TravelHoundz portugal

Lisbon (12/15-17)

December 18th, 2006 · No Comments

Nothing beats a visit to another country or city when one of your travelmates is from that place & an enthusiastic guide, eager to show the best sites of his home town. Enter our friend Gustavo, a classmate of Kim’s from Stanford, and his hometown, Lisbon.

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We had coordinated with another classmate of Kim’s from the Stanford GSB, Matt, who flew in from London to meet us for the weekend. Our first night in Lisbon was a sign of things to come. Gustavo is originally from Lisbon and basically planned the entire weekend. Since he was working in Madrid that week, Kim, Matt, and I had dinner without him our first night in town. Gustavo sent us to a small restaurant known for good food. As it turns out it is one of the best places in town, and we think he must have pulled some strings to get us a table. Needless to say the food was authentic Portuguese and delicious.

The next day, when Gustavo arrived from the airport we drove out to Sintra. The town is looked over by Pena Palace a beautiful castle. Another great historical site is the National Palace with Moorish and Mauritime influences the architecture and design are very unique. Also, rumor has it that the Templar Knights began in this small town – we found many examples of the infamously shaped cross. It is also rumored that they simply changed the name of their order and resettled here after the Catholic Church tried to wipe them out.

One of the best things we did was gorge on pasteles de nata (custard pastries) made fresh at Casa Pasteis de Belem famous since 1837. They treats were so tasty we ordered 3 or 4 rounds of them between the four of us. Add a little cinnamon and powdered sugar – your in heaven. Surrounded by locals and bright blue and white tiles – the late morning feast was a great way to experience Lisbon.

We also checked out the “In” neighborhood with Gustavo and his girlfriend. All five of us dined at the trendy restaurant Pap’Acorda, where the rich can famous go to be seen. Apparently, while we were there, a hand full of prominent political figures came into the restaurant. Kim and Matt both tried this famous Acorda dish ( a seafood dish that comes to the table in a large bowl with all the ingredients piled inside). The waiter performs a table side “mixing” ritual and turns the familiar ingredients into a whipped mush. Needless, to say Kim didn’t finish her entree since she can’t deal with food that you can’t chew. We capped off our evening with a few Super Bock, the preffered Portuguese beer in the newly renovated “Docas” area.

Tags: Portugal

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