Thursday 8 March 2018
A bit of culture and a lot of food…
Firstly my apologies for the delay in getting this posted but our journey home was a nightmare (see next post) and there’s been a lot of rugby that needed to be watched since we got home. Anyway…
Second full day had been carefully planned to start with visits to the Torre de Belém on the bank of the River Tagus and the nearby Mosterio Dos Jerónimos where Vasco da Gama is buried; we were interested to see his tomb as three years ago we saw his original place of burial in Cochin in India. However when we looked out from the hotel it was chucking it down with rain.
Deciding that we didn’t want to mooch about in the rain we opted instead to go to the Fundação Calouste Gulbenkian as we could get very close by using the Metro. This institution holds the private art collection of the Armenian oil magnate whose name it bears; he auctioned his collection off to whoever would provide a suitable building to house it following his death and Lisbon won.
It is a stunning collection of art both classical and modern and set in galleries laid out in attractive gardens; there is also some wonderful jewellery. What amazed me was just how close you could get to the exhibits and touch many of the sculptures. Just to name drop a few at the artists on display: Peter Paul Rubens, Rembrandt, Thomas Gainsborough, Manet, Monet, Degas, Millet, Renoir, Turner, Lalique and my own favourite Rodin including one of the Burghers of Calais. There was also a couple of very nice cafés. Here are some pictures of the gardens.
After a couple of hours (including coffee and Pastéis de Nata) we headed out as it had nearly stopped raining. It’s certainly a place I would like to visit again as there is so much good stuff to see and it’s a very relaxed place to see it. Also, pensioners pay half price!
Lunch was now foremost on our minds so we hopped back on the Metro and headed back to the Time Out Market again for a second lunch. We were a bit later than yesterday so it was very busy but once again delivered some really good food.
To our delight it had stopped raining when we came outside so we got off the Metro at the bottom of the Avenida da Liberdade, one of Lisbon most impressive streets, to walk back to our hotel. Photographic opportunities have been a bit limited by rain and very dull light but here are a couple showing some of the colourful and tiled houses typical of the city.
For our last dinner in Lisbon we wanted something really nice; we are lucky to have neighbours who know Lisbon well so our thanks to Lizzie and Ryan for suggesting The Decadente bar and restaurant. Knowing it’s a popular place I phoned and booked a table and mentioned where we were walking from, the young lady said it was only about fifteen minutes on foot. What she didn’t tell us, and what I didn’t pick up from the map, was that the restaurant is on the Barrio Alto right at the top of the Elevador da Glória funicular from yesterday. Don’t ask why but, yes, we did walk up and the restaurant is just at the top. It’s a very chic and popular place and the food was outstanding, Mrs Sixwheeler had a steak and I had pork. The desserts were sensational, here’s Mrs S’s which she rates as one of the best ever.
We staggered out and there was a tram waiting to go down the funicular so we hopped on and then walked back to the hotel.
That’s our trip to Lisbon, homeward bound tomorrow.
Posted Sunday 11 March 2018