Sunday, 12 June 2011

Santo Antonio, Lisbon trip

My family does not often go to Lisbon but today was a special day to be there.  The Portuguese capital is preparing to celebrate Saint Antonio's day on 13 June. Street parties will be held, in Alfama and other districts of the capital.  Lots of sardines will be grilled and washed down with "green" (young) wine. On top of that, I really wanted to go today, I am marking my tenth anniversary living in Portugal.  A decade!

My family reflection in the window.
I went to a restaurant above Alfama but did not see grilled sardines on the menu's dish of the day so I asked a waiter if they had them. Of course, they had, without grilled sardines there would not be a Saint Antonio party!  I had a typically Portuguese lunch with grilled sardines, arroz doce (rice pudding) and meia de leite (coffee with milk). The sardines were tastier than ten years ago. I might getting used to my Portuguese life.

My DD2 demanded to have my rice pudding. At the end I had some. Too sweet, but I like it occasionally.

Sardines were on buses, grills,

 hanging from the door
 stuck on the shop window

flapping on the balcony.

It is traditional to have mass weddings on this day, and in Lisbon the city hall will pay for them if the couples are poor.  Today 16 couples were getting married at the Se cathedral, and tonight they would march on Popular Parades in Avenida da Liberdade. I did not see them arriving because I was told that they would arrive later in antique cars, but I saw their relatives arriving in nine buses escorted by police. 

For the event the Portuguese media was there. RTP's camera was suspended at the front door of the cathedral.  Others were running in streets to get their good shots.

And a famous Portuguese television morning show presenter João Baião was in his car behind the ninth bus.  He was friendly, I asked him to roll his car window down for the photo and he did.  I gave him my Portuguese-Mongolian Association business card, he looked at it, I guess, he will never look again. He was in a red mini but was quickly spotted and people were shouting "Senhor Joao!", "Senhor Joao!"

Nearby a lady was selling Beirao liquor.  This is made in the north of the country.  I tried once just for my curiosity.  For people who like liquors it could be good but I cannot judge.

A lady had candles to tribute Santo Antonio in front of her shop door, hopefully, there would not be a fire!

Super Bock beer, had been delivered by Post! Sagres has to be there too. The price was just €1.  I don't drink beer but I like Super Bock's advertising.

If you know what is written here, please let me know.

With all these stands selling beer, the party will go on!

Of course, what goes in must come out.  The streets already smelled of urine.

Life in other parts of the capital was more normal, here are some tourists renting segways. I might try one day.

Someone had the idea to liven up a boring caravan parked closer to the Praça de Comercio.

The view of Sao Jorge castle was great from the praça...

...which also hosted a photo exhibition by Angelo Lucas, sponsored by many big names in Portugal.

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