Have you heard of Linguiça? I’m sure you did!

    Yesterday I was watching the news when I was surprised by this commercial! Who would have thought that Apple, John Malkovich and “linguiça” would be all together in a TV commercial?!  The word “linguiça” has generated buzz thanks to this ad, but after all what is it?

    Linguiça is a Portuguese sausage prepared with minced meat, usually pork meat, seasoned with salt, garlic, onion and pepper. Then it is embedded in natural casings, and by that I mean the small intestine’s thin skin, which must be totally dry and clean. In the end this is a horseshoe-shaped sausage cooked and smoked until it reaches a reddish appearance and a semi-stiff consistency, without casing breakage.

    This sausage is one of the oldest forms of processed meat, being mentioned in the “Odyssey” of Homer written in the ninth century BC and Linguiça was actually one of the first sausages to be invented and the word. Here in Portugal we usually eat it with bread as a starter and I ensure you that this is the best way to start a barbeque! You just need to grill it a little bit, catch a slice of bread and it’s perfectly good to be eaten.

   I hope that Malkovich had the opportunity to try it either after or before the commercial. And what about you, ready to try some during your stay in Portugal? You won’t regret!

Don’t forget: share your thoughts with me and this article with your friends!

Like a tourist in my own city

     Yesterday Mr.s Shepley and her family needed to be back to their cruise-ship quite early, which left me with an almost free afternoon.  Normally I just rush home in order to avoid traffic and take care of emails and reservation, but yesterday I decided that I wanted to be a tourist in my own city.

     We did the wine and cheese tasting tour (my favourite), so, I wasn’t hungry at all. I started my tour passing by Loja dos Descobrimentos, the tile-shop where I do the tile-painting workshops. I wanted to pay them a visit and also had to pay my last workshop.  After a long time chatting, it was time to leave and head towards Comércio Square, looking for a treat: ice-cream!

     Comércio Square is the place where there used to be the royal palace, before the earthquake of 1755. Afraid of the river, the Royal family didn’t want their palace to be built there again and the square was thought to be the social center of Lisbon. Without cafés or shops, inhabitants never felt attracted by this magnificent square and it used to be visited only by pigeons and tourists attracted by the river. Few months ago everything changed: restaurants, cafés, flower sellers and even a disco were opened in this square, which now attracts both locals and visitors.

     The ice-cream, right. I was looking for my ice-cream when I saw the Beer Museum, recently opened, and decided to get inside. I’m not a beer drinker but it was fun to see the history of the beer production in Portugal and the Portuguese speaking countries. Besides, they’ve recreated a 16th century monastic brewery and a “monk” explains the history of the beer production, techniques and so. Feeling thirsty? The visit finishes with a tasting and you can bring a cute clay-cup home.

    Finally, I found a wonderful place for artisan ice-cream and started to walk towards Chiado, where my friends were waiting for me. Could life get any better? Maybe it could but then it wouldn’t be life, just a dream.

What do you think of my afternoon? Share your thoughts with me and this article with your friends!

Thanks god for the free Sundays… or, I love Outjazz

    Don’t get me wrong, I love my job, but I also love to have some free time for myself and for my friends. Since there are no bookings for this weekend I already have a plan for my next free Sunday. Want to meet me there?

    This Sunday I’m definitely going to be in the Park Eduardo VII (at the top of Avenida da Liberdade) attending Outjazz. This is a sort of music festival that brings different DJs and bands to the city center, with free concerts and nice moments of relax. They happen in different parts of the city but regarding this specific one, since it’s in the park, many people bring their kids, dogs, a blanket and some drinks and sit to relax the end of the afternoon. I’ve been there two weeks ago and can’t wait for tomorrow!

    Where and when? The concerts happen in different parts of the city. This year even hotels decided to join, so, the “stage” ranges from museums (Ancient Art Museum, Tiles museum, etc) to hotels (Sheraton hotel, hotel Mundial, Tivoli hotel, etc) passing by train stations, historical elevators (Gloria, Santa Justa) and obviously public parks and gardens of the city. It runs from May to September on Fridays and Sundays afternoons. On Fridays the concerts start at 6pm and on Sundays at 5pm.

   With big companies cherishing this project all concerts are free which allows everyone to enjoy nice concerts and performances. I’d say that this is a really good thing about Lisbon: there are tons of things that one can do even without money in its pocket!

    Here you can find the program for the whole summer. Just check your available date and see where the festival will happen that day. If you can’t understand the location or something else don’t be shy and ask, ok? See you tomorrow!

This is the photo I took with my bberry, 2 weeks ago

And don’t forget: share your thoughts with me and this article with your friends!

From the airport to the city center by subway

From today everyone who arrives to Lisbon’s International Airport has a new way to reach the city center: subway!

After arriving to Lisbon’s Airport you just have to follow the signs (they’re not so good right now, that that will be fixed soon) and go to the ticket machine. Once you’re there (like I said before) buy a “Zapping” card. It costs 0.50€ for the card itself and then you can choose the amount that you want to put in the card. Each time you travel by public transportation it will deduct its cost automatically. In this case, it will take 1,15€, which is the price of each journey.

