The Storks of Böbs

The Storks of Böbs
A Very Fine Pair

Day 17-19 Down the Iberian Peninsular- Belem & Lisbon

Days 17-19 down the Liberian Peninsular – Lisbon and Belem
Day 1 Belem
We left Cascais (Guinicho to be exact) campsite at a leisurely pace and headed off in the direction of Lisbon, we could not find the address for our campsite and the Sat Nav lead us a merry dance, a nice Policeman in the end pointed us in the right direction, and told us head off on the main road following thze signs for the A8 and we would then see large signs for Campisimo, we did and low and behold it worked, so once again if you want to get to a campsite ask a policeman.

We got everything set up and not wanting to lose Lisbon time decided to go down to the Heroinismus Cloister in Belem, Linda had never visited but being a custard tart convert decided she must try the real thing. It was raining and at not at all nice, but with our rain coats on off we went, the No 417 bus stopped a short distance from the campsite so off we went, soon along came the bus, we went to get on but the nice people said not this one the next (the same bust stop serves the outward and the inward bus). In a couple of minutes along came our 417 and soon it whisked us off in the direction of Belem.
I didn't see any singing in the rain that day
We arrived at the Cloister and the flower, shawl and bead sellers where doing a brisk trade in rain capes and umbrellas. It took a good half hour of queuing but at last we were inside. I have been to this cloister twice before, but it never ceases to amaze me, this being Linda’s first time, she was in pure amazement (she’s a Prodi and they don’t have this type of thing).
A nice piece of hammer and chisel work
Did they have ze Polish tilers in?

MmmmYes GRIFINDOR I think!

Linda was having Nun of it
We spent a good couple of hours wandering the cloisters, the chapels and refectory.

The Mariners window

The refrectory, wonder when they serve nosh

As my old mother would say get your Vasco Pyjamas on and up the holy dancers

I wonder if he knew he was knocking on the wrong door

The Church from the Chlor Stalls

When at last we had had enough of gaping and staring we headed outside, it was now very nice sunshine, so we walked across the road through the gardens and took in the view of the Magnificent Statue of Henry the Navigator and his merry band.
Did he jump or was he pushed?
The light house and the Torre Belem
The Tower all by itself
We then walked to the Belem Torre (Belem gateway) on the way passing the National Museum of Modern Art (MNAC), there was an exhibition of the works of Escher that was just coming to an end, but we didn’t venture inside as all over Lisbon you can see examples of his works be it on the pavement mosaic patterns or on wall murals. We then cut back across the road to get our bus back to the campsite, beside the bus stop on a piece of disused tram line.
Not the banana Bunch, but the Banana Tram
(you can get a tram direct from Belem to the centre of Lisbon) it has been turned into a nice little café, not selling as you would expect Pastel de Natas, but pies, it was getting near the end of the patrons day, so he only had one solitary pie left, I decided to have it, it was a very nice chicken pie, quite delicious, against my inner self I even shared it with Linda.
The 417 Arrives
We returned to the campsite on the No 417, Passing the lass at the main Entrance.

I dropped my stuff and went to the restaurant join Linda, she was drinking a glass of red and had bought me a large beer, she was sitting outside, and it had turned cool, so I suggested we went inside, the restaurant was sparsely populated, so we found a table no bother. I got my Laptop set up and while doing so inadvertently knocked over Linda’s red wine, alas it went over her camera, I dried it off and Linda went to get some serviettes to mop up the wine. The waiter had seen the happenings and came across with a cloth and then after had gone to wring it out returned with a new glass of red wine for Linda, we tried the camera and it seemed to be working ok. I down loaded my photo’s, we ordered our food (there is no set plan here you order it when you want, no rush, this after all a campsite. The food is simple with a different meal of the day as well as the normal food up in pictures on the wall. I had calamari rings and chips and Linda an omelette and chips, simple but very tasty.

We finished our meal and our drinks and headed off up to the camper, when we arrived we tried Linda’s camera again, it had stopped working, she wasn’t a happy bunny. We stripped out the battery and disk and dried them as best we could, we laid them out to dry, hoped for the best and went to bed. 

