Explorations in Belém

1 Sep

While ominous storm clouds hovered over parts of Lisbon today, we enjoyed blue skies and white puffy clouds most of the day. We spent most of our time exploring the delights of Belém, a section of Lisbon that sits on the mouth of the Tagus River. We caught the 15E tram from Praca do Comercio, missed the Belém stop where we would have gotten off to go to the National Coach Museum, but got off at the Jerónimos Monastery stop. The monastery is a stupendous work of architecture with ornate decoration on the exterior. One of the highlights inside the church is the tomb of Vasco da Gama. The cloisters looked stunning with ultra blue skies and gigantic clouds peeking over the tops of the walls.

Had lunch at a little seafood restaurant where I had a delicious but strange bacalhau dish. The waiter said it was cod fish with french fries. I was expecting something like fish and chips but was surprised to see that the cod had been flaked and baked together with the fries. B sampled this restaurant’s version of Acorda soup with shrimp. It was hard to believe it was the same kind of soup I had the night before. Acorda is a bread soup and my soup had slices of bread floating in it. The bread in B’s soup was reduced totally to mush. Even though the dishes looked weird they both tasted great.

After lunch we each just had to sample the national dessert at Pasteis de Belém, a scrumptious little custard tart.

We walked off our lunch by strolling to see the Monument to the Discoverer’s along the Tagus River and then further on to the impressive Belém Tower.

I’m finding Lisbon to be an incredibly photogenic city and look forward to further explorations in the days to come.

Yellow Tram in Lisbon

One of Lisbon's characteristic trams makes its way up one of the many hills in the city.

Tomb of Vasco da Gama

Tomb of Vasco da Gama

Cloisters of Mosteiro dos Jerónimos

Cloisters of Mosteiro dos Jerónimos

Lunch in Belém

Lunch in Belém: Cod fish and french fries on left, Acorda soup with shrimp on right

Pastel de Belém

Pastel de Belém

Torre de Belém

Torre de Belém

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