I'm just super careful with my cash.

I had wanted to try the grills bacalao- they call it cod, and it looked and smelled delicious but I wanted to see the monastery and who knew when I would get my next shot. And you know what? I made the right decision. Although my tummy is grumbling right now. 

I can't begin to express the transcendent peace that over came me. It's not like it was the best sculpting or best paintings, but it was the idea that centuries before the U.S. Was even discovered, monks walked these hallways and prayed literally every day.

Rather than try to express those words, I put it to music and made a video. It is still inadequate, but it will have to do. Time seems to be flying by so quickly, I just don't have enough time to do everything I want to do. Please click on the link for the video.

I'm trying to live in the moment, enjoy the sunshine, the open skies and the air. I still tweet and post on FB in too much, but I'll get better. 

Tomorrow is Monday with another flight and another city. 


  1. Did you go to CCB? It just right across the street from Jerónimos. It's a cultural center. Sometimes they have free expositions.

    1. Was that the park? I saw the maritime museum but didn't go in. I spent so much time at Jeronimos I had to catch the bus.