We had our Lisbon 72-hour card, so were able to get onto public transit for FREE, and took the train out past the monument to the explorers to the Belem Tower. From there, we also had a panoramic view of the Golden Gate, er no, replica bridge, and the Rio De Jan-, er, no, also a replica, Jesus statue!
Next it was off to the Monastery of St Jeronimo, which recently celebrated 500 years. Inside the stone walls of the monastery we found a sculpture that had been crafted by Grade 3 and 4 students at a nearby school. Look closely… can you see what it is made of?!
After the Monastery, we had the opportunity to take in a show at the Planetarium, a real treat for me; I LOVE planetariums, and was really disappointed when the one next to the ROM in Toronto shut down several years ago. My infatuation with the projector dates me, however; my partner laughed her head off at my fascination and amazement with the large, archaic mechanical wonders of the 1970s and 80s, especially when she saw that many of the supplemental images where being projected via slide projector!!!
Perhaps the greatest highlight of the day trip was our stop at Belem Pasteis, to try their famed egg tarts. We had heard they were very good, served hot, and customarily sprinkled with cinnamon, that they come out fresh from the oven every 15 minutes, that people line up from morning ‘til night to eat them… but we were totally unprepared for just how delectably tasty these treats really were: a freshly baked flaky pastry surrounds the still-warm tender egg tart centre… as the fellow traveller at the next table remarked when he saw us order seconds, “you can’t have just one”! (He himself had just packed away two "to go" -- after the several he had devoured at his table!)
Finally, we decided to take the tram back to Lisbon, to look for a grocery store near our hotel where we could purchase the much-anticipated Port to take back to eager friends and family in Canada. We did so, and also snagged a few other souvenirs, before returning to our hotel, a hot bath, and – finally – bed.
Tomorrow, our last day, promises to be filled with adventure once again (so much for the relaxing vacation!), as we head out to Sintra by bus, followed by one last supper and evening out with friends here in the city, before madly packing our bags for the long trip home on Saturday.