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Published: April 22nd 2018
Today we had quite the eventful day! Our start was "early" rising at 10:00 am - no alarm style to begin our day. Completely integrated to Spanish/Portuguese time zones, we found a nice breakfast/lunch at Ti Camilia. We both had "cafe's" per Cody's order (AKA straight espresso, thanks Cody), and split a ham and cheese sandwich. Cody mentioned that Portugal is the dark horse of sandwiches. He did not expect such a "strong showing," but we are not disappointed! Although, the best European sandwich to date is Antico Vinao in Florence, Italy, thanks for the recommendation there Joe Buss! However, this sandwich was delectable, and a close second to Florence. 😊
Our first museum stop of the day was to the Museo de Fado (The Fado Museum). Albertina's husband (our new friends from yesterday), works there, and he mentioned that today had free admission from 10:00 - 14:00, so we had to stop. Fado music is like Jazz to New Orleans, it is the cultural definition of if not Portuguese, Lisbon music. It began in the 19th century in Lisbon, and is typically a guitar ensemble with at least one soloist. The soloists have strong voices, females in the alto
range, and men in the tenor range. At first they used an English guitar (similar to an acoustic guitar as we know it), and it evolved into a Portuguese guitar during the 20th century. We had the audio guide, and were able to listen to various famous Fado musicians through the past century. For those visiting Lisbon, this was a very enjoyable way to spend the better part of an hour. Within the exhibits, between the propaganda, artwork, photos, instruments, and music recordings, this was a great museum.
Our next stop was to the Museu Fundacao Oriente (The Orient Museum). From our Airbnb, this was about a 2.5 mile walk along the coast, and was time well spent. We walked past a random square, tugboats, and the port, before reaching the museum. The museum itself was also free because they were celebrating their 30th anniversary (what luck we have)!! The exhibit started with a modern depiction of Asian art by Jose de Guimares, which we enjoyed immensely. Plus, there were lots of good photo ops with his statues! Next, we visited their permanent exhibits. The first floor was a combination of Asian influences, including China, Japan, Korea, Indonesia, Timor-Leste,
India, among others. The Portuguese were among the first European nations to trade and colonize with Asia. There were many missionaries, specifically Jesuits, who traveled to Asia to spread Christianity. Within the exhibit, there were costumes, scrolls, pottery, swords, furniture, and other artifacts of Asian decent. We next went to the second floor, containing the art of Asia. Specifically, we viewed both the Chinese Opera exhibit and theater exhibit. We learned that in Chinese Opera, the costumes, shoes, wigs, beards, and face-paint/masks that denote the actor/actresses gender, role, and societal status. In the theater exhibit, there were a variety of costumes and stories from traditional Chinese theater. Overall, we really enjoyed this museum! It was well worth our time.
Our final museum stop of the day was the Museu da Marioneta (Puppet Museum). We walked around various, slightly creepy, staged puppets, and were able to try out some puppeteering ourselves! They had puppets from around the world, particularly from Asia, Europe, and Australia. They were from different themed performances, and some were the designs of famous puppeteers. My favorite puppet display was the Don Quixote puppets, consisting of Don Quixote, Sancho, Dulcinea, Quixote's aunt, and the bishop. I both
sang in the puppeteer museum and am listening to the soundtrack in the Airbnb while I type, much to Cody's dismay, but don't care too much, lol. For those with a few days in Lisbon, this is definitely a hidden gem of the city.
We made a pit stop to the Time Out Market of Lisbon, another Milwaukee Public Museum-esque establishment, except this is all food vendors. The vendors are all the top chefs/restaurants of Lisbon, offering the best of their menus. Cody enjoyed a Croquette sandwich from Croquetteria, and I wanted some ice cream. I enjoyed some chocolate chip and Moka (coffee) flavored ice creams, which were delectable and hit the afternoon spot! Cody enjoyed some lemon and strawberry sorbet. The strawberry was delectable, the lemon was a little too sour for my taste buds.
We then walked along the coast to a coast side bar, where we got to enjoy a pitcher of white sangria while facing the coast of Lisbon and working on another crossword puzzle. We next went to Cody's choice for dinner, which was....not our best European meal. Cody ordered antelejo soup, which was a basic broth with an egg to mix in.
Compared to yesterday's antelejo soup, this was WILDLY different from yesterdays. He even had to throw salt and pepper into it to give it more flavor, a faux pas to poor cooking. We next got our main entrees, Cody had basically bread soaked in mixed seafood, including crawfish, clams, and shrimp. I was provided mixed fish instead of mixed meat, and was the provided the steak dish instead in the aftermath. Overall, not the best pick, but we walked on to find our "second dinner." We stumbled upon some live Fado music outside and enjoyed drinks, bread, and cheese for a couple hours while listening to some live Fado. It was incredible being able to experience Fado live, versus just through an audio guide within a museum.
Our day overall was extremely enjoyable. We spent more on booze than we did on both food and museums (total museum price of the day was 13 Euros, including audio guides), so it was quite the successful day!
Tomorrow we are headed to the storybook town of Sintra, Portugal, one of my "non-negotiable's" of the visit. Hopefully it does not disappoint!
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