If you just want to take one trip, then buy “single fare” and the cost will be 1,25€ for the journey + 0,50€ for the green card. Don’t forget that you can return the card after the trip and recover your 0,50€, just keep the white receipt.

How to reach the airport by subway? Easy. Take it in the subway station that is more convenient to you and head towards “São Sebastião”, “Saldanha” or “Alameda (blue, yellow and green lines). There you can change subway and get on the red line, which takes you directly to the airport. To give you an idea, now you can go from “Saldanha” to the “Airport” in 16 minutes.  Isn’t that something?

Just like all the other subway stations, this one is also decorated with tiles. These were designed by a cartoonist, António, and has caricatures of important Portuguese personalities such as the Fado singer Amália or the writer Fernando Pessoa, among many others.

One last info: subway runs from 6.30 am to 1.30am and it’s generally safe. Toddlers, suitcases and other volumes are allowed, just look for the larger gates before passing your ticket. What are you waiting for? Try it and tell us how it was.

Or see the full subway map here. 

Tall Ships are coming

     Today’s post has everything to do with the sea.

     Personally love everything about the sea. The sound of the waves hitting the sand brings me memories of hot summers spent on our beautiful coast, the sea breeze that comes in through my nose and refreshes my mind and spirit, the beauty of the blue waters that delight my eyes and the touch of it in my toes is something that makes me feel I’m alive. Perhaps it was this feeling, that I can hardly put into words, which led our sailors to pursue the sea and the oceans and to discover new lands…

     For Lisbon (which isn’t located on the ocean but on the river) it’s going to be a great honor to receive the Tall Ships Race… and a great challenge for the participants, I’m sure! From the 18th to the 22th of July we’ll receive more than 45 tall ships in Lisbon, This event had its first edition back in 1956 and its aim is to keep the traditions of the great ships alive.

     The races are organized by the Sail Training International and aim to promote education and training at sea. Thus, the space between the Comércio Square and Santa Apolónia, on the north bank of the Tagus River, prepares to receive about 1 million visitors!

     This regatta is the opportunity of our present generation to revive the spirit of sailing and adventure. Aboard these large ships will be young people from lots of different nations, together to exchange their culture and sharing their experience related to the art of sailing. And speaking of art, this event will also have a very attractive musical agenda, so we can only expect great animation, music, food and, of course, great ships!

     For more information check their official website. It’s in English and contains important information about the general and musical agenda, the venue and the ways to get to the event.

Foto taken from their official website

Off the beaten path, a new place to relax and enjoy

     Despite being very central Martim Moniz rarely comes on guidebooks. This square is named after the nobleman who helped the first king of Portugal, Afonso Henriques, to conquer the city of Lisbon from the Moors. As the Moors were trying to close the doors of the castle, he stood between them and let the Christians get inside.

     Honoring this brave for his actions, the square where he lost his life received his name. Though it was built with a noble purpose, with the evolution of times, it became a degraded place, with signs of poverty on the streets, prostitution and some drug dealing. Finally the Town Hall decided to change history and rehabilitated this area.

     Instead of closing the eyes to the huge immigrant community that lives in this area, they decided to assume and be proud of it, opening lots of cafés, kiosks and restaurants serving food from the entire world. Handicraft shops, art exhibits, concerts and cinema, among many other activities, can also be enjoyed from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.

     On Fridays and Saturdays you can enjoy this place until midnight, so if you want, you can go there for a drink after dinner. To finish the good news, on weekends you can also visit the Fusion Market, which is open from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., where you can find goods of all kinds from all around the world.

     Don’t be shy nor afraid and come to discover the multicultural identity of Martim Moniz. It is open 365 days per year, 365 days plenty open air performances in a perfect symbiosis of cultures, music and entertainment!

Ready to go there? Share your thoughts with me and this article with your friends!

5 dishes that you should try

    We all know that one of the best ways to get to know a country is taste its traditional dishes and flavors. Portugal is not an exception and despite its small dimension, traditional dishes vary a lot from the south to the north. While the south prefers lighter meals, the coast has mostly fish and the north eats mostly meat.

    Bacalhau: codfish is considered our most famous and traditionaldish and can be served in 365 different ways, one per each day of the year. Bacalhau com Natas (with milk cream), Bacalhau à Brás (smashed with smashed french fries and onions) and Bacalhau com Broa (roasted with corn bread on top) are the best choices.

    Grilled fish: a great option for those summer lunches when you don’t want to feel stuffed and too lazy to walk around. Normally is grilled on the coal, which gives it a special flavor, and comes with boiled potatoes and vegetables. May sound too simple but together with some green wine will be unforgettable.

    Carne de Porco à alentejana: is a traditional dish from the south. Consists of fried pork cubes accompanied with fried potatoes and clams. The combination may look strange but definitely tastes good. Lemon and persely are perfect to add more flavours.

    Alheira: a sort of sausage invented by the Jews to pretend they were eating pork, includes different meats, bread and herbs. Comes with french fries and an egg on top.

    Arroz de marisco: a rice stew with lots of different sea food, clams and crab. In a good one you should have a bad time to find some rice on it. Normally one portion is enough to feed one family.