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Published: August 30th 2013
Oh, that bridge I always talk about!
The famous April 25th bridge in Lisbon. Yes same architect and yes it's almost identical!
Day in Lisbon
It was just another day in Portugal, sun shining, birds chirping, no. Wait. That's not right, this is only my second day in this small but exuberant country, and I'm excited! If you read the Lonely Planet guide you could spend a week here just exploring all the different districts, I'm quite thankful I'm on a pre organized vacation with just the right amount of inclusions but optional time to do my own thing also.
Our morning sightseeing included parks, cathedrals, history with a local guide, castles and hidden treasures to melt any palette. It had been suggested by Brad from Insight that I simply MUST go to this pastry shop and have a true delight. When I asked out TD he almost looked crest fallen as it turns out this place was near us (which I figured by the area of Belam) and his HT was to buy us all one of these pastries fresh from the shop! I promised to keep quiet, my silence easily bought by the prospect of delicious custard hot pastries soon crossing my lips.
And yes Brad, they ARE heavenly, and I would
UNESCO Heritage Site Lisbon
the Monastery of the Hieronymites – construction of which began in 1502 – exemplifies Portuguese art at its best.
have missed out on my own as the shop has quite this history and is lined up for well over an hour and literally makes these pastries all day to keep up with the demand. I've since seen them in other shops but I know the true Pasteis de Belem have spoiled me for any other. Which my hips are so ok with. But fresh, hot, sweet delicious pastries were amazing!
Our optional excursion was to travel to the towns of Cascais and Sintra; 2 not to be missed places. Sintra is a UNESCO site with its old castles and 8th century fortress walls still standing, and Cascais is a quaint fishing village with a great beach, and one of the best roof top restaurants ever. Period. Ironically I was more interested in Sintra and it turns out I enjoyed Cascais much more. Again just proving to me that having a great company organize things for you really is so helpful as I may have missed out completely on Sintra.
After getting to the hotel, I went on my former blogged evening excursion, by the end of the day I was knackered. My odd observations of the day: my Trafalgar group is 42 total, with Australians leading the pact, followed by Americans, Canadians and South Africans. Eclectic group, with a few solo travelers, one being particularly odd.
Which I shall save for another blog, because trust me, this guynjustbgets more and more interesting in a creepy 'I can't believe he does that in public' sort of way!
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