The next day we wandered back down to the river. We had noticed on our first day out that the Museum of Popular Art had an exhibit of M.C. Escher’s work. Along with the Tower of Belem, the Museum of Pop Art is on the banks of the Tagus River. It is a fun dichotomy that the two are almost literally down the street from each other. 16th and 20th centuries pretty much next door to each other in the enchanting city of Lisbon!
Since Joe and I are both big Escher fans, we decided to check it out. It was amazing to see the man’s work up close and personal, so to speak! The amount of detail in his drawings is mind-blowing. There was also a fun interactive piece that let one enter the orb in the Hand with Reflecting Sphere pen and ink drawing. It was an illusion, of course, but most of this master’s work is an illusion, so totally appropriate! The entire exhibit was entertaining, informative, and awe-inspiring.
After the museum, we had some sangria at a hotel that had a patio on the water. The weather was beautiful and the scenery equally so. It was interesting to note that folks were sporting winter, even fur coats in the 60ish degree weather. Sort of the opposite of what we have in Colorado, where it is common to see people in shorts and flip-flops when it is 30 degrees or colder and snowing! I have never understood this, having been taught to dress for the weather. Kind of crazy either way, I guess!
We had dinner at one of the seafood restaurants on the way back from our sunset patio excursion. There was a gentleman standing outside extolling the virtues of the food inside and, after a couple of suggestions about the menu, I said, “I’m in, let’s do it”! Holy mother of delectable seafood! I had horse mackerel with a Spanish sauce, and Joe had a squid and shrimp skewer. Both were outstanding, as was the white wine we had with it. All for about 30 Euros. A meal like that would’ve cost $100-150 stateside.
After dinner, we strolled back toward our Airbnb and decided to stop back in at O Prado for a night- cap. A nightcap, right. Clearly, I had no idea who I was dealing with! We sat at the bar again and were warmly greeted by our new BFFs, Christina and Johnny. Boy, did we get more than we bargained for! After a bottle of Cartuxa, an excellent Portuguese red wine, if you ever run across it, I was ready for that nightcap! So, Johnny pulled out some of their homemade hooches. Portuguese grappa and brandy, if you will. Now, I happen to love grappa, and this was wickedly smooth and delicious. But wait, there was more! Next, he pulled out a barrel-aged version of the same firewater that was even more delicious than the first! Then, of course, I had to try some of the Portuguese aguardente, which literally means firewater. Really, it was Portuguese brandy. Thankfully, Joe is not a big grappa/brandy fan, so he only had little sips of each. I, on the other hand, partook fully. Being the world-class enablers that our hosts were, they sent us home with little samples of the two home- made liquors. They were cleverly disguised in recycled apple juice bottles! Love them, mean it! Our to-to liquor came in handy later in our trip.
I vaguely remember staggering back to our place. Joe says it was a small miracle that we made it back in the dark after all that drink! Yes, I was in for a world class hangover, to be sure.