Jet lag city. After our somewhat grueling journey from San Diego, we grabbed a quick bite, checked into our apartment, and flopped down on the comfy bed until we came to four hours later. Feeling human, at least for the moment, we invited our traveling companions from San Diego, Michael, and Anita, to join us for wine time in our apartment. We shared a nice bottle of Vino Blanco from the Douro Valley, which we purchased for $8 from a little wine shop about half a block away…most convenient.
Our wonderful modern one-bedroom apartment is in the Alfama community, one of Lisbon’s oldest areas. It survived the great 8.5 Earthquake and fires of 1755 that wiped out the rest of the city. Our balcony overlooks a small plaza filled with tiny restaurants, shops, and bars. It’s busy with a constant flow of locals and tourists, the sounds of the plaza ever-present until we shut the soundproofed doors. Wandering the ancient narrow cobbled stone streets is an adventure. There is a constant flow of walking tours, with guides divulging the secrets and stories hidden behind the walls of the city.
We did a quick search on TripAdvisor and settled on a highly rated little restaurant where we had a good traditional Portuguese meal. On the coast, it’s almost always seafood all the time, which is fine with us. Mary had a delicious grilled whole dorado, and I had bacalhau. Bacalhau is a Portuguese favorite – cod from North Atlantic fisheries is dried and salted. It was rehydrated and served sauteed. It was most tasty, although a bit boney. After sharing a delicious flan, we all made the short walk back to our home for the next week and fell into our beds. It looks our Alfama neighborhood is perfect for beginning our Portugal adventures.