Sunday, July 5, 2015

Your Best One-Day Lisbon Experience

Getting ready to enjoy Pata Negra, a very 
special ham made from
black Iberian pigs
It's hard to make a decision when visiting Lisbon for only a day.  I think there's nothing like a personal walking and dining tour of some of the best of Lisbon culture; port wine, Pata Negra, hidden sights and all you can eat and drink in a delightful atmosphere.

We went online and found high ratings for Your Friend In Lisbon, a website that offered a walking tour in the historical center ending with a wine tasting and samplings of cheeses, famous chorizo, jams, olive oils and the proper way to enjoy their renown Pata Negra and salted codfish (the codfish was actually delicious).  They lived up to their promise in a big way.

Personal tour guide Adriana met us at the appointed time a short walk from the shuttle bus stop at the Praca de Comércio. Adriana was cheerful, energetic and knew her stuff.  From there we enjoyed a picturesque walking tour through Lisbon's historical center.  It included the important things like just enough history not to get bored, the top pastry shop (with sampling), side stories we never would have known about (see the captions), hidden sights behind closed doors topped off by a glorious two hours with all the wine, tapas and conversation we could handle.

Here are some highlights of the perfect Lisbon day:

Lisbon preserves its past
within the modern construction
The old train station
has horseshoe doorways

There are plenty of
menus to be had
First stop, check the pastries

The second telephone in 
Lisbon went into the bakery
so that the king could order
Lisbon's national custard

Adriana demonstrates the
proper way to purchase codfish
Delicious cod properly made...
and eaten
The Igréja de Sao Domingos
Famous place where a 
Jew started a revolution
marking the end of the Inqisition
Lisbon welcomes all beliefs
and it's clearly written on
walls and plaques
One of the hidden places:
Casa de Alentejo, a former casino
turned restaurant and rental hall

We would have passed by the doorway... but our tour guide opened the door and led us to a beautiful exotic space, reminiscent of more romantic times.

Guards outside the royal palace
Careful! Brave visitors can climb
for the view in the Santa Justa Elevator

The traditional Lisbon 
tile sidewalks

The grand finale, wine and food await!
A lively cheerful atmosphere
where the someliers are friends
So many delicious wines,
so little time
The wine neck is sliced off,
not uncorked
We learned all about chorizo
and sausages
These are just a sampling of the wonderful sights and history we experienced.  I suggest that you contact to experience your own special day.  The entire four-hour experience including all food and drinks came to about 120 Euros for two people.  Definitely reasonable and worthwhile.

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