Yes, it’s time to say good-bye to Portugal
Our last day in Lisbon was relatively routine. We did a lot of walking and most of it downhill and not uphill. A small plaza, some street art, the tile work leading into the old market, and these small motorized cars that you see in groups.
The tile work of the old market actually also leads you into the Timeout Market which is an outstanding market of food stands and shops.
Of course, there’s always time for a fresh pastel with coffee while watching the worker demonstrate how the crust is formed.
From the Timeout Market, we walked along the river. When I say river, I mean river – it’s huge and wide at this point.
We passed a group of university students who were collecting money to purchase their classic uniforms. We’ve seen these uniforms throughout Portugal. I agreed to give them some euros but only in exchange for their picture.
We also encountered some local artists – one creating stone figures and another creating sand animals.
And finally we ended once again at Rossio where the tile work creates this sensation of ups and downs – it’s all an illusion and meant to represent the waves of the ocean.
Some overall thoughts about Portugal
In my last blog entry for Portugal, I thought I would offer some generalizations (all mine) about the country, the food, and the overall experience. Remember, it’s just my opinion.
- Most Portuguese in the major cities speak and understand English extremely well. There are exceptions but getting around is extremely easy.
- The wines of Portugal are outstanding and very reasonably priced. The wines vary by region within Portugal but they are truly excellent.
- Stones, stones, and more stones. I’m talking about the cobblestones that adorn most of the roads in Lisbon and Porto but also the sidewalks which are a combination of stones and tile work. It’s amazing.
- I don’t think there’s a flat surface in all of Portugal. Yes, it’s an exaggeration but hills are everywhere and why is it that you’re always going uphill?
- Every menu in every restaurant has cod on it – I don’t think that’s an exaggeration. You’ll also find a lot of octopus on the menus. We were surprised by the amount of meat that was also on the menus – beef, pork and veal along with lamb.
- The food portions are huge. Entree meat and fish plates are typically paired with small round potatoes which are either sauteed or boiled – always delicious.
- Typically when you sit at a table, there will be olives, bread and/or assorted cheeses and meat. It’s not free and you don’t necessarily have to take a bite. But if you do, charges will incur.
- Uber is great and relatively inexpensive in both Lisbon and Porto.
- Be ready for the crowds of tourists – Portugal suddenly is a great tourist destination. You’ll meet Americans, Canadians, French, Germans, and many others but expect the crowds. As our concierge has said, Portugal is in vogue.
Here are a few more samples of food that we’ve enjoyed along the way.
We’ve had a marvelous time in Portugal – no regrets at all. The country is wonderful and the people are engaging and friendly. Lisbon, in particular, has been an amazing city to visit and we’re already thinking about coming back. Thank you, Portugal, and a huge thank you to all of the Portuguese who made this trip so memorable. And thank you, followers, for following this blog.