Monday, 22 May
Our flight landed just before midnight. I read that Uber is better than a taxi from the airport to the hotel. I booked the Uber but we had a minor glitch finding the pick up spot based on the directions. Dolora and I walked past the mayhem at the taxi spot to meet Paulo, our driver. He did not speak much English but got us to the Hotel Lisboa Plaza about 12:30. After checking in and a quick unpack and it was off to sleep.
The hotel is a lovely, old building that is beautifully maintained. We have a large room with corner windows. After sleeping in, we were treated to a magnificent buffet breakfast. There are a couple of lounge areas with coffee and tea as well as a fifth floor terrace with views. This will be a great place for four nights.
Dolora picked out a pair of contemporary art museums after spending two weeks viewing ancient art. One is closed on Mondays and the other on Tuesdays so that made the choice easy. We were off to the Gulbenkian Museum (Museu Calouste Gulbenkian). There are beautiful gardens surrounding the museum. The exhibits started with Egyptian art and ended with 19th century paintings and sculptures. I don’t think it was exactly what we were expecting but the exhibits were fantastic.
A short detour to a sporting goods store and we were back at the hotel to search out our late lunch. Our guidebook mentions a “hole in the wall” restaurant five minutes from our hotel, that was the winner. We headed over and were handed a handwritten dated menu. That’s when you know it is fresh and authentic. Since I couldn’t read anything and the waiter spoke little English, I asked for the fish special. After assuring it was not sardines, Dolora ordered the same. We had three fillets of fried fish and rice with tomato sauce. Using Google Translate back in the room I found out the fish was hake. Hake is from the cod family. It was tasty and more than we could finish.
Back to the room for a little relaxation before dinner. Quermesse Restaurante is nearby and was a good choice for dinner. Tuna steak with sweet potatoes and cabbage for Dolora and linguine with clams for me. I still had room for chocolate mousse dessert. Lunch and dinner are usually much later in Europe so with the two hour time difference and the late travel day we headed back to the hotel room calling it an early night,