Lisbon day 2
Today we had decided to do the open bus tour (we had done the yellow bus tour in Porto so by keeping our tickets we got 10% reduction. But as usual I was up first and went to have my shower while Linda made the tea and got her tubes and things hung up. I came back and while drinking my tea tried out her camera, it was working intermittently so it couldn’t be anything too bad. But I said she could use my camera as I always have my faithful point and shoot Lumix that has accompanied me all over the world and as it has a 10X optical zoom takes very passable photo’s. That agreed off we went to get the bus to Belem where our tour would start, it was a bright sunny morning and when we got to the Belem bus stop, there was already a long que to get into the Cloister, we felt rather smug having done that yesterday when there weren’t so many tourists out in the rain. We agreed we would go to the famous Pastel de Belem shop for breakfast, inside was just starting to fill up, but we got a table right beside the service point, I didn’t want a custard tart, but Linda did (she was doing a tasting experiment between all of the custard tarts in Portugal), decided on a couple of pies, one a chicken and the other a duck and leek, both I must say very tasty, the chicken not quite as nice as the one I had the evening before, but the duck and leek was wonderful

Linda in her search of the perfect custard tart, We are having a late summer cookery club meet in Stodo, the theme this year will be Stodo goes Iberian. Therefore get your castanets polished and your sombreros out guys and gals.

The Que was just starting to form and Linda not queing

We then went to what we thought was our bus-stop, but wrong this was the tour of Belem bus, ours was the yellow tour, blue line bus down at the other end of the square. Off we scooted and got the correct charabanc.
The correct bus stop
It took us in a loop passing the Torres Belem and King Harry’s statue with his erstwhile crew, again. 
They hadn't moved since yesterday
It then went along the water front taking in all of the buildings; churches, warehouses and dock buildings that have now been turned into very nice pubs, bars and restaurants, that really only come alive at night. We reached our hop off point just behind the National museum, this is covered in scaffolding as it is having a complete make over, we didn’t go in, I shall keep that for the next time. We did walk down to the square and went into the Information Office, always one of our first ports of call.

The other sideof the Tajo
We then wandered along the street next to the main public thoroughfare, the one that leads from the Praca do comércio through the Arche, we went first along the Rua Aurea then cutting back we therefore missed a lot of the tat shops and arrived at Rossio, a large open square with its views of the surrounding City looking back along the Rua Augusta, to the right the Chiado and Bairro Alto and to the right Castelo de Sáo Jorge and the Alfama. Stop, sit and have a coffee (Lisbon has some wonderful coffee) and enjoy a few quiet, restful, moments.
Rossio, fountain and The National Theatre
Next we went looking for a present for Aiden, he needed something to help his mother in the kitchen, so we had seen it a bit earlier so along we went to get it.
Next lunch is order of the day, so we decided to sit outside, though not very nice as there is often a cooling breeze coming up the street from the river Tajo. But hey who knows when the next time we shall have the opportunity? We had a very nice sharing fish platter and a large perfectly cooked vegetable platter. The food was all cooked perfect, (the fish wonderfully grilled and the vegetable a la dente.

Next it was across to Figueira, the starting and ending point for many trams, busses and tours, we then went through a side street and found the Church de Sao Domingos, this Dominican cloister Church had suffered much over the centuries, first the great earthquake of 1755 and finally a fire, in 1959, this destroyed most of the inner fabric. Only the ceiling has been fully restored, but the remaining desolation has been quite respectfully reincorporated into the church, this makes it well worth a visit.

Leaving the church, we turned a corner and low and behold there in front of us was a ham and art fair. We walked through promising ourselves to return tomorrow.

We decided to go up to Chiado and visit the visit the Bairro Alto, we had aimed to go via the Elevador de Santa Justa (€5,15 up and down) but call us tight fisted we decided to walk up and then when we had finished our looky-looky, we used the department stores internal escalators, cost Nowt!

It was now time to use up the rest of our hop on hop off pass and catch the yellow bus to Belam. Linda ordered her pork pie, she commented that it was really nice, Though I didn't get a taste so cannot comment!!
We got on the bus, but as it got further and further along its route it got fuller and fuller, I now know how the Portuguese learned to pack sardines in a last reaching our destination, we plonked our baggage in the camper and headed down to the restaurant area, (mini market, bar, Wifi room, TV room) to have a drink and a toasted sandwich with the now obligatory chips. Then it was time for bed (Linda was more than a little tippsy).

