Tuesday, 27 September 2011

discovering Portuguese tarts

We took some time this morning to have a sticky beak around the hotel. Each floor has a theme, ours is 'urban', there is also tribe, zen, and pop. Each floor has a piece of art in the corridor that reflects the theme, and the walls and pictures beside the doors reflect the theme with appropriate colours as well and each door has a word on it that has something to do with the theme. Makes for interesting wandering.

I discovered Portuguese tarts at breakfast this morning and ate half of Colins and two more of my own (they were very small ones!) needless to say they are divine, hope they have them tomorrow as well. I have also discovered that ice-cream in a cone is very expensive, but one on a stick is cheap, about two dollars fifty for a Magnum, what a bargain, I'll also be having more of them. Coffee and beer are cheap also, wine so, so, baguettes or sandwiches not very inspiring and dearer than France or the UK. 

We have adjusted to Portuguese time, having lunch around two and dinner after eight in the evening. But true to form kids, we are still old fuddy duddys and go to bed straight after, just when all the young people are heading out, you guys would fit in well here. You should have seen the receptionists face when an American couple wanted her to make a dinner reservation for them at six, she just about fell off her stool. She said she didn't think they were open then!

P.S Heidi I had mango for breakfast (along with paw paw and numerous Portuguese tarts) and thought of you. Zac you would love the salami here, I have been eating one that is like chorizo sausage but made in a salami (also for breakfast with cheese) If I could bring some home for you I would.

P.P.S Carol, when you need something healthy for lunch next time you are in London go to Pret a Manger, a franchise that has great healthy baguettes (also sandwiches, soup, fruit and other healthy stuff) Colin says the coffee is fine, it is also environmentally friendly, has a social conscience and has thought provoking quotes on the wall. I think you would like the place.

Today we abandoned the bus and took the tram. Yesterday the buses took us along grand wide boulevards, today the tram took us through impossibly narrow, winding, steep cobbled streets. At the top of the hill we got out and explored the Castle of St Jorge, a week ago we would have been awestruck by the 1000 year history, but after a week of London and Lisbon it's a bit ... 'neh, whatever'.

I've already put some of our photos up from today, the colours of the red tiled rooves against the brilliant blue sky is pretty amazing. Even though the photos don't capture is properly I hope you get a sense of the beauty.

One of the good things about being in a place for more than a couple of days is that once you've got the 'must see' sites covered off you can settle into long slow coffees, cold drinks in the outdoor areas and do some people watching .... At least that's what we do. 

The world is such an amazing place. Heidi, you have already begun to explore, but we hope thhe rest of you kids get the chance to experience some different cultures and places too. Rachel, you've also had amazing times with indigenous communities and we are excited for you for next year too.

We feel extremely privileged. We take one day at a time, and even though we hope to travel lots more in the future, we try to experience every place as if it is our last opportunity.