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TDP2021: Day9 – Porto – Lisbon – Waves, Ginjinha, Chocolate & Good Food

Far too quickly our few days in Porto have gone by and it’s time to leave for Lisbon. As in Lisbon any check-in (and during week-ends also to enter restaurants) has to be either by recently tested or vaccinated persons, my family had to find a place and slot get a test done in Lisbon when arriving to ensure their test status was continuous until the very south of Portugal.

As the current government mantra is Test, Test, Test, many of the testing places and their slots were already fully booked with tests for the weekend.

I, on the other hand, was already ok and therefore – for today – would be driving alone to Lisbon, taking my time and with some destinations I wanted to visit en-route.

I got up early and randomly pointed at some pastries at one of the pastelarias close to where we stayed. YUM!

Last breakfast in Porto

Last breakfast in Porto

 

You might remember that I got a special ‘consumption reducing’ TopGear-style present by my family … here it is! I’m sure it’s going to raise some eyebrows en-route.

Ready to leave...with my 'present'

Ready to leave…with my ‘present’

 

My navigation system was so kind to direct me across Porto’s old bridge when leaving the city. It’s quite the imposing view from within my small vehicle!

Entering Porto's bridge - dramatic view from TWIKE

Entering Porto’s bridge – dramatic view from TWIKE

Crossing Porto's bridge

Crossing Porto’s bridge

 

I quickly leave Porto’s outskirts and join a main road leading south.

The road surface is awful and after just 20km I’m contemplating taking the motorway to avoid the constant bone rattling surface defects.

Also, It’s pretty cold and humid today. Low hanging clouds and fog constantly deposit what seems to be a fine spray of droplets on my windscreen … for which I don’t use the wipers as a) before leaving I had treated my windscreen to a full reconditioning and didn’t want to scratch it and b) the Teflon wax I added as an additional layer was doing its job of creating droplets that just moved off the windscreen with the force of the air being pushed over it.

Humidity, lots of it. (also, very cold!)

Humidity, lots of it. (also, very cold!)

Up into the fog

Up into the fog

 

Then, suddenly, and potentially because I crossed into an other administrative region, the roads changed and were pristine.

TWIKEing with this kind of road surface is just blissful!

TWIKE action pic

TWIKE action pic

 

I decided to take my chances and headed off the larger road closer towards the coast and see if the smaller, single-lane roads would be acceptable too…and they turned out to be even better – new tarmac all around!

My favourite type of road

My favourite type of road

Sand dunes ahead

Sand dunes ahead

 

Until…the good tarmac was gone as quickly and abruptly as it started 🙁

This is an official road! ARRGGH!

This is an official road! ARRGGH!

 

Fortunately, this was only a manageable stretch of road until I got to another anomaly that we don’t have in Switzerland – a totally straight stretch of road for dozens of km! Wow.

The beginning of some really flat and straight stretch of road

The beginning of some really flat and straight stretch of road

Along the endless stretch of straight road to nowhere

Along the endless stretch of straight road to nowhere

Further along the endless road - the end is in sight (...also, hills)

Further along the endless road – the end is in sight (…also, hills)

 

And now to the first attraction of the day: I knew Ginjinha, a sweet Portuguese liquor, before. But I was told that the place where it comes from – Ginjinha HQ so to say – was in a place called Obidos and it would be definitely worth a small detour and some time to visit. (spoiler alert: it definitely is!)

The town itself is a medieval and sports a castle, town walls and lots of narrow roads. Just my place.

Obidos castle coming into sight

Obidos castle coming into sight

 

The town itself is traffic free and offers a large parking lot just outside the town entrance. One of the closest – free – parking spots is a green field with a plug for EV’s! (and it was not being hogged by some Tesla)

I suspect it was free as there was no traditional charging station here. Obidos seems to have put up this charging spot a long time ago – pre-RFID… And this is why my charging experience was a) barrier free b) cost-free and c) just worked!

Obidos welcomes EV's (and your doin' it right)

Obidos welcomes EV’s (and your doin’ it right)

 

Bam! Simple, cheap, built for dozens of years of service and just convenient. Obidos: You’re doin’ it right! (Yes, I know that most new EV drivers wouldn’t know what to do with such a plug but at this moment I’m just indulging in some selfish ‘all your plugs are belong to me’ 😉 )

None of the RFID / IT nonsense! Plug&Charge!

