THINGS TO DO IN AND AROUND LISBON

Old Mar 1st, 2006, 09:12 AM
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Matt. My brother has a house in Manhattan. If you go later this year and can squeeze us in, I will make you dinner.
If it is warm we can have a good old American BBQ.

Do you have any information about the Dao winery producers and tours. Or did I miss it if you posted something.
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Old Mar 1st, 2006, 12:38 PM
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Thanks Matt. No, unfortunately she doesn't eat fish either. A salad, bread and cheese, or an omelette would work though. She's a flexible girl -- I'm sure she won't starve.

lobo -- You really don't know the concept of a vegetarian or are you pulling our collective legs?

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Old Mar 2nd, 2006, 09:37 AM
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Oh no, it is me again and I have yet ANOTHER question.

I have now contacted four places in Vila Nova de Milfontes. None have replied. I am leaning toward just winging it. Given it is October when we go, do you think I will have a problem getting a place for three nights? I have several addresses (via websites) and do not think there will be a problem.

Any one to comment?
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Old Mar 2nd, 2006, 09:50 AM
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I hear there are many barns with straw for bedding available at this time of year...

;-)
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Old Mar 2nd, 2006, 10:41 AM
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Thanks Matt. But I think my husband Bob is allergic to straw.
Hey, this is a big step for us to go without reservations.
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Old Mar 2nd, 2006, 03:10 PM
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First off, thank you both for all your enthusiasm and great suggestions.

Is there a particular direction in which to do the Cascais-Sintra coastal route? Note that we might splurge on a cab as opposed to the bus so that we can get out often for the views. I'm also keen to see a beach near Sintra called Praia Adraga - have either of you been there?

I slave away on the Portuguese language tape - I don't think this is a language one can master until one has drunk a lot of wine.....and speaking of dining, what was that about categorizing menus into good, disgusting and semi-disgusting fare?

Congratulations, I think you'll make it to 300 posts...
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Old Mar 2nd, 2006, 05:28 PM
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Sue. After hours spent with language tapes last year, we managed to really be able to say, Thank-you and we are lost.
I am very embarassed that I do not seem to be able to say very many words. I think it is because I am so self conscious because my pronunciation is so horrible.
I wish I could do better. But honestly, everyone was so polite even with our terrible attempts. I guess they took pity on us.
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Old Mar 3rd, 2006, 03:19 AM
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I left you alone yesterday, because of a higher purpose. I went to Caves Aliança (cellars) in Aveiro area (260 km from Lisbon) yesterday for a fine dinner. There was 4 different categories of red wine on the table, and some other brandies and champagne. A hard vision for somebody who had to drive home. As you might imagine I didn't allow myself more than a very small portion of each drink.
Now I have to pay my desertion answering to 60 mails. When I finish I'll resume my regular participation in Fodors.
Sue, the division of Portuguese food into "safe", "so-so" and "disgusting" is already in my mind, I just have to write it down.
Matt, your wife is a very nice person. Did she said she received a phone call? I must confess I felt strange when when I said: "hello, Big Bad Wolf speaking, may I talk to Matt?" She must have thought: "my husband lives in a strange world"
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Old Mar 3rd, 2006, 05:59 AM
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Lobo, I've tried to call you a number of times on the mobile no. you gave her but keep getting the machine. If it is yours have a listen. If not then some other Portuguese person is wondering "Who the hell is Lobo mau and what in heaven is this English idiot babbling on about..."

