The New York Times travel section always has excellent stories, especially about travel. It always gives me lots of thoughts and ideas and suggestions. One article that I made sure to read prior to my trip to Portugal was: 36 Hours in Portugal. It was a fantastic article. Flowed nicely and really well written. Still, it was difficult to manage to do many of the things he had suggested or pin point the exact activities that I wanted to do.
Their were some restaurants that he had suggested that I had wanted to try, as well as some drinks at some rooftop bars that I had wanted to try. But, what is not really mentioned or discussed, is how far apart everything is, or the fact that you might have to walk a little ways from the train station to get to the destinations that he lists. You may have to ask quite a few locals for directions before you arrive.
He does however, discuss the egg custard tarts. And let me tell you, while I did not eat at the exact place that he recommended, these tiny delicacies can be found just about anywhere, at any pastry location or restaurant. The streets of Lisbon are just filled with them. You could take yourself on an entire tour of just these treats. And trust me, at the end of the day it will be worth it.
There was a Cork shop that I would have loved to try. But let’s be honest, cork is everywhere in Lisbon. And I mean everywhere. If it can be cork, if it can be turned into cork, it probably is. It’s like one of those glass blowing workshops in Italy. I mean, literally, I was overwhelmed with the amount of cork products, and the quality of the cork products and the level of skill and finesse that went into creating the cork products. Hand bags, backpacks, hats. Seriously…who is about to buy a cork hat? Actually, I might. I could create an entire wardrobe out of cork items. How great would that be?
He talks about the coffee. And don’t get me wrong, the coffee is great. They give Italy a run for their money. Nevertheless, the coffee shop he recommends, I never did quite make it out there. Still, there are many, many places to try coffee that line the streets of Lisbon and Lisbon’s Graca district. You would be hard find in Lisbon to find a place that does not have good food or good coffee or good pastries. All you have to do is walk and you will stumble upon an excellent place.
New York Times travel articles are great for suggestions, they act as a great guide and provide lots of incite into countries. Still, at the end of the day you have to look at location and what works best for you, your schedule and your itinerary.