We are back in Europe at its western-most point, in Portugal. This is a lovely city with complex past of religions, rulers, and natural catastrophes.
The important date to know in Lisbon is 1755, the date of the earthquake that destroyed much of the city and led to its rebuilding. Except for a few very old neighborhoods which were spared by the quake and neglected in the reconstruction, a lot of the city has a lovely 18th-century grace and a fairly organized street plan. The 19th-century avenues are also gorgeous, and are home to every upscale brand known.
Tiles are everywhere, and they provide a lovely counterpart to stones and stucco, with most post-earthquake buildings being no more than three stories – in preparation for the next big one!
There is a lot to see here, but we just had a small saunter around today to sample its flavor. More details tomorrow, as it took two hours on the phone with a tech guru India to sort out a computer problem, so our energy is sapped! (That and jet lag.) But at least my computer is finally up and running, so there’s hope for tomorrow.
Don’s Food Corner
When I read before we got here that sardine season would be over, I felt that we had planned our trip to Portugal for the wrong time of the year. To my great surprise and delight, the sardines are still available — fresh from the sea. And not only are they fresh, they are big. Bigger than we found in Italy and Greece. Let’s hope you like to see photos of sardines, because you’ll be seeing a lot of them. I’ve already sampled them at two different restaurants and they were made exactly the same way: five big grilled sardines, two boiled potatoes and a little salad. Price? $11. Perfect.
Jo tried to avert her gaze as I dismembered the sardines and focused on a ham and cheese omelet, served with some excellent French fries and salad.
No alcohol while in the middle of jet lag. Just sparkling water, although we saw Mateus rose on the wine list, which, as I recall from its popularity in the ’60s and ’70s, has a slight sparkling character to it.