After a breakfast of yogurt and kiwi, bruschetta (with fresh local mozzarella and tomatoes in oil and herbs), homemade cake, and strong coffee, we walked up the (steep) hill and followed the tram tracks to the Thieves' Market.
We prowled about an hour, but found little to buy. There were plenty of shoes and second-hand clothing, lots of paperback books, and many remote controls for sale. A few booths had costume jewelry or handmade pottery, but the real bargains were the ceramic tiles from the 19th century, perfect for use as coasters or decorative items -- four for ten Euro.
From there, we wandered downhill to Baixa, following the Tram 28 track and stopping wherever we pleased: antique shops, chocolate shops, scenic overlooks, churches. We paused for fresh pastries in the old city before shopping a bit on Garrett Street and taking the tram out to Belem.
There, we made our way to Belem's famous pastry shop, noshing on chicken puff pastry, toasted ham sandwiches, a slice of pizza, and four of the baked egg custard pastries Belem is known for. They're a bit like those egg custards you get at some Chinese restaurants, but much creamier and flakier. That said, John only nibbled his -- as it was too much like those Chinese custards for his tastes. (Do you think I left it on his plate? Do you? You know me better than that, right?)
We walked all that off in our tour of the Monastery before taking a taxi to the eerie ruin of the Convento do Carmel. When the great Lisbon quake hit back in the 1700s, the earth shook for a full nine minutes -- the worst quake in Europe's entire history. It was all Saints' Day, and hundreds of people were packed in the church when the roof caved in. Now, the church is a museum, and you can walk through the bizarre open-air sanctuary, staring up at the walls and wondering what it was like when the great vaulted ceiling rained down on the congregation below.
After a bit more shopping -- and European hot chocolate! -- we headed down to the Placa Commercia and visited -- I kid you not -- an attraction billed as "The World's Sexiest Public Bathroom." given that claim, I was a bit underwhelmed ... but the facilities were clean, the stalls sere the size of a small Midtown condo, and you've never seen toilet paper in so many hues in your life.
Finally, we went for dinner at Faca e Garfo (Fork and Knife), a quaint little Portuguese restaurant a block from the ruined church. My grilled tuna was good, but Clyde's sea bass stole the show. (Well, until my chocolate torte arrived.)
A quick taxi ride later, we were home and in bed ... and dreaming of tomorrow's journey to the mysterious city of Sintra! Total steps walked: more than 19,000 ... Right at nine miles.
Tired? Yep. Having a great time? Absolutely.