Saturday, March 5, 2016

Aquaducts, Chocolates and Dream Machines

Waking slowly I managed to pull myself from my bed and catch the 711 bus from Avenida da Liberdade to Amoreiras,  I finally found the right aqueduct, the Águas Livres Aqueduct. I had been so close yesterday that it was disappointing that I had not made it there. I think I had gotten tired and was a bit frustrated after paying €5.00 for the reservoir. Apparently there are four museums that make up the water museum and I had only visited the Mãe d'Água das Amoreiras Reservoir yesterday.

Paying €3.00, I grabbed a pamphlet and headed to where I hoped the aquaduct was. I headed along and soon I was high above the motorways, looking over the brightly coloured buildings of Lisbon. About half way across it started to sprinkle. I had my umbrella in my bag but did not have to pull it out as the rain soon stopped. I was happy to finally get to go across this aquaduct. Construction on it began in 1732 and in 1748 it was able to bring water to Lisbon. The length of the aquaduct including all its branches is 58,135 meters.

Leaving the aquaduct, I decided to follow my map and see if I could find the LX Factory. Headed for Campo de Ourique, I stopped at the Hamburgueria da Parada in the park but they told me they were not yet serving lunch. Sad, I decided to head around the block to Aloma and get myself a pastel de nata and a small expresso. Nibbling my treat at the bar, I decided to head back to the park. Sitting by the duck pond, I caught up on writing in my journal and decided I would hold off on waiting for the hamburger and keep walking.

I found myself in front of the Mercado de Campo de Ourique and popped inside. Nothing tempted me except for the Pastel de Nata flavoured gelato. It was a delicious. I enjoyed my gelato as I strolled past Prazeres Cemetery, continuing to head in the general direction of the LX Factory with some help of a map app on my phone.

Entering the Tapada das Necessidades, a park that seemed to be full of small abandoned palace like buildings, fountains and plants. Similar to my feeling in Queluz "I'm in the garden" ran through my head as I went off the path and followed along a set of stairs down towards what appeared to be a palace.

Finding these geese obstructing my path, I watched as they paced back and forth honking and hissing. I was not about to go and mess with these four. I don't like larger birds and was not about to be chased through a strange park by a gang of no good geese. Choosing a different path led me around the gaggle and allowed me to photograph two lovely cats. I saw a few more cats but they didn't let me get very close. Unlike the cat at the Moorish Castle, these ones didn't seem interested in any affections I had for them.

Finding the park's exit, I found a viewpoint and enjoyed the bit of sunshine that was happening. Getting a nice view of the Abril de 25 Bridge, I kept on walking. The LX Factory was down by the water, I just had to head in that direction.

Finding the LX Factory, I slipped past its pretty gates and into the wonderland of shops that were inside. One of the blogs I really enjoy Wish Wish Wish had done a guide on the LX Factory from her recent visit to Lisbon and I was keen on getting in on the action. I wandered around, admiring all the street art adorning the walls in colourful murals.

I headed to Amesa, a very cool pizzareria featuring a very long table that all the diners sit along. When I arrived I had a small section of it to myself but soon the table began to fill and it made me imagine what it was like for when it was busier and everyone would sit together. I ordered the Lisboa pizza which had bacalhau, the Portuguese codfish, eggs, and other amazingness that I can't really recall. I really enjoyed it and nearly ate the entire thing. Feeling full I had to stop myself.

Even though I was full, the amazing little shop Oh! Brigadeiro was right across the road. Stepping inside the cute shop, I eyed the case full of brigadeiros with wonder. The lovely woman in the shop walked me through what a brigadeiro was and what flavours they had to offer. Despite being full of pizza, I knew I had room for these treats. A brigadeiro is a Brazilian sweet, also popular in Portugal made from condensed milk, butter and most typically chocolate. I decided to have the traditional chocolate, the lime, the malteesers chocolate and the salted caramel. Oh they were heaven. I got a large coffee to enjoy them with.  Each one had such a flavour to them that I cannot choose a favourite.

Belly full of deliciousness, I wandered the LX Factory a bit more, taking in the different shops it had to offer.

I stepped into another of Wish Wish Wish's recommended stops Ler Devagar, a crazy bookstore that is full of books and an exhibition of mechanical insects and dreaming mechanisms. There is a cosy cafe and lots to read. My favourite part of the place was the exhibition though, the curator and creator of the little machines walked me and a small group of others through each one. It was interesting to see what made up the machines, old watches, cds, tennis balls. For someone to make them into creations was innovative. I really enjoyed it, never having anticipated finding something like this in a bookshop.

Leaving the LX Factory behind, I crossed over towards the train station Alcantara-Mar to get the train back to Cais do Sodré. What I liked about the surrounding area was that there was more murals. Lisbon is very much about street art. It's everywhere. Walking through the underpass to get to the train station there was a street art gallery that I admired while waiting for the train.

Getting off at Cais do Sodré, I popped across the street to Mercado da Ribeira to get something that had been on my mind for a while. The chocolate mousse with bits of chocolate salami in it.  I got it at Nós é Mais Bolos, a delicious little cake stand in the market. Everything looked tempting but after watching a vlog where a couple had enjoyed this, I had to try it for myself. It was like eating brownie batter and was very worth the €3,50 I paid for it. Now to get my hands on some chocolate salami before I go.

Climbing back up towards Bairro Alto, I headed back down my little steep slope towards my apartment. Long day but a happy day.

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