Our first day in Porto

September 19, 2013

Went to the porto (which means ‘port’) of Porto today.  Nice views on the way-  we went to the church and cathedral. Had a nice lunch, a sort of tapa approach, with some crunch yet flacky crusts, some bacalau fritters or what have you, and too large an order of fries.  The white wine was rather frizzy but quite good.

A lot of decrepit buildings, which have not been cleaned up like in Valencia, so it gives a rather shabby appearance.  Nonetheless I liked the steep walks and great views.
Porto is a three hour train ride in a northerly direction from Lisbon.  We are in a small apartment until the 24th.
Porto is a World Heritage site.

A visit to the town of Sintra, a lovely World Heritage Site outside Lisbon

September 15, 2013

Sintra has been a World Heritage Site since 1995 for its Moorish castle on top of the mountain, its Romantic era architechture, lovely hillside homes and the wonderful view.  The area nearby has buildings from the 8th-9th century, as well as many from between the 15th and 19th centuries.  It is less than an hour from Lisbon on a slow train.

The views are wonderful, as you will see in the photos at  https://plus.google.com/photos/111993279450383941292/albums/5923931808631808017?authkey=CIjhkvGOgue87AE




A few thoughts on the cuisine in Lisbon

Our first night here we had dinner at a place nearby.  It took forever to get our meal and there were very few people there.  I ordered a grilled salmon and it was superb and worth the wait.  The lettuce and tomato salad, salada mista in Portuguese, was the standard effort with excellent ingredients; they even dressed it.  Peg’s grouper was poached and was totally tasteless.  Both fish portions were enormous.  With wine the bill came to about $40.

Last night we went to Moura Saluquia, which is ranked number 45 out of 1600 on tripadvisor.  Peg had a very good corvina (I do not know the English equivalent), which was grilled and served with a salad.  I ordered veal with mushrooms, also very good, the veal tender.  The bill with the house wine at $3.00 a 1/2 liter came to $23.  A much better meal overall, served in a very reasonable period of time, for half the price, very much as noted on trip advisor.

Nothing we have had so very we could not have had elsewhere.  The Portuguese are very fond of bacalau (salted cod) but neither of us are fond of it. Perhaps we could find a recipe we like here, as there are supposedly more than 300 ways to prepare it.  All involve a long period of soaking in water or milk to reduce the salt content.  In general fish and seafood in general is the big thing here.

September 13, walking around Castle St George

September 13, 2013

Another sunny and warm day here in Lisbon.  I walked around Castle St George.  There are lots of tourists in this area, about 1 kilometer from our apartment.  To get here I have to climb up a few hundred feet approximately.   Along the way I share the road with the street car, cars, people from many areas but I see a lot of Indians or Pakistanis here.   The locals are short and mostly poor it seems.    It is rather unkempt until you get near the overlooks.

I had a beer near the castle and it was only $1.40.

Photos with comments:  https://plus.google.com/photos/111993279450383941292/albums/5923099020415976433?authkey=CKe4pLmdv-KmNw