Stairs!

Trip Start Jun 01, 2010
1
71
158
Trip End Mar 11, 2011


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Flag of Portugal  , Estremadura,
Sunday, August 8, 2010

We woke up and there was a bit of rain in the air. Good, this cools everything down a bit. We enjoyed a lovely breakfast at the hotel where the eggs were cooked to order, as they should be. I could have stayed here for another night or two, but we have booked something in Lisboa, so we have quite a drive ahead. After breakfast we loaded the car and took of, heading out to Portugal.










Around lunch time we were around the town of Castello Branco, so we left the highway and headed to the town. Here we got a marvelous Portuguese lunch at a very local restaurant, hidden under a pergola of grapes. The waitress spoke very good English and was very friendly, recommending us local specialties. I had a grilled sea bass and Linda some very nice Bacalhou fried with potatoes, egg and bell pepper both were awesome. One of Linda's favorite Portuguese dish even when she lives in Macau. For dessert we had a treat of local Tigelada da Beira.














Well fed we continued onwards to Lisboa. On the way we found the little town of Macao. As Linda is from Macau (in Asia) we figured we had to stop here to make some photos. Its just too funny. So we took the exit to the town of Macao and found us a road sign with the name. We stumbled upon a dam and lake, which were quite nice to see. Continuing onwards we got onto the highway to Lisboa. The highway is crazy here. When cruising at 150 kmh we are still passed by Portuguese road warriors doing at least 30-40 km more. But we survived the craziness and arrived in Lisboa without any scratches. Now we had the challenge of finding the hotel, which was located on top of the hill where the fortress is. Matt, our GPS, got confused at every turn we made as all roads are small and narrow. But eventually we made it up the hill. Luckily I could park the car just in front of the Hotel, and as it was Sunday, it would be fine there for the night. Tomorrow I will have to put it in the hotel's garage, but for now we saved 12 Euro on parking fees, whoohoo.


Our hotel, 'Ollisipo Castello' was OK for a small city hotel. The room was not the newest, but functional. We did have a very nice balcony overlooking the city of Lisboa. After we unpacked we did some research on where to go for dinner. Tonight we want some very nice food, as the last few days' dinners have been kind of so-so. We found a couple of places that we marked down on the map. It all seemed not too far away. But, we forgot, that Lisboa is a town of stairs. So downhill it is all ok, but uphill is hard, very hard. The first place we went to, '100 Maneiras' in Bairro Alto, was closed (as it was a Monday). So we climbed a hill for nothing. Well not completely nothing, as we did get to see some nice elements of the city on our stroll. The city is hosting the festival of the Ocean, so we found some art that was related to all of this. On one of the squared we found a statue of a horse in full scuba gear, awesome. Down the hill close to the paza Rossio we found the restaurant 'Gombrinus' which is a very old (since 1936) and very good seafood restaurant. The place had the feel of the old stake houses in New York. Table side preparations and waiters in suits. We decided to head in and treat ourselves to some of the best fish in Lisboa. It was worth every penny, and they were not that crazily expensive. The food was awesome and the service perfect, life was good.

After a most enjoyable but very tiring night out in boiling Lisboa, which we made Linda's formal birthday dinner night, to explain the splurge, we took a taxi up the hill. As we were not about to climb up after the wine and dine. Back at the hotel we enjoyed the night on the balcony, with a glass of some nice port wine. What shall we do tomorrow.. I have an idea...



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