06 July 2008

Day trips and a visit to a flea market

While in Lisbon, we always try to squeeze in a few day trips to nearby historical locations. One of the locations is Belem, home to the portuguese President and where you will find some of the most amazing monuments to the Discoveries. We visited Torre de Belem last time we were in town, so this time we focused on the Mosteiro (monastery) dos Jeronimos and a traditional staple of this town, a famos pastry shop which specializes in "pasteis de Belem", a flaky pastry with a custard filling. They sell an average of 6,000 of these pastries a day...!!

We also took off, one day, along with my mom and sister, to Conimbriga, a place where Romans built a city more than two thousand years ago, and where they lived for nearly 500 years. There is not much left, but most divisions are still very well defined and the mosaic work is absolutely stunning!! Upon visiting the museum, it was incredible to see that, even then , the romans used many items that are very similar to our modern things, such as safety pins, combs, tweezers, etc!!

Close by was a small children's park called Portugal dos Pequenitos (Portugal for small kids), where you will find a multitude of small scale typically portuguese buidings that kids can go in and out of.

Before we came home, we stopped in Batalha, home to one of the most incredible monasteries you will ever see...!! The Mosteiro da Batalha was built in the 14th century by order of the reigning king and is now considered, by Unesco, as part of the world patrimony. It is the final resting place to many kings and queens and the architectural details are breathtaking!!

The weekend before leaving, I could not miss a visit to a weekly flea market called Feira da Ladra. It literally means (female) Thieves Fair, the name being based on the way this selling location was started. Now it is properly regulated and most sellers are legitimate!! Unlique Paris and London, you can truly find an incredible amount of bargains as many sellers are not aware of the true worth of their items. I won't even tell you how much I paid for most of my finds...!! All I can say is, I wish I had a crate I could just ship home, I would have come back with much, much more!!! The fair spreads out through different areas and even through the adjacent streets, and you really have to look through much junk to find your treasures, but I found most sellers very delightful and very eager to make a sale!

A seller off one of the streets had a small handwritten note which read "to the person who stole a Seiko watch last week, could you please do the favor of returning it." I found the naivete of this note really endearing... The last picture includes my finds for that day (please make sure to click on the picture for an up-close look), of which my favorites are the old set of alphabet stamps, the enamel salt box and the doll! When my husband saw all this, he asked how we were going to bring it home, and just with my look, he self appointed himself as official carrier (yes, we hand carried it home!!), or, as he says, official "donkey"!!


  1. What great finds!!! my friend is leaving tomorro night, it was sad having her leave my house this mrning! Thank you for stopping by

  2. Wow, I love your finds. I was thinking, "Man I'd buy everything on that blanket, I hope she did!" You did! Yeah! I especially love the small lamp with the crystals!

  3. Yet another wonderful place I will add on to my "places to visit".
    Thank you for sharing.

  4. Ooooh my sweets, did I hear "DRESS BLUES" in your profile?!?!?!? A Marine perhaps?!?!?! And you're so near us in OREGON?!?!?! Nice to have you visit with me, cherub!!!

    Loved the travelogue with the kiddies, honey!!

  5. Hi I am so enjoying your pictures as it is doubtful I will ever venture this far away. Thanks for sharing Kath

  6. Thank you for the pictures! I could almost convince myself that I was "home".

  7. Your pictures are wonderful! It was nearly as good as if I'd been with you. I loved the children at the children's park. What fun!

    Thanks for stopping by and visiting my blog and for your sweet comments. I'm glad you enjoyed the beautiful flowers seen through my window.

  8. Wow!! what amazing fun trips you have been taking. I have SOOO enjoyed looking at all of the photos and the gorgoeus buildings you have shared.oh my!

    xo heather

  9. What an amazing trip! Welcome home!

  10. Our Lisbon...(sigh)...all our treasures (double sigh). Thanks for the trip!!! Loved every minute of it. Now, I think I'm heading to one of the portuguese pastry shops for a delicious custard cup (not as good as the Pasteis de Belem crip and warm, cinnamon scented, but ....close. xox, Isabel


  12. hello. Portugal is beautiful:) and has a lot to discover, I hope to return.

    the fairs where you can find a lot. live in Aveiro, for many of the city of Venice portugal because of the channels, we also have here a fair old once a month.
    love your blog:)


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