The second day was hot as hell. I was expecting to see the main touristic points in the center of Lisbon, but instead the certified female rally driver and her co-pilot toke me to Belém. It’s a lovely place where you can see the iconic Belém Tower and the magnificent Jerónimos Monastery, as well as the Monument of Discoveries and the famous “Pastéis de Nata Factory”. I was very glad to have someone who could drive me there, even if it meant being seen inside a car playing the Spice Girls really out loud, with the windshields down. I still can’t get that damn music off my head…
The Monument of Discoveries was raised to honor the Portuguese discoveries, the greatest gift that Portugal has given to the World. There you can see iconic Portuguese people who, over the time, contributed to this great deed. I will write about that some day. The monument is located right next to the Tejo river. I also discovered that day that the Tejo river is know by foreigners as Tagus river, hell if I know why. I felt proud just for standing there.
The Belém Tower also can be found by the river. Going inside is not for free, and the ticket line was absurdly long that day. But then something wonderful happened. A foreign female tourist approached one of my friends and offered her ticket, while explaining how she had no time to visit the tower. We discovered later that the ticket was also valid for the Jerónimos Monastery, and we wouldn’t have to wait in any of the lines. Talking about having a good luck charm 🙂 The tower served many purposes throughout Portugal history, and is now considered a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The Jerónimos Monastery is also classified as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and it’s a great example of the famous Portuguese Manueline style. Please do not confuse it with “manual style” if you want to preserve some of your dignity. It is also very big. Very very big. We used the ticket, skipped the line, and toke a look inside. The place is magnificent. Here you can see a picture from outside.
Last but not least we went to the famous “Pasteis de Nata Factory”. It is a sort of café where they make the best pastéis de nata in the world. I’m not exaggerating, hands down the very best pastéis de nata in the entire world. The rally driver gave me an history lesson about this little tarts. It seems like they were created by monks a long time ago. They used the white part of the egg to make clothing, so they had a lot of yolks to spare, and that was how the pastel the nata was created. If you don’t know what a pastel de nata is, please hang yourself.
The rest of the day was just wondering around and chill out. We saw a wonderful view point and had a couple of cold beers in a wonderful spot. Typical vacation routine. I was hopping to see the center of Lisbon the next day. But things didn’t work quite that way…