We made another abortive attempt to get going early today and then we tried to get Bill a more comfortable and smart pair of shoes. Because of his sore foot he has been wearing bright blue runners that he wears to the gym. He feels they are too showy but they feel more comfortable than his dressier shoes for walking. Unfortunately the ones that fitted were not to his taste and were no more comfy. While Irene was trying to get her glasses fixed we came across the Sardine shop. It is decked out like a lolly shop!Anne and I bought our birthday year on a sardine can. What a natty off beat present and brilliant marketing!
We returned to our mission of seeing more of Lisbon. We still had hop on hop off bus options so we took it again with specific sites to visit in mind. We actually absorbed more this time and stopped off at the King Edward Vll Park. It has the most magnificent view to the river and two interesting sculptures. One a fountain that looked like it was breaking down, a memorial to the earth quake Lisbon suffered and then two columns commemorating their independence from the dictatorship.
As we wandered down the length of the park we came across a gracious building hosting a Fish and Flavours exposition supported by some of the best chefs in Lisbon. Everything was a gourmet delight. Naturally we decided to participate and we had fabulous pulpo( squid) salad, scallops, cod and polenta, grouper, cured salmon with lemon sorbet, chickpea and bream stew followed by Chocolate Banana cake, Berry éclair and New York Cheesecake with macerated berry topping. All small portions of course but so delicious. We tasted great wines and olive oil. Everyone was having a great time and the presentation was wonderful. In the end we had a taste of modern Portuguese food and wine from the top restaurants for €20 each. It seemed great value. Unfortunately Irene put her new reading glasses down somewhere and they disappeared. She was really upset as she only got them yesterday to replace her broken pair.
The weather has turned really cold and we are all feeling a bit miserable and longing for warmth.
Our next stop was the Estrela Basilica a beautiful marble church with an incredibly detailed nativity tableau that took five years to make. It is based in cork and has ceramic and paper maché figures. To be honest I didn’t know whether it was good or ghastly. It is so detailed it reminded me of a similar type of creation in glass I saw in France last year. Unparalleled workmanship but beauty questionable.
Next stop the Marine museum again. We visited yesterday but the surrounding area has so much to see and we were too late and ignorant yesterday. We switched to another route and then felt it was ground hog day because we seemed to go up and back so many times on the bus. We started to crack jokes about all the buses we had been on, their different configurations etc. It had turned really cold so we were grateful for the shelter at least. We searched for the funicular but it was out of action for some unknown reason! Walking back up the stairs to our area warmed us up but not quite enough. We found a nice reasonable place to eat and warm up. We are enjoying the different food. At restaurants they often put out olives , bread, cheeses and salami, like an antipasto, and you pay for what you eat. No free bread or olives here. They leave it to tempt you while you wait for your main dish.