We had dinner in a little food shop near the hotel last night – I’m all disoriented about time, but it was dark and we were hungry, so we called it dinner. Our waiter was quite solicitous and we ordered 2 things to share. A beef dish and a fish dish… so rich and so yummy. All the sidewalks are in black and white mosaic here…
This morning we slept until we naturally woke up. Sunlight filtered through the curtains and we could see the bustle of Lisbon below… We walked to a wee Museum called the Gulbenkian Museum. Apparently one Calouste Gulbenkian was a businessman and philanthropist who donated his art collection to Portugal when he found sanctuary from some political turmoil. The collection is pretty amazing and spans centuries. I think the earliest thing was an alabaster bowl from approx 2600BC. So pretty. There were pieces of furniture, paintings, scultures, tiles, rugs, costumes, all just little tastes of each era and each region. The last room was dedicated to a small collection of things by Lalique which was pretty fascinating. I especially liked the sketches. I think my favourite pieces were the collection of Books of Hours, all of them illuminated and gilded and obviously loved.
We ate lunch: an apple and a croissant and a bottle of water eaten in the company of ducks on the lawn of the accompanying garden surrounding the museum. (One of the ducks had seven ducklings, so cute!) Then we navigated back to our hotel via the enormous monument to the Marquis de Pombal who was responsible for rebuilding the city after the great earthquake of 1755.
Off to find something cooler to wear at the shopping mall across the street from the hotel.