a beautiful day in Belem!
Belem Travel Blog› entry 41 of 51 › view all entries
June 21st, 2009 – by: jenn79
After surviving Libson streets at night yesterday and running away from the angry mob of drunk men, Irene and I just wanted to freaking sleep in before we left to go back to Porto.. Vera had other ideas though and wanted to get up and going asap. That stressed me and Irene out a lot so I suggested she go out first, and we would meet up with her in Belem later, as we all wanted to go eat the famous natas anyway.
Irene and I had an enormous breakfast at the hotel. They served so many things that we like tried them all. I think I have 3 little plates of food just to try everything! And the we headed to Belem to eat some more! =) Irene figured out the route to the bakery and wouldn't you know it - right next door there is a STARBUCKS! The tram ride was cool though, we got to see a lot of Lisbon and when we arrived with Vera, we went to have a seat in the bakery.
According to our map, the famous Monumento de Descubrimientos was nearby.. and sure enough, just past the treeline, you could see the large concrete thing sticking out! YAY! We could probably walk there! We walk through the park and we stop by to look at the jewelry and other crafts being sold there.
We ask a local artisan how to get to the monument and he tells us we have to walk about a mile to the right and go underground, there's a path that will take you to it. Shit - we have to catch our train in about an hour and a half and we have to make our way back to the hotel to pick up our luggage before getting on the train. We take pictures a bit further away, look at the majestic sculpture, and stop by the Starbucks for a drink (it is SO HOT) before hopping back onto the tram. I get into this long conversation with the English-speaking staff member there and find out she's from New Jersey and she loves it in Lisbon. She says "it's like a hidden jewel. Nobody knows where the hell Portugal is. When I told my friends in grade school I was Portuguese, they were like.. is that in Spain?" We laughed together and I had to agree with her. Portugal is clearly a gem. Every day I think back to it to cobble together happy memories that keep me going. It's a beautiful, beautiful place on multiple levels.
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