We started our day at the part of the city called Belém, which is at the waterfront. There in the early 1500s, King Manuel, who married a daughter of Ferdinand and Isabella of Spain, constructed the Monastery of Saint Jerónimos. We had a tour guide who specialized in this structure, and she pointed out many sea motifs that we might have overlooked. Vasco da Gama, the first to sail around Africa and return to Portugal with a cargo of spices, is entombed here. The monastery’s cloister has many fascinating and unusual carvings.
Further along the waterfront is the Monument to the Discoveries, which was built in 1960. The structure represents a huge caravel ship at sail with statues of the many of the country’s great navigators, sailors, and explorers on board. On the ground, there’s a marble map of the world with Portugal and its former colonies highlighted.
We spent the afternoon at the Gulbenkian Museum. Never having heard of Mr. Gulbenkian before, I was astounded that he gave his art collection that displays 5000 years of European, Egyptian, Islamic and Asian art to the city of Lisbon. For me, the museum is the perfect size, big enough to display a variety of types of breathtaking art, but small enough to see in a few hours.
That evening, we were asked by two other couples if we would like to join them for dinner. Of course we would! They didn’t have anyplace special in mind, but we did. We wanted to return to Quernesse. It’s such a small restaurant that I wasn’t sure they could accommodate six people on short notice, but I asked our hotel clerk to make the reservation, and it all worked out. Some of the meals the six of us enjoyed were pork cheeks with lemon risotto, duck breast, seafood risotto, duck risotto, and stuffed chicken. For dessert, we shared chocolate lava cake and cheesecake. Everyone raved about the food, with Ann specifically tickled that she ordered pork cheeks and loved them. Dinner for six, with dessert, wine and water, came to €100. The six of us were really well satisfied.