We caught another trolley going the opposite direction to visit Belém, an area three miles west of Lisbon's downtown. Belém faired much better than the rest of Lisbon in the 1755 earthquake and has some very old, precious sights to show for it.
We visited the Belém Tower, a stunning white stone structure, once used to protect the city's harbor. Now it stands as a monument to Lisbon's Age of Discovery.
It's fascinating to consider how Portugal was once the greatest and wealthiest power in the world. You would never guess this from walking the streets, the abode of a number of deformed and bedraggled homeless people. Lisbon especially feels like it has never been very wealthy since, thanks to the earthquake, it has few remnants from its Golden Age left.
Zoe and I shared a fish dish for lunch and, of course, it came complete with head, teeth, skin, and lots of little bones.
A few days ago, back in the Madrid airport, I think Zoe and I were extra tired from waking up at six in the morning—tired enough to decide on a McDonald's McFlurry for breakfast. Before that, neither of us had stepped foot in a McDonald's for years. I guess we enjoyed our bizarre morning McFlurry experience so much that we needed an encore. Instead of breakfast, though, this time we had them for dinner.
While we silly American girls enjoy ice cream for dinner, Portuguese seem to enjoy fish for all three meals, as well as for snacks. For a second course, after a first course of McFlurry, we tried these fried little fish cakes that were quite tasty.
We decided to have a more laid-back night, so we just went on a stroll around Baixa (downtown). We stopped by a homey Portuguese-family-owned bar to try Super Bock, the popular Portuguese beer. I guess my taste buds don't discriminate much when it comes to beer, because it just tasted like Heineken to me.
About This Entry
You are reading "McFlurry for Dinner, Snails for Dessert", an entry posted on 23 July 2009 by Jackie Steves.