THINGS TO DO IN AND AROUND LISBON

Old Feb 9th, 2006, 02:24 AM
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Matt you are absolutely right, but let me explain that my "guide to survive in Portugal" was first a reply to a thread with the name "driving in Portugal" and was writen from a drivers point of view. Your comments are very meaningful, but seen from a pedestrian point of view.

Concerning the dog crap, I think your comments are quite exagerated. Besides public hygiene I've never seen that as a problem (may be locals come already with a crap radar incorporated) ;-)
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Old Feb 9th, 2006, 09:20 AM
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Hi Matt,

I told you it would be good! Congratulations and the exchanges between you Lobo and others make this kind of a thread a real treat. Fun reading.

About dogs. Two incidences that I found hilarious in Portugal. We were at a mass many years ago in Obidos (I think) and three dogs came into the church (hard packed earth floor) and quietly played follow-the-leader throughout the whole of the congregation and then retreated as quietly as they came in. No one moved a muscle.

On another trip a small dog appeared at the slightly open church door during mass. The door was opened by an understanding parishioner to let the dog in. The dog then proceeded to look through the church for its master and when finished, the door was opened again for it to leave. I think that says something for the more laid back lifestyle in Portugal that I love.

Where I live in a Toronto (Canada) suburb, our priest's large, beautiful dog comes to mass every Sunday. Follows the procession in and out and seems to know when to awaken from it's nap on the altar steps in time to follow the procession out. There were complaints at one time about the presence of the dog but in the end many of us appeared at mass wearing t-shirts urging the archdiocese to let us keep the dog. Peppy stayed.

In all of Portugal my favourite place is Obidos. Our first visit about 1970. Accommodation in the pousada (the castle) for breakfast and fish and meat dinners came to about $16 per couple. it's a place to wander and my recommendation is to get a map of inside the walls, follow directions and do it yourself. It's so do-able.

Nice photo Matt. We're off to Albufeira for three weeks on Feb. 11.

Cheers for Portugal.


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Old Feb 9th, 2006, 09:31 AM
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For Lobo,

I enjoyed your post with women in mind.
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Old Feb 9th, 2006, 10:52 AM
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Michi, that's great I hope you have a fantastic time. Thanks for your comments: I've had a ball compiling this and both Lobo and I are scheduled for a big lunch or dinner soon!

In the meantime you may wish to pass your eyes over "The Resident", the Algarve's English newspaper online:

http://portugalresident.com/portugal...age.asp?ed=ALG

Matt
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Old Feb 9th, 2006, 10:56 AM
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Here is a link to the Lisbon edition of "The Resident"

http://portugalresident.com/portugal.../frontpage.asp

a pretty comprehensive looking online newspaper in English. Note that I have nothing to do with it - but I think it might provide those visiting with some hot of the press news. Anyway, have a look see.

Matt
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Old Feb 9th, 2006, 11:00 AM
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Michi, I forgot to say, drop me an email and I'll give you my telephone number, you can call me when you get here and say hello. And I will be casting an eye over your trip reoprt upon your return...

Matt
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Old Feb 9th, 2006, 11:00 AM
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GREAT RESTAURANTS I went to last summer...

FIRST...Ribadouro, the best ever, serves seafood and my favorite the Prego especial sanwich with fresh garlic and Sagres beer (it's like the best steak sandwich you'll ever have). I went to Lisboa 2x last summer, and probably went to this restaurant 5!!! Invited there by an awesome dentist, who visits the place weekly, that I met while in Lisboa.
Located on Avenida Liberdad...white building.

Also, great (but somewhat expensive) restaurant Ja Sei (I think that's the spelling) very near to Tower de Belem, along the river. Excellent seafood dishes and port wine!!!
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Old Feb 9th, 2006, 11:22 AM
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Hi smilinsnoboarder,

Since you mentioned a couple of restaurants, usually I don't go to those aimed more at tourists as they seem over priced - it pays to sometimes just wander round a take a chance on some little place - look for an absence of foreigners but instead families or locals - you'll recognise them... plenty of neat little places where you can eat for under 10 euros pp inc everything. But if visiting one Lisbon restaurant then try and make it this: (taken from my reply on another thread)

In Lisbon do not miss Trinidade: http://www.cervejariatrindade.pt/default.asp?s=12171
Sorry it's Portuguese only: I've linked you to the map page, but also click on ementa then especialidades. Or just link this page: http://www.cervejariatrindade.pt/def...90&n=12173

My recommendations:

Bacalhau à Brás
Bacalhau com Natas
Bacalhau na Brasa
Arroz de Tamboril com Camarão (2 Pessoas)
Bife à Portuguesa

(All very Portuguese, just with steaks always request how you wish it done or most times it will come medium rare)

Failing that email me before hand and I'll meet you there for dinner!