Saturday 26 May, Linda’s last day.

I was up and about, and Linda said she would pack her case, as I was bringing most of her stuff back with me, she only had her aspiration device and a few other things that she cannot do without. We got the bus to the underground then went to Campo Grande on the green line, finally the last part by Taxi to Linda’s hotel where she would be spending her last night as she had a very early flight.
We hopped on the underground once again and got off at Rossio for breakfast, it was to be a very good breakfast, black and white pudding, speck and a dry aged ham and smelly cheese sandwich, we had a sangria to wash it down.
The Lady selling breakfast

So we bought the mixed breakfast and a ham sandwich
 Linda done a bit of a shop for a handbag (she had to spend some birthday money, I must say it looks very nice. Next, we looked for the tram line to take us up to the Castelo de Sao Jorge. The que was massive, I said to Linda do fancy a bit of a hill climb, that lass is game for anything, there is a set of steps that lead either to the castle or heaven (if your lucky), they are building an escalator, but it isn’t quite finished.

The starting point of our ascent

The first part
Wonderful flowering trees at the top of the steps
With a bit of a huffing and a puffing we made it to the top of the steps, but that isn’t the end of it, there is a fair number of twisty streets, all going up before the gate comes into view.

We needed a drink after that, so we sat at the nice café beside the castle walls and had our beverages. We watched the comings and goings, the punters wondering why they had ever been so silly to do that, but what the devil they had made it.

It was time to now take the downward path, much easier, the narrow streets that lead through the Alfamo district are worthy of a visit just by themselves, this is the oldest part of Lisbon and will soon come into its own when June arrives as this is the month of festivities.

We stopped off at an art gallery, very interesting.

The Cathedral looking east along the Tajo
A cool and pleasant garden to take a rest

Down at the bottom, we turned right at the Naval museum and found a nice little café just across the road from the Fado Museum, we sat and listened not to Fado but a couple of Jazz musicians doing their stuff and doing it very well.

We each had a Sangria, white for Linda and red for me. WE thought that we had burnt off the calories from breakfast so decided to head for a restaurant that our friends Kei and Sebastian had recommended (two seasoned Lisbon fans), alas I missed the turning and we ended up at the point that I would catch my number 417 and Linda her Underground.

There was a small market going on, but not a very food orientated, at the corner was an original Lisbon restaurant, Linda wasn’t impressed but I likes the look of it my dearies. In we went and were greeted with come in and take a table (they had finished midday service and were getting ready for the evening one the waiters and staff were busy either eating cleaning or chatting. The head Poncho, came across and asked us in very respectful English, what did we fancy, then another came with the menu and wine list, they served predominantly fish, Linda had seen her swordfish and myself seen rougette.

She didn't really want it but Henrique persuaded her!!!
Mine was unfortunately sold out, the head Honcho (I now know is called Henrique) said I can recommend the steak, that is what I am having for lunch. We chatted, and it soon became clear this was no ordinary head Honcho, he proclaimed he was the top dog of all the Muscadet Sommeliers in Lisbon. Hanging in the corner was his cloak and medallion. This was too good an opportunity to miss, I got him to don his cloak and medallion and took a photo of him.

In the background the Mama cook was busying herself and soon our food appeared along with our bottle of Vino Verde. We were the only people in the restaurant (it would normally be shut for service), Henrique came to our table with a very good Muscadet as a present, not the best he said but very good, very good indeed.

 Mama was getting things ready for the evening, first a whopping great octopus was pulled out a pot and left to cool, this I was informed would be made into various octopus dishes for that evening. Alas it was time to go, I went across to thank Mama, she had just turned out a big bag of Brown Crabs, still alive, I asked Henrique did he import them, no he said they come from Cascais, well I though I bet out of those pots I saw a few day ago.
King Harry and his Chief Engineer
We then headed across the road Linda to head for her Hotel and I to get my bus to the campsite, bye-bye Linda have a nice flight. I was off to see Real Madrid beat Liverpool, who was that keeper????

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