Fado

I admit I am a slacker when it comes to preparing my itinerary during my travels but I one thing I was sure I wanted to see is live Fado in Portugal.

Fado originated in 1800’s Lisbon. It usually is a singer with acoustic guitar players. The music is slow and played in a dark restaurant.

I booked reservations ahead of time at Povo Lisboa. The reservation was for approximately 2 hours but I think we stayed longer; we witnessed 3 performances.

The restaurant happened to be on the same pink street we were on the night before.

Inside is intimate. We were lucky with our reservation and had a central and upfront table.

Orders for food and drink are taken as soon as possible because there is no service during performances.

We ordered some appetizers to share and a bottle of wine. I was sure to order a cheese plate. The soft cheese on the platter was pretty much magical.

Soon after we get our food the singer and guitar players come out. The singer sings slow Portuguese songs with her passionate voice. She is smartly dressed in a glitter dress but is wearing white tennis shoes, I am assuming for comfort. She has already impressed me.

I am very happy with the performance. Below is a small excerpt (didn’t want to video tape the whole thing.

A week later when I returned to Lisboa and stopped into Coracao de Alfama for another performance. Here I caught the tail in of a male singer but the later sets again had a very powerful female singer. It was too dark to good photos but here is the restaurant in between breaks.

Another morning I happened to walk by this famous Fado singers wall. It is a great tradition I was happy to view during my visit.

Lisbon Day 2: Belém

Today we take the bus to Belém because it is a little far to walk.

First it is time for lunch, especially Portuguese roasted chicken. It is the best. A finds us a great place nearby to try.

After lunch of course it is time for dessert. We head over to Pastéis de Belém. We try their wonderful custard desserts.

We both ended up buying six, which probably wasn’t the best idea. But I finished them over the next couple days: ate them in the morning and as a train snack.

After our dessert we walked over to the Jerónimos Monastery.

Lit candle for my mom

We soon discover we are where Vasco da Gama the explorer is buried.

Rope with different knots

We have Fado reservations for the evening so we return to closer to the main part of town. While we wait we watch tourist boats in the harbor. I ended up taking this boat about a week later when I was traveling alone again. It was quite fun.

Now it is off to Fado. I’ll dedicate a post to this later. Bye!

Lisbon Day 1: Land of the tiles

I have arrived in Lisbon. This is exciting for two reasons: One is I have been wanting to visit Portugal for a while and two is my friend A is meeting me for a couple days. I am happy for the companionship so I’ll try to be on my best behavior for the next few days 😉

My arrival is less than glamorous. I am not a fan of the Lisbon airport. I’ll dedicate a post to that later.

Lisbon is a pretty big city with lots of hills which we soon discover. We leave the hotel to wander around soon after my arrival.

Before I mention our day can I just show you how creepy our hotel is. Don’t get me wrong, it is nice and it was nice to have a big window but with the black out shades it got scary dark in the place.

We start wandering around and I think we are trying to find this cute wine bar. We end up finding a famous street. Luckily we are going downhill but the stones prove to be very slippery for us. We almost fell a few times on the way down. We got to see the famous Elevador da Glória.

I imagine that on a rainy day one would slide down by butt.

I am already a fan of different tile designs but Portugal is where I start my obsession with tiles.

Eventually we find the pink street that has our pink bar. It is empty so we decide to get a bite to eat first.

Baccalhau and chips

After our so-so dinner it is time for our drink at the pink bar. I get an old fashioned and am not deterred by the sexist advertising. After a long travel day we call it an early night.