Matt
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Old Feb 9th, 2006, 01:26 PM
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Trindade is a real old monastery. The modern restaurant is beautiful with walls covered with the same tiles that witnessed the monks lives. I am reading a book about the history of Chiado district and that building is one of the oldest in the area.
As far as our sceduled lunch or diner is concerned, have you heard about "Retiro dos Passarinhos" in Rua Campo de Ourique (under the shadow of Amoreiras buildings)? Is the best low level restautant. When I am going there I always have Dourada grelhada plus the secrets of the black pig. Very sadly, the place has almost no parking places. If you prefer disgusting food, I can advise some places. I have to organize my very personal chauffer (eldest son) to pick me up, because I don't wish to refrain myself while drinking the Alentejanos matured reds.
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Old Feb 9th, 2006, 01:43 PM
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I haven't heard of Retiro dos Passarinhos but I think your suggestion of chaffeur is good: I can catch the bus to Centro Sul and grab a cab back in to Costa. Unless I refrain from drinking and park up at Amoreiras. I think next week may be a bust but the week after I'm ready. BTW I have discovered a great Indian restaurant on this side in Cruz de Pau. The name is a bit tacky "The Taj Palace" but after a decade of searching for a good Curry place in the greater Lisbon area I have finally found it. Should you like spicy food then it is my pleasure to invite you for dinner there!

Matt
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Old Feb 9th, 2006, 01:49 PM
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A word for visitors about restaurant etiquette.
"Couvert" (bread, butter, olives, cheese) is payed if there is some consumption. Don't make a case about it. If you don't want to pay, don't touch. If you want to be confortable that you won't be charged for it, ask the couvert to be removed.
By the end of the meal, if you put knife and fork resting together in the same direction (usually to the right) it means that you finished your meal.
If there are 2 persons and both want to try 2 dishes, is completely acceptable to ask one dish to come first, and the other afterwards (fish comes always first). Dishes and forks and knives are replaced in between.
Tipping is not mandatory since the service is included, but bearing in mind that waiters are usually poorly payed, it's a good policy to round up the bill. For a single person eating alone, I think that 2 euros is more than enough, for larger groups, the tip may increase. If you don't feel confortable handing a coin to the waite'rs hand, just let the tip over the table when leaving.
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Old Feb 9th, 2006, 02:17 PM
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And if eating in a fado house and enjoying the music you may want to know a little more about it: here's a fine link I found recently:

http://paginas.fe.up.pt/fado/eng/index-eng.html

Personally my favourite singer was Alfredo Marceneiro - of course Amalia Rodrigues was better known abroad but Alfredo seemed my kind of performer. Here's a website about him:

http://www.alfredomarceneiro.com/englishv/default.htm

Matt
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Old Feb 9th, 2006, 02:32 PM
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Your schedule fits my convenience. The week after the next seems ok to me. I can't wait to try the Taj Palace. The day we are going to Retiro dosPassarinhos I think that my chauffer may drive you to Costa with no problems.

I am a fan of Marceneiro too. It's incredible how can a lyrics be so naif (A Casa da Mariquinhas, O Bebado pintor), and even so, after listen to it tens of times, I still get emotioned while listening.

I went a few years ago to Adega Machado in Bairro Alto and I hated the place. I'd prefer to have fresh dog crap trodden into shoe soles than returning there again. After that I went to Senhor Vinho, owner Mrs Maria da Fé and I found it just ok. After that I went to Parreirinha de Alfama, owner Mrs Argentina Santos (who sings sometimes herself) and I enjoyed the place, and returned there a few times.
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Old Feb 10th, 2006, 12:33 AM
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Of course Lobo, therein lies the problem. Many of the fado houses are aimed towards the tourist market - the food and wine expensive and the actual music "soul less". Fado is all about suadades is it not and if all it made you recall was dog poo on your shoe then it didn't have the right affect. Some of the best fado I've seen has been free. At Feira de Ladra on Staurdays up at the top end there used to be a guy who bought and sold the old guitarras, and throughout the day he would play them and sing. Also in Costa during the summer sits and old blind woman singinf fado and she is beautiful. She has actually recorded a CD in Northern Europe but because no one appreciates her here she still "Busks" on street corners. It seems nowadays you have to bleach your hair and worry more about your appearance a la Marisa than put your whole heart into fado.

