Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Lisbon...i.e. FOOD!

Do you recognize this outfit? You should...third day running. Yuck. I got in on the night bus from Madrid at 7am and went strait to a hostel in town. Of course I couldn't check in but they said I could hang out in the lobby for the morning.

The hostel was doing a free walking tour of the city that day so at eleven I joined the group for the city tour. We first rode on the city trolley. The city is build on a series of hills so it was nice not to have to walk up it all.
Our first stop wasa the daily flea market. A classic favorite among travelers. It is always fun to see what unique things they are selling.

Next we went up to the castle on the top of a mountain overlooking the city. Pretty classic southern european looking city. If you think that bridge looks suspiciously like the Golden Gate bridge....it was built by the same company as did the famous twin in San Francisco.

Here is the castle. I am beginning to notice a bit of a trend as I go through Europe. Every city has a huge cathedral and a castle.....nothing amazing to say about this one. Offered great views of the city though.

This part was perhaps the best part of the tour. The guide took us to an authentic Portugese restaurant.
This is Lauren from New Orleans. We are two lone travelers that met on the hostels walking tour. I think she will be an excellent connection.

This is a traditional Portugese meal. Doesn't look like much but it was incredible! On the left...Sardines. Very tasty, our tour guide told us the proper way to eat them. Put the whole fish on a piece of french bread and put some olive oil on it and then take off the skin and bones and then you get all the good flavor left on the bread. Very tasty. On the right of the plate is a traditional dish that is esentially dried salted cod in hash browns. Excellent!

After the walking tour Lauren and I headed off to see a bit more of the city. We went to see this old monestary but sadly found that things had switched to winter hours and it was closing when we got there.
This monument to the exploreres was across the street. We went to the top and got another vista. There were lots of vistas of the city today.

Just down the road was one of the must do things we had heard about. There is a really famous pastry shop there that sells Portugals most famous custard tarts. They are exactly that...custard tarts, very yummy.
When we were done here we decided to walk back. Probably wasn't the best idea. It took almost two hours and turned out to be about 6 km.....we certainly walked off that custard tart.

By the time we got back to town and showered it was time for dinner. We went and got dinner (after wandering around lost for a long time) with two other guys she had met at her hostel. Lauren is a little more adventurous than I am when it comes to food. We shared an octopus salad (rubbery but good) and this seafood dish. It was a little like soupy paella. Clams and whole shrimp. I had to tear their heads and their little legs off....not as clean as I would have liked but still tasty.

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