None of the RFID / IT nonsense! Plug&Charge!

 

The town itself is a gem and seems also to be Portugal’s chocolate HQ – the liquor is to be consumed in either a white or brown chocolate cup – ideally with a cherry from which the alcohol is made of.

Fairytale Obidos

Fairytale Obidos

 

One, two, three – every 2 metres you get offered one of these!

Calories and Alcohol...what's there not to love?

Calories and Alcohol…what’s there not to love?

 

The combined sugar/alcohol rush is very satisfying.

One of many samples I took

One of many samples I took

 

I had to leave before I wasn’t allowed to drive anymore 🙂

Back at the TWIKE, there was already a gathering of people that wanted to know more about the TWIKE. This is indeed why my average speed when traveling outside Switzerland is slower than normal – I have to factor in about 30 minutes for each stop’s explanations.

I maintain that a TWIKE is a perfect tool to get in touch with local people…if you like speaking with people.

My next stop is Nazaré – a small, if touristic, surfer’s paradise with the world’s largest waves. Summer is not the season for these waves but I always like to drive along the sea and stop for a snack.

Back to the sea - still grey and cool

Back to the sea – still grey and cool

 

Until now it’s been grey, humid, windy and cold. Suddenly, as if a switch was flipped, the sky turned blue and temperatures went up 10°C.

Perfect conditions for my last 75km of the day.

My family had already sent me a message that they had found a place to test and were now waiting at our place for my arrival and were looking forward to some drinks and food.

Off to Lisbon, then!

Perpetual winds make this a good idea

Perpetual winds make this a good idea

The last few hills to Lisbon

The last few hills to Lisbon

Down the last hill to Lisbon

Down the last hill to Lisbon

 

Entering Lisbon, I got some promising information from my wife with regards to the parking garage they had parked their car: charging stations available! – only 3 km to go and I was looking forward to just parking, charging having a good time.

Entering Lisbon's outskirts

Entering Lisbon’s outskirts

 

And, wow, entering the parking garage everything looked really good. Special parking spots, 22kW type2 sockets etc.

Ah... nice, but it isn't as easy as it looks

Ah… nice, but it isn’t as easy as it looks

More charging options!

More charging options!

 

But, alas, no fun was to be had today with this charging infrastructure. A local card was required, no roaming, no cash payment, no app. ARRRRRRGGGHHH! Why would I want to charge in a parking garage with an EV with a local card? I don’t need electricity when I’m out and about in my own town!!!

Anyways, I was too tired and frustrated to care. I pushed the problem to the next day, left the TWIKE in the protected parking garage and walked to the place we had rented… which turned out to be a very nice place.

Well, thanks!

Well, thanks!

 

That evening we went to a restaurant my wife and I had already been to on prior visits and were looking forward to their down-to-earth home-made food at very reasonable prices.

Hole-in-the-wall place we've come back to for some years now

Hole-in-the-wall place we’ve come back to

 

Entering the place there are some of the goodies on display which are on the menu.

All the goodies waiting to be cooked

All the goodies waiting to be cooked

 

As always, this is a place without any frills – the food however is top-notch.

The kind of place we tend to go - small but good

The kind of place we tend to go – small but good

 

I always follow the suggestions and this time – thanks to their suggestions – ended up trying Açorda de Mariscos, a bread soup with shrimps. A very interesting texture with shrimps and other goodies. YUM!

Açorda de Mariscos - another discovery: a must-try dish

Açorda de Mariscos – another discovery: a must-try dish

This is 'de rigueur'

This is ‘de rigueur’

 

Later, we wandered about a little more and visited one of the main venues of Lisbon – by night without any of the tourist masses.

Praça do Comércio

Praça do Comércio

Lisbon river view

Lisbon river view

 

Tired, full and happy is how I described myself that evening. Life is good.

Here are the stats for today – I am especially happy and proud of my consumption today.

Day 9 stats

Day 9 stats

Day 9 GPS track

Day 9 GPS track