Cathedrals, towers, tapas, and scenery!
Burgos and Salamanca
We left lovely San Sebastian for a short two hour drive to Burgos. We found a great place for a yummy lunch and enjoyed the relaxed pace of Burgos after the many tourists in San Sebastian. After lunch, we toured the amazing Burgos Cathedral. I had read that it was a historic and gorgeous cathedral but none of us were prepared for how much we enjoyed the many chapels inside the cathedral. It was a great stop and helped our 4.5 hour drive go by quickly despite some heavy rain.
Mom even found her first pair of Spanish shoes. I have a feeling that there will be more.
The weird public bathrooms in the main square weren't such a hit. At least we haven't had to pay to pee in very many locations this time.
We made it to Salamanca after driving through some boring Spanish flatland. Our airbnb had three bedrooms and a funny choppy lay-out. The narrow hallway had eight different doors to various rooms. I kept getting lost!
We found a nearby tapas place for dinner where we had a second dose of patatas bravas. We had enough potatoes for one day! DH and the kids went back to the place while my mom and I headed to the old town. We wandered the busy streets of this college town and saw the impressive plaza mayor. We found a cute wine bar for some vino tinto and were amazed at how late people were out and about walking, drinking, and eating.
Salamanca Tower Climbing, Art Deco Museum, Parks, & One Great Meal
After a scenic run along the river and through the old town, we walked to a coffee shop where the kids mistakenly ordered hot chocolate. They thought it would be the kind they were used to but it was the thick pudding stuff again. Oh well.
We continued to the large cathedral and climbed one of the most unique towers I have ever climbed. This one was special because it allowed you to climb along parts of the rooftop as well as walk along the upper balconies inside the cathedrals. We all enjoyed getting to see this cathedral in a special way.
We found the nearby art deco museum. The building was the most interesting part. The huge doll display was just a little odd - especially the doll with four detachable heads. Wish we were able to take a picture!
We found a hamburger place for lunch where I ordered the weirdest nachos. I guess we all needed a taste from home. The weather was becoming worse so we decided to do a little shopping. DH went back to enjoy the Tour de France. We enjoyed a quick drink/ice cream on the main square before climbing yet another church tower. I can't get enough of these things!
We put on a few more miles to find the best park in the city. 30,000 steps a day has become the minimum on this trip!
Mom agreed to watch the kids so DH and I could enjoy a fabulous dinner. We found a great place called Cuzco Bodega. We ordered course after course of tapas ranging from amazing raw seafood, pork steak with roquefort sauce, and the famous Iberico ham. We splurged on the meal and still only paid 31 Euros. Such a treat!
Ciudad Roderigo and Lisbon Nightlife
We left Salamanca feeling like we saw the major sights. We drove an hour to the old walled hill town of Cuidad Rodrigo. We had coffee and churros on the main square before exploring the parador, an old castle turned into a hotel. Luckily, we were still able to wander the grounds and climb the tower. I think I'm averaging a tower a day!
A very scenic swing.
I scored some Spanish espadrille shoes!
We wandered into a market before heading out of town where we saw the famous young suckling pig and other piggy parts. I prefer my pork cooked and on my plate!
We drove another three hours through some very beautiful rolling hills in Portugal. Our first impressions of Portugal were good ones. We had a quick picnic at a rest stop before making out way into Lisbon. Thanks to DH's skillful driving, we found our apartment easily. We are staying in Lisbon for four nights so we were extra thankful to see our large three bedroom, two bathroom flat. All for about $100 per night. Nice!
After settling in and buying a few groceries, we took the metro into the main part of town and found Lisboa Bar - a place my brother and sister in-law recommended. We sat on the roof and enjoyed a great sangria!
We lucked out and found a recommended place for dinner. Everyone loved what they ordered (hasn't always been the case on this trip). We had things like octopus salad, cod in cream sauce, steak and pork. DH and the kids went back to the apartment while my mom and I explored the Bairro Alto and Chiado neighborhoods. We tried the famous Ginja liqueur sold at many places. It has a sour cherry flavor and was pretty delicious!
Another full day with lots of steps!
Exploring Lisbon Neighborhoods
We enjoyed a relaxing morning in the apartment before heading back to central Lisbon. We started in the lesser-known Intendente neighborhood in the Alfama District. We found a nice little square where we had a small lunch and shopped at little craft market. We actually bought some really nice things made by local people.
We rode the famous trolley #28 for a short while. Unfortunately, they were crowded, hot, and touristy so we jumped off after a short ride. We wandered the Alfama district taking in some great views of the sprawling and colorful city.
Even the urinal had a fancy sign.
We wandered down toward the water and took the ferry across to Cacilhas - the neighborhood across the water. We hopped off and decided to have a drink and snack before heading back into Lisbon. The area across the ferry seemed far less touristy than central Lisbon so we were glad to explore for a while.
Once back in central Lisbon, we hauled ourselves up more narrow streets in search of a restaurant that wasn't closed on Sunday. We found a tiny little tapas place and called it a day. We headed back and relaxed after feeling like we had a better feel of this great city.