Bisdak Babbles

Category: Portugal

Souvenirs from Paris and Portugal

When you visit a new place, what are the things that you would buy as souvenirs? I usually buy key holders and coasters for my family, friends and myself. I also add in postcards for myself. I have bought these postcards from Paris and Portugal. I wanted to put each card in each own frame or have one custom-made to put everything in. Then I’ve bought one poster of Eiffel Tower that I’ve wanted to take back home to Philippines but I couldn’t find a shipping tube for it. I was even surprised that it didn’t end up crumpled when I just stuffed it in my luggage from Portugal to Singapore.

Postcards

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The day when I said good-bye to Paris and Portugal

I finally came around to writing about the last part of my travel to Paris and Portugal last February!

I only spent 7 days and 6 nights in Portugal but as I looked out from my hotel room, I knew I was going to miss the place. Who wouldn’t miss the place with such a magnificent and peaceful view as this? Not to mention the sumptuous breakfast, the huge bath tub, and the gigantic bed!

I wanted to explore Lisbon more but business trip was up. Staying longer would mean emptying my pockets. With a heavy heart, I managed to drag myself to the airport. I only paid 28 euros for cab fare. I was early and the check-in counter wasn’t open until 2 hours before departure so I managed to take some photos at the airport.

After checking in, I immediately proceeded to the boarding gates. I was surprised to find out that hand-carry luggage inspection in Lisbon is so strict. I even had to buy a transparent plastic bag for my toiletries!
I was still on business class on my way back so the food was great, especially the white cheese. In fact, I got a bit addicted to it.

Maybe because I was different (might be the only Asian passenger at that time) that I was asked to fill in another survey form. I filled in one during my flight from Singapore to Paris.

When I reached Paris, I had to transfer from Orly to Charles de Gaulle airport. The transfer was not hard but it was such a long walk.

Fortunately, I was offered to have my luggage transferred directly to my flight to Singapore. No more check-in was required so I headed directly to the business class lounge.

I wanted to take photos of the other business class lounges I’ve been to but it was not deserted such as in the photo above. I might get reprimanded taking photos with the rich people on it. :P

All in all, my trip to Europe was great. Indeed, a wish fulfilled and I will forever treasure it. I thank God for that gift.

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Modern Lisbon

The clouds were getting darker when I got out of the Jeronimos Monastery. I wanted to explore more historical sights but afraid of the downpour, I chose to just enjoy the bus ride that would take me to the modern part of Lisbon. If you think that Lisbon is all about cobblestones, then yes, the modern part of Lisbon still has cobblestones. But the cobblestones is what’s making the place modern yet charming.

I think the bus took me to Parque das Nações where you could find the Oceanarium and Vasco da Gama Bridge (now why would the name Vasco da Gama sound so familiar). Indeed, all the structures there are newly-built! It already started to rain when I reached the place so I decided not to get off the bus. It would have been fun to check if the Philippine flag is in here:

I couldn’t describe these photos one by one as I just took it from the bus, so please enjoy the slide show:
UPDATED: The slide show doesn’t work so you may click on the thumbnails to view the photos. Enjoy!

So have you noticed it, too? I’ve asked my self the same question: why is that the modern area in Lisbon deserted on a Sunday? I asked some people at the office and they also had the same question!

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Chocolate-coated Filipinos


I found this in one of the grocery stores in Lisbon. It’s some kind of a chocolate-coated biscuit made in Spain. I wanted to buy one but in the end, decided not to because I thought it would be weird…. a Filipino eating chocolate-coated Filipinos.

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Hotel Food

It was almost 3PM when I arrived at the Hotel Real Oeiras. I was satisfied with the in-flight meal, but I was starving after I settled down in my room. I rested for a while then headed down to the hotel’s charming restaurant. I wanted to eat rice but there was none on the menu, so I opted for the pasta with prawn. I am allergic to prawn so I told the waiter to take out the prawn. Having said this, I noticed the waiter’s surprised expression but just ignored it. When the pasta was served to me, I knew why the waiter gave me that expression. Being used to Philippine-style spaghetti, I was expecting to have at least tomato-sauce paste on it and a few slices of bell pepper. But there was none! It was basically just pasta with olive oil! I had to add pepper and salt to give it a little flavor. Unfortunately, I didn’t have a camera with me at that time so I wasn’t able to take a photo.

After a few days stay at the hotel, one became a favorite: smoked salmon sandwich:

It was really good! But eating it almost every dinner was definitely a bad idea. There was one night when I just opted to have the tropical fruits for dinner:

These were papaya, mango, and pineapple slices.
On my last night at the hotel, I tried the soup. I forgot what was it but I think it was pumpkin soup.

The soup was delicious and so was the set of Portuguese desserts:

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Mosteiro dos Jerónimos

From the Monument to the Discoveries, I then went to the Jeronimos Monastery, another UNESCO World Heritage monument.

According to UNESCO, it was declared a world heritage monument because…
“Standing at the entrance to Lisbon harbour, the Monastery of the Hieronymites – construction of which began in 1502 – exemplifies Portuguese art at its best.”

Indeed, the monastery is magnificent! It actually gave me goosebumps.
And I’ve just recently known that it is Vasco da Gama’s resting place.

Entrance fee is 8 Euros but it was a Sunday so the fee was waived!
You still have to go through registration, though.

Inside, the monastery is even more beautiful:

I took a lot of photos inside the monastery but I’ve only uploaded some.
You may view the slide show or visit the album itself. I also took a video that can be viewed HERE.
Enjoy!

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Lisbon’s cobblestones

Lisbon is beautiful. I love the buildings, the houses on the hills, the trams and the narrow streets. Above all, I love how the cobblestones enhanced its beauty.

With the sun shining down, I think this place glowed:

Even with the dark clouds, it seemed that the cobblestones were driving the gloom away:

Now, heading to my next destination: Jerónimos Monastery:

A short photo detour. This reminded me of a videoke (backround) scene:

If I remember it correctly, to get to the Jerónimos Monastery from the Padrão dos Descobrimentos, you have to go through an underground passageway.

Please check out more posts about Lisbon.

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Up close Lisbon’s Padrão dos Descobrimentos

Padrão dos Descobrimentos or Monument to the Discoveries was made to honor the Portuguese who contributed to the Age of Exploration. It is located on the estuary of the Tagus river, where ships departed to their often unknown destinations. I was in awe with the monument but I bet what I felt was only a small fraction of the excitement that those explorers felt.

A closer look…

Yes, one can go inside and since it was a Sunday, the entrance fee was waived.

But I decided not to take advantage of it as there were still some places I needed to visit.

There are different figures on each sides. I’m ashamed to tell you that I didn’t do my research before going there. I might have recognized a figure if I did a quick review of world history, or even my country’s history.

I’ve just learned something about this monument from Wikipedia ;)

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