The queen as you know was Amalia and you can visit her house which is now a museum - here's a link about her.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amalia_Rodrigues

Actually rua S. Bento is worth walking down from Rato - lots of antique shops to browse and of course at the bottom is Assemblia de Republica

http://www.parlamento.pt/ingles/index.html

Which is well worth photographing.

Matt

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Old Feb 10th, 2006, 01:49 AM
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when you start walking down Rua S. Bento from Rato, just in the begining of the street on the left, there is a beautiful Casa de Chá "As Vicentinas" (tel 213887040). I love it. Go there for tea and scones. Everything very British It's very unusual, because the ladies serving the tea are society ladies and the money collected is used for charity purposes. It's opened only from 4 to 7 pm.

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Old Feb 10th, 2006, 02:39 AM
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I have a suggestion for you. Retiro dos Passarinhos is in one end of Campo de Ourique (near Amoreiras). I know that Retiro dos Passarinhos has a large variety of Conventual desserts, but we could skip them and go for coffe and a slice of chocolate cake in Pastelaria "o melhor bolo de chocolate do mundo" (Rua Coelho da Rocha - tel 213965372).
These guys are not very modest
It's in Campo de Ourique near by the old market (closer to Estrela). It's a walking distance from the terminal of tram #28.
Pastelaria is a very tiny place, with 1 table and 2 chairs. You may order a whole cake (not just a slice) to take home, but I think you have to order in advance.
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Old Feb 10th, 2006, 04:36 AM
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Yep, I know "As Vicentinas" I used to pass by it regularly but always at a time when it wasn't open. Looks a very nice place to spend an hour. But wherever I have been to eat scones I have always come away disappointed - the ones I bake at home are much better!

Mmnn chocolate cake ;-)
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Old Feb 10th, 2006, 04:47 PM
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Interesting museums in Lisbon - here are their links:

http://www.gulbenkian.pt/
(Gulbenkian)

http://www.geira.pt/mmilitar/
(Military Museum)

http://www.mnarqueologia-ipmuseus.pt/
(National Archeological Museum)

http://www.mnhn.ul.pt/
(Natural history museum)

http://www.museudoteatro-ipmuseus.pt...h/splash01.asp
(Theatre museum)

http://www.museudamusica-ipmuseus.pt...tion/intro.php
(Museum of music)

http://museudaagua.epal.pt/museudaagua/
(Museum of water: <b>THIS IS WORTH VISITING</b> - why? You can have a guided walk through the aquaduct which runs over Lisbon giving an incredible view which you will not see anywhere else.

http://museu.marinha.pt/museu/site/pt
(Naval museum)

http://www.museudochiado-ipmuseus.pt/
(Chiado Museum)

Okay, so there's a few for now, have a look through, some may be of interest, some not.

I'll put up some more tomorrow. For now have a good weekend - I'm off to bed. 0145 hrs Lisbon local time...

Matt
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Old Feb 10th, 2006, 06:11 PM
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WELL; HAPPY, HAPPY, HAPPY. I did not finalize yet, but have on hold my tickets.
We are using miles, so I could not combine Madeira with the round trip ticket from PIT-LIS. So I have to see if I can get a carrier to take us to Funchal and at what cost. We may even rethink that part of the trip and stay in the Algarve for the three or four days we were going to dedicate to Funchal. Or maybe we will not.

We will be spending the last two weeks of October, actually the 15th until the 27th in Portugal. I was very lucky to get even these reservations using miles. The connections are not bad and flight times are good.

The first thing I am going to do is buy a new map of Portugal. I cannot find the one from last year no mater where I look.

Yippee.
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Old Feb 11th, 2006, 01:49 PM
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I am happy too. And my wife doesn't believe we're going to meet Cher.

Relating to Madeira, I think you should try to go there. I don't know if you saw my notes about &quot;the Pearl of the Atlantic&quot;, but if you didn't, I may look for it and re-post again.

The flight is about 1 hour each way and there are a few daily. I don't know the price, but I don't think it's very expensive.
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