Portugal was stunning.
The streets and walkways, so quaint, each of a mosaic-type. And the buildings, with their hand-painted tiles. The street tram. The hills. Lisbon is called the ‘City of 8 Hills’, but after walking the city for several days, the children and I testify that there are more than eight hills to traverse!
Sunday morning, we got the children dressed for church, and made our way to a small congregation, meeting in the bottom of a residential building in Lisbon. Church was all kisses and Portuguese, and Portuguese and kisses. Bry tried to translate in Sunday School, with his understanding of Spanish (Portuguese’s closest cousin). I tried to translate in Relief Society, with my understanding of body language. The children were adored in their Primary classes. The love the church members showed us was overwhelming. The Spirit that attends people who love so readily, is beautiful.
Come Monday, and after a morning run along the Miradouro, we decided to follow a foodie’s approach to Lisbon. I found a brilliant blog by a man who travels purely for cuisinical (is that a word?) experiences. We ate dinner at his favorite restaraunt, Taberna Da Rua Das Flores. We tried Portuguese pastries at his confeitatia of choice.
Have you ever tried these!!? Little bites of heaven on earth! Pastel de Nata! (His picture, not mine.)
Well, the Portuguese are not the only ones in Lisbon who can cook. I was on breakfast duty the second morning. Scrambled eggs. I have done it, probably hundreds of times before. But never on a glass-top gas stove. Come to find out, no one has, because the glass is supposed to be removed BEFORE you turn on the open flame. The glass top shattered under my frying pan, like a Pyrex dish in a suitcase (yep…I’ve done that one before, too).
We took three hours to clean up the glass
And, the next three days, exploring our Portuguese city of choice – Lisbon.
What markets were open, we visited. What miradouros we could reach, we experienced. We rode the Tram28 with a car full of fellow tourists. And we walked and we ate what (and all) we could, in those three short days.
At the end of our stay, and on our way out of the city, we took a half-day to peruse Sintra, a picturesque village with its castles and pottery, and more tiles (and more pastel de natas).
I am very careful – I try very hard to not wish for more than I have. Having said that, I could not help but wish for more time in Portugal.
In E‘s words:
When the day was done
We wished it’d just begun
But with exciting memories
We moved on and on
You’ve described the essence so well. Dad and I must go there someday. What beautiful memories you are creating for your precious family.
It sounds magical! I love reading your descriptions and exploring Europe through your eyes.
I love this adventure! So curious about the “Pastel de Nata” — is that a little custard pie? Did you bring home any of the lovely pottery or tiles? (Hmmm… probably not. That would have been a bit inconvenient to pack when you were in super-efficiency mode!)
I love her little poem. Portugal is now on my list! Sounds like a fun hidden treasure. And the food is one of the best reasons to travel. Your experiences biking into the canal and the glass stove, may not have been great for you, but they make great stories!