Day Two: September 16

To start off, it’s frustratingly difficult to pair WordPress with a MacBook. After online research, my frustration appears to be common. It’s almost impossible to export photos from a Mac device to WordPress, so I’m going to wait until I do more research. As with many Apple devices, they don’t play well with PC-oriented apps.

I visited the Lisbon Botanical Gardens and the attached Museum of Natural History. Although nothing like Longwood Gardens, it was worth the 4 Euros. It is built on a steep hill, so plenty of climbing. The museum was really excellent. The collection of minerals and metal ores, in particular, was fascinating. It also featured a comprehensive collection of the flora and fauna of Portugal. One section was dedicated to the medicinal plants collected from the colonies in Angola and Mozambique, including quinine.

After the museum tour, I walked down the avenue to a Portuguese restaurant and was seated in the terrace. I had the cod, in Portuguese “Bras” style. It was a bit different from the night before, but equally delicious. I couldn’t finish it. Of course the roll that was served would have been classified as “artisanal” in the US. Any readers who have traveled in Europe know that we Americans have to pay dearly for bread that merely equals everyday bread in Europe.

I had booked a three-hour “Seven Hills” e-bike tour that began at 3:00 PM, so I walked downhill to the riverfront and headed east to the Alfama district. The early afternoon heat was intense, with humidity, so I rushed into the Museu Militar to escape the sun for an hour before the ride. It was worth the 2 EUR admission. There were 27 large rooms chronicling Portuguese military history from the Crusades through the colonial wars that raged from 1961 to 1974 in the African colonies. I had understood that Portugal had remained neutral in both world wars; but, apparently they sent an expeditionary force to France on the Allied side in World War I.

It was a short walk to Lisbon Bike Tours where I was among the eight riders. The lead rider was Antonio, assisted by his associate Sara. We were pleased that they had fairly new e-bikes. My fellow riders included two Americans, two Nederlanders and two Austrians. The three-hour tour was excellent and the weather turned more moderate as we rode. We saw most of the sites on the eastern side of the historic core, much of which I’d walked the previous day. Antonio and Sara helped me with the difficult Portuguese pronunciation and complimented me on my accent. Since I have friends from Nashville and Dallas coming in October, we agreed to set up a custom e-bike tour for them. We ended the ride with shots of a Portuguese cherry liqueur.

I headed back to the Central Market since I was too lazy to research restaurants in my neighborhood. I enjoyed braised pork cheeks with mushrooms and mashed potatoes and worked that off on the steep climb back to Chiado. I had a drink at a neighborhood bistro and slept nine hours.

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