Shore leave Lisbon: Breakfast in Belem
March 6th, 2018 | on the road
A special way to get to know foreign cities and countries is a visit to a bakery or pastry shop. The variety of different types of bread and the selection of the most diverse pastries regularly lure my captain on a discovery tour to the most beautiful pastry shops in the world. One of them he found in Lisbon, namely the Pastéis de Belém. The good: from the cruise ship, it is very easy to reach by bike or on foot. Here is the captain’s shore leave recommendation: “Breakfast in Lisbon”
“Pastéis de Belém pastry shop is certainly not any longer an insider’s tip, but always worth a little trip for me when in Lisbon. You have to be there early enough, before the big tourist rush. Then you can sit in the large, blue-and-white tiled rooms at simple, old tables together with Portuguese and get to talk.
The pastry shop is named after their famous puff pastry tartlets which in the rest of Portugal are known as Natas. In Pastéis de Belém their taste is unique! Crispy dough, fluffy, velvety vanilla filling, you sprinkle cinnamon and sugar over it, if you like. In addition the typical Portuguese milk coffee, the Galão – yes, that’s a way to begin the day.
The best thing to do is to leave the ship early in the morning. Bicycles can be rented at the terminal or you can walk the first part of the way to the Praça de Commercio, where you find several bike rentals. Take two to three hours by bike for the excursion. Of course you can also walk the path, no problem at all during a normal port stay. The route is relatively well developed for bicycles, there are some well-paved sections and some with cobblestones.
Leaving the terminal, turn left and follow the coastal promenade to the tower of Belém (Torre de Belém). You choose your own pace, always driving along the river Tagus, past the Praça de Commercio (Trading Place), the ferry harbors where the river ferries depart, the Museum of Ancient Arts. Just after passing under the bridge of April 25th, you will see the futuristic MAAT (Museum of Art, Architecture and Technique), pass the Monument to Seafarers and Explorers and soon arrive at the Tower of Belém and its park.
Now, you head towards the city. For this, the multi-lane Avenida Brasilia and the railway tracks must be crossed over a pedestrian bridge. Rails make it easier to take bicycles with you (If you don’t like to carry your bike up and down, you can lock it and walk to the pastry shop – it’s only a short walk). Arriving on the other side you follow the Rua Bartolomeu Dias to the right, almost parallel to the Tagus. You pass the gardens of Belém on the right and the monastery of Mosteiro dos Jerónimos on the left. If you follow the road for a short while, you will find Pastéis Belém Confectionery on your left.
In addition to the famous Pastéis de Belém you should also try other pastries, such as Guardanapos, which means napkin. A biscuit dough, folded like a napkin and filled with a delicious cream. For those who are not currently in Lisbon, there is the recipe for the Pastéis de Belém for baking.
On your way back you take the same way. If you still have time, you can have a drink at the Quiosque Ribeira das Naus. Here you can sit on a terrace right at the river and have a wonderful view of the famous statue Cristo Rei in Almada on the other side of the Tagus and the bridge of April 25, which spans the Tagus.
Have fun with breakfast in Belém! “
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