Today was a catch up day
The sun shone, the people smiled, the traffic was good and we ‘made like the locals’
Breakfast at our local bar – low on English, high on smiles. We managed to navigate the language sufficiently to get fresh orange juice and ham and cheese sandwiches dripping in delicious butter – heaven on earth, or at least on our street
Then off to Belém – where it all began. Well at least where Vasca da Gama set sail to discover me (aka South Africa – oh I remember our history lessons with pain 1497 😉) and the East.
And a Pasteis de Belém.
To have had one of these is ‘Truely to have Lived’ was what I had been told. I smiled sweetly- I mean how good could they Really be? Good yes, but Really, let’s not exaggerate.
No one was.
We walked past a queue (line) of at least 80 people waiting to order and didn’t know about the side entrance leading into a labyrinth of rooms. All tiled in various colours, with tables and chairs everywhere and people coming and going, and sitting, eating and all taking photographs.
On an ordinary day 30 000 pasteis are baked but on a holiday up to 90 000 can be made. According to the same recipe since day one which was in 1837!!! Every one is hand made.
And to have one is indeed ‘to have Truely lived’.
I smile now, in agreement.
It really is something special – almost impossible to describe, a bit like a soft melk tert, but not, a bit like a french custard, but not.
A lot like heaven when you sprinkle the cinnamon (from the East) and the sugar (from Brazil) onto the warm pasteis and quietly swoon as the smell reaches you and that is even before it reaches your mouth!
And then you die 😍
But ah what a way to go!!!!
With 2 napkins always – 1 for your mouth and 1 for your tears when the pasteis has been eaten 🤗
A visit to the Portuguese School of Equestrian Art in Belém was so interesting. The school uses Lusitano horses from the Alter Real Stud farm established in 1748!!!! We were shown round their stables and watched the horses (or some of them) practicing.
And with such stunning weather what else but a train ride to Caiscais and lunch overlooking the sea, a gentle stroll around the town, a quick horse ride and train back.
And just to round off a lazy day In Lisbon – a delicious Portuguese drink – Liquor Beirao which has left me quite light headed and ready for 🛏 bed