Speak as soon as,

Matt
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Old Mar 3rd, 2006, 09:31 AM
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The "safest food" I can think about is picanha. Picanha is a Brazilian style barbecue. There is one restaurant in Belem district, called... voilá... "A Picanha". It's in the block in front of Pasteis de Belem, but facing the river. You must walk around the corner, where there is a MacDo, resist to the temptation, and A Picanha is just after.
You may choose under, medium ou overdone. But A Picanha has a secrecy to take money out of unaware people. It has a fixed price, no matter how much picanha you eat, but starters are payed apart.
Usually the Brazilian staff brings lot of starters, things so odd as fried cheese and things like that. Most people eats a lot of them and when the "piece de resistence" comes there is no more apetite. In this way you pay a lot of money and have almost no picanha.
Otherwise, if the client is self-discipled enough to accept only one or 2 starters and reject the others, when Picanha comes, you may eat an half a kilo (if you are really a beef eater) of BBCed meat, for a very low cost.
This is very good value for money if you follow the rule of focusing in the main dish.
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Old Mar 3rd, 2006, 09:55 AM
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Seetheworld, "pulling your collective legs"? translation is required please...
Sher, I am a client of http://www.dunaparque.com Have you tryed? Is more like a summer resort but I believe the appartments are nice all over the year. Sometimes I go to Vila Nova Milfontes from Lisbon just for a grilled fish (and return in the same day). There is a very good pizza restaurant too. Don't get me wrong, it's not NY or even Lisbon, but for a period of 3 relaxing days, by the end of the trip, I think you couldn't be better.
My "best place in the world" is one particular experience and a particular situation in Vila Nova Milfontes, but it is always risky to say things like this.
note: I understand it's not BBC, but BBQ. BBC stands for British Broadcast Corporation.
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Old Mar 3rd, 2006, 10:15 AM
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Well, thank you lobo_mau for the duna parque reference. I am going to send tham an email.
I think my problem is that it is so early and maybe people do not take reservations this far in advance.
We have pretty much given up the idea of Madeirs. When I started looking at the places we want to visit, I just did not feel we could take the time from them to go to Madeira. It also requires a separate air fare and I do not have the energy.
I do not mind pointing out a meal for someone to cook. The only problem is that in Coimbra, no one spoke English. And we still do not know what kind of fish he grilled for us.
Every day is an adventure.
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Old Mar 3rd, 2006, 12:55 PM
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Lobo, I meant...were you teasing me when you said you did not understand what a vegetarian was?

In our case, our vegetarian does not eat any meat whatsoever, no seafood. Only eats pasta, cheese, eggs, and vegetables. This also includes NO sauces that are made from beef or chicken stock or include seafood or meat sauce.

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Old Mar 4th, 2006, 09:53 AM
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I recently receive a nice email from Barb who has been unable to register here so I'll post her questions and my responses in the hope that someone else (lobo esp) may be able to chip in.

"Hello

Sorry to have to email to your personal emails. Fodor's will not accept Yahoo emails on the threads. -

I have been reading your wonderful thread since it began and have been saving up questions. Thank you all (you 2 are the only ones to give emails) for all the great advice on visiting Portugal.

I always put so much research into a trip that I probably spend more time on the research than the trip itself! Our trip to Portugal in late May and early June is our first. It sounds wonderful and I may be trying to fit in too much - maybe I should plan a second trip too!

Now for a couple questions:

There is so much about driving safety and I have read and even know people who have had rental cars broken into but I am not sure where. We will be arriving in and leaving from Porto because of my husband's business there. So we plan to rent a car and drive. Is it safe to stop at tourist places like Obidos and Conimbriga in between nightly stops with luggage in the car?

Here is my thought for a tour. Are the distances sensible? I know they are close but again I do not want to stop with luggage. In general does this sound like too many places?

Arrive Porto aiport and drive to Aveiro for 1 night. We get in about 4pm after leaving US the night before so I did not want to have to travel too far.

Nazare - 2 nights - travel around that area- Alcobaca, Batalha, Fatima, Tomar, Obidos

Sintra - 1 night

Lisboa - 3 nights

Coimbra - stay 2nights at Palace Bucaco

Duoro region 2 nights stay maybe Lamego

Porto 4 nights (this is for business)

Unfortunately we are a year away from getting the senior rates at Pousadas so that will have to wait for the next trip. I have searched and maybe will stick to small hotels since we are moving on every few days. So if you have any suggestions for these locations would appreciate it.

If you want to answer on the thread that is fine. Wish I could join but I have no other email to use. I always love "meeting" fodorites before a trip and getting first hand knowledge. I have never thought about actually meeting anyone in person until this thread. You are all wonderful. Keep it going and I will be there reading!"

And here's my reply...

Driving - I've done trips in my Land Rover leaving rcuksacks and stuff in the back - but all valuables and cameras etc I'll take out if stopping at a restaurant, but for a day I don't know - mind you I'm not that bothered if someone steals my clothes. For instance at Obidos there is a large public car park which is well over looked and so I would doubt anyone would break in there, esp during the day. And from what I recall of Conimbriga there is a public car park, (I went there in 98 so it may have changed since.) I guess you take your chances but during the day, well, I can't say either way what is best.

Porto to Aveiro isn't a great distance but if you are jet lagged and unused to Portuguese driving it may be a bit disconcerting. Also the possibility exists of getting lost because Portuguese road signs once off main roads are pretty bad.

