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Published: April 25th 2018
Sunday: Overcast but still a nice day, the four of us headed out to the Belém neighborhood. Marji and Gary wanted to see the Tower and the Monestery while Glen, Karen, Mike and I were interested in the Coach Museum. It never ceases to amaze me that this area is so old that they have enough history of everything that everything can have their own museum, hence, the Coach Museum.
This cool museum starts from the very first simple coaches built for Filipe II in the 17th century. Fancy for its era, it was still not the rich opulence of the 18th century carriages. To explain some of my pictures, I have to say that, while the entire coach was interesting, the real workmanship was in the details of the backs, and sometimes the fronts, of these little whimsies. Therefore, most of my pics are of coach butts. The largest part of the collection was in a very modern building that is almost out of place within the antiquity of the area. I was surprised to read that most of the ceremonial carriages were used only one time!
Across the street, near the President‘s residence, was the Royal riding
stable. This building used to hold the entire collection but now has only seven less historically important coaches. What cool thing it has now is the FireFighter Coaches and the history of fire fighting in Lisbon. Hand pumps and horse drawn carriages complete with spring loaded ladders were on display.
Finally, the stable housed a traditional riding game. A rotating wooden guy holding a shield in one hand and a whip in the other...the goal is that the rider has to hit the shield and gallop away before the whip can hit either the horse or rider. Speed, agility, and strategy!
Met with Gary and Marji for coffee. They had seen the Discoverers‘ Monument but the lines for the Monestery were waaaay to long. They ate a couple Pasteis de Belém and left for the Castle St Jorge. Mike and I met w Glen and Karen for a quick lunch then headed home to get ready/take a nap before our big dinner at Sandeman in Chiata.
Our experience at Sandeman was most excellent. Arranged for us by Marji and her work, we sat upstairs in a private diningroom overlooking the square. Our waitress, Isabelle could not have
been more attentive and informative. I learned so much about the different types of Port, how they are made, and the differences between the ports of different ages. We had Port and tonic cocktails with the cod fritter appetizer. We had a lovely red wine w the veal steak and mushrooms in a ruby port reduction. We had a flight of 10/20/30/40 year old ports with the flourless chocolate cake and strawberry ice cream. No way most of us could finish any of all that was served.
Ubered Home and crawled into our beds. Such an indulgence!
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