10.05.2014 - 10.05.2014 81 °F
After nine days on the boat, we were ready for some action. With our impeding arrival into the port of Lisbon, we awoke at 5:50am in order to see the city as the morning hit. As we got closer the sounds of a disco could be heard over the wind and continued til after we got off the ship. Apparently the Portuguese party all night.
As the sun came out, one could start to see the sights of Lisbon. Here is the Belem (Bethlehem) Tower and the Christ statue overlooking the city. The former was built as a watchtower and prison throughout the years.
We got off the boat first thing and hiked 2 miles across rough cobblestone streets in search for a currency exchange. Unfortunately, we had arrived to early and nothing was open yet, so we had to wait about an hour. The euro is still strong versus the dollar but at least my wallet wasn't bulging anymore. After this, our second goal was the the Castle of St. George which, as it sat upon the hill, offered spectacular views of the city. Also we wanted to do it before the heat of the day.
From here you could also see the elevator that was built by the protégé of the architect that built the Eiffel tower.
From here it was a five mile jaunt, past the ship, to the Belem neighborhood to see Monastery of St. Jeronimo and its attached bakery. Along the uneven streets are half empty bottles and glasses perched everywhere. The sound of euro beats cut through the air, continuing from the night before. It might have been trashday, but there was trash on every corner and the air thick with methane. The oddest sight was a cake sitting on the sidewalk, with a single piece cut out and left aside it. Six empty beer bottles were carefully lined to the side in a row. No one was around and I was saving my appetite for an egg custard that is served all throughout Lisbon, but one place is known for it in particular.
The pastries were freshly made and we given cinnamon and powder sugar to put a top it. I decided to try it without any at first. The custard was soft and creamy, with less of an egg taste than Chinese style ones. The crust was more of a baked filo than a pastry. On the way back to the ship we found this monument dedicated to the Golden Age of Portugal.
Overall it was a successful day but there was still much to see. However the ship was leaving and we had to board at 4pm. Luckily the frozen yogurt machine was still in operation and we were able to cool off with a few chocolate fro-yos.