I'd look at a day in Obidos and a half day each in Tomar and if religiously inclined Fatima. (I must say that not being Catholic the prospect of going there does nothing for me.) If it is just another village to visit there are plenty of others much prettier - Santarem for instance. In fact that would be a good combination, to stay in Santarem (as an option over NAzare) and head out from there. Golegã is a nice village with pretty centre close to both Tomar and Santarem. Also worth a drive from Santarem is the Grutas de Serra d'aire (I think that's what they are called - I went there once and it a very interesting drive up through the mountain roads with good views and of course the caves are most interesting)

Of course as you can see from the thread Lisbon and Sinta are well worth the time you can there, and I take it Coimbra will be on your return journey. I've been there once and had a nice coupl of days and in one restaurant ate the best "Espatada de Lulas" I've ever tried. Very photogenic up in the old town and the university area. Can't comment on the Douro regoin or Porto for that matter for I've only been to Porto once and that was very briefly. But you might consider whilst staying in Porto to drive out to Braga and Bragança, and Guimaraes. I'll post your questions and my response on the thread and that will give others the chance to chip in too.

Feel free to email me at any time, always a pleasure to hear from anyone coming over.

My best regards

Matthew

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Old Mar 4th, 2006, 12:52 PM
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Forgot to say: Hi and Welcome Barbara!
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Old Mar 4th, 2006, 01:31 PM
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Welcome Barbara! This is the 1st time I see somebody complainig about being young
The distances are very sensible. Aveiro is lovely. Don't forget the "ovos moles" (egg sweets). It's sinful sweet. They are sold in every coffee shops, but I'll find for you the right place to buy Ovos Moles. I'll post some details about the Caves Aliança cellars. It's not in Aveiro, but 20 minutes away.
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Old Mar 5th, 2006, 05:12 AM
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Today's subject is Caves Aliança (CA). From their leaflet:
------------
Wines-CA produce wine form Bairrada, Beiras, Dao, Douro and Alentejo.
Sparkling wine-Takimg advantage of the Classic method, CA has been producing quality sparkling wine for more than 75 years.
Old brandies-In this space you can see the way that these spirits get old during many years in oak wood casks.
-----------
My personal note: It's not a must, if you have the option, opt for Port wine cellars in Vila Nova de Gaia (near Porto, in the opposite bank of Douro River). Wine and spirits cellars are everywhere in the world, but port wine cellars Portugal's pride.
However, if you are in Coimbra or Aveiro areas or in transit from/to Lisbon to/from Porto and you wish to do a break and try something different to visit, give CA a chance. CA shop has many fine wines, which are real bargains. I don't advise eating there because I guess it's expensive, reservation is required, and you are in Mealhada area where there are many suckling pig restaurants in a short distance.
There are tours in Portuguese, French or English, previous reservations are advised. Monday to Saturday, 10h30, 11h30, 14h30, 15h30, 16h30.
Address: Caves Aliança/Sangalhos (main street). Contacts: 234732000/45 (tel) 234732005 (fax), [email protected] (mail), www.caves-alianca.pt (web).
Take care with the drinking and driving subject!!!


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Old Mar 5th, 2006, 05:19 AM
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Son will be married 1 1/2 hours east of Porto this August. bookmarking to use in helping all who plan to come! Thanks for this post.
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Old Mar 5th, 2006, 09:14 AM
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Hello Everyone-
We are leaving tomorrow night for 2 nights in London, our daughter is studying over there. The three of us are going to Lisbon on Thursday for a very quick trip.
I have enjoyed the postings of Lisbon from all of you. We are staying at Hotel Tivoli Lisboa and can't wait to enjoy the city. We have been to the Algarve about 15 years ago. Portugal is a beautiful country with wonderful people.
We plan to enjoy a non-tourist evening of fado.
We love wine and hope to bring home a couple of cases - RED
Any suggestions on the wine and fado would be great.
See you there.
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Old Mar 5th, 2006, 09:42 AM
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Well perhaps Lobo could pesuade me to leave the house for an evening with a promise of dinner and wine and a little Portuguese Blues - got plenty of wine at my place and some fado CDs...

How long will you be here for? And what are your plans?

Defenately take back some Periquita Classico, or Porca da Murça Reserva (both tinto - red).

Cheira Bem, cheira Lisboa... eh Lobo?
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