We landed at the Lisbon airport almost 1pm. Immigrations was a breeze as there were many counters open and the line ahead wasn’t that long yet. All-in including luggage claim and the long walk from the gate where we deplaned to immigrations took less than an hour.
Bought a Vodafone travellers sim (20 €) at the booth at arrivals while Rhoda bought the Lisboa cards we were going to use much later in our trip and also booked a taxi (23 €) to our downtown hotel. Was surprised to have a distinguish-looking white haired gentleman pull-up in a Benz.
After checking-in at Hotel Americano Inn Rossio just a few steps away from Rossio Square, we headed to Confeitaria Nacional for some pasteis de nata for our first taste of Portugal.
After years of Lord Stowe’s Portuguese Egg Tarts, it was time for the real thing, the original, and it certainly didn’t disappoint. It was crustier and the custard was heavier. So perfect with a cup of strong coffee on a cool afternoon.
We ditched Google Maps and just strolled the Baixa and Chiado areas starting at Praca de Commercio.
I loved the wide open square and the esplanade by the sea.
We headed up to the Chiado neighborhood for the oldest living bookstore in the world, Livreria Bertrand, where Rhoda bought a copy of Jose Saramago’s “The Tale of the Unknown Island” and had it stamped saying the copy was bought at the oldest operating bookstore in the world. How cool is that!
Unfortunately, there aren’t much English-translated books by Portuguese authors. Found 2 books on fado but were all in Portuguese.
We made our way to the Convento del Carmo which was unfortunately closed for restoration work.
Plazas, beautiful buildings, cobbled streets, and the cool spring weather made for a really nice time just wandering the streets and finding something interesting such as a beautiful building
an outdoor cafe, or a nice view.
Also, it wasn’t as hilly as I thought it would be.
After all that walking, we had dinner at a buffet! The Buffet Livre de Leao was just a few steps from the hotel. For 8.99 euros, we had our fill of salads and grilled meats. My favorite was the Portuguese sausage and roast pork.