14/6/2020 0 Comments
Lisbon and the west coast
We spent nearly a week, taking care of business, and truly enjoying the marvellous city of Lisbon (or Lisboa, to the Portuguese). Most of the larger stores were still closed and there were more COVID restrictions, with ubiquitous hand santizers and masking. We were careful to keep our distance and mostly stick to biking. We found an apartment sandwiched between Benfica Stadium and a small city park, the Parque Bensaúde (closed, unfortunately).
Magic day on the bikes out to Sintra, Cabo da Roca, then back along the cost to Lisbon. Unfortunately, in the last 15km, we had a plague of flats, so had to train back to Lisbon. Sintra was bittersweet, having been our first home in Portugal in January. So nice to see it in late spring, lush and green, and nearly devoid of visitors - a plus for us. Businesses were grateful to see us.
Special shout out to the sublime Nata Pura in Sintra, who make a version of Pastel de Nata with caramel, chocolate and mixed berries. Kiki and the boys visited this place regularly in January, and they managed to survive the shutdown by remaining open for take out and by having such amazing natas! They remembered us too.
Our last time on the bikes was around Lisbon, which happened to be on Portugal Day (a national holiday commemorating the life of Luís de Camões, a poet and national literary icon). We arrived in Belém for pastel de natas only to see heavy security around the Monastery. The President and Prime Minister made a brief statement about the pandemic. It was a somber affair.
After this, it was pack, pack, pack. We made a decision about the bikes - to only bring Kiki and Lief's back. Sol's and mine were left in Portugal. Mine was left on the street, and Sol's was given to the son of the owners (who is 8y/o) of the apartment we rented. Maybe his enthusiasm and energy will inspire a young Portuguese to adventure and biking!
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