Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Portugal part II...

Hello friends,

My last few days in Portugal flew by quickly.  I visited a few of the sites and my host cooked me an amazing meal.  There was an MTV art battle with national graphic artists near his house.  They were asked to create a design with the MTV toy logo and were competing side by side, against the clock.  This is a live art competition and compete in front of a live audience.

Throughout my blog, I have photographed graffiti, local artists and lots of street art.  I had the opportunity to witness a very cool, live art competition in the streets near Chiado.

The meal he made was incedible.  He made me some clams with garlic, olive oil, cilantro and some other spices.  Delicious.

He made me a flavorful rice with shrimp, crab and other seafood.  

After dinner, we strolled down the street to see the famous Bairro Alto area.

Local drug dealers are not shy here. They will just walk right up to you and ask if you want to buy hash.  You will not be arrested if you walk around with less than 5 days of hash in your pocket.  The question is, "what is the exact amount of 5 days of hash?"  

Bairro Alto is an area filled with narrow streets and corners and is lined with bars, pubs, nightclubs, fado bars, shopping and restaurants.  The people get going around 10PM and are out and about until 6AM.  Bairro Alto is located in Central Lisbon and is only 5 minutes away from where my host lives.  Bairro Alto is one of the oldest districts in Lisbon.  Cars are banned from this pedestrian area except for residents, emergency vehicles and taxis.  During the daytime, older people walk around and do their shopping and younger people visit art galleries.  At night, the area completely transforms and becomes the central area of nightlife for most youth.  

The bars and restaurants are long and narrow on the inside.  Typically, people buy their drinks and then just hang outside of the bars and restaurants.  My host describes it as organized chaos.  Since no one really drinks inside the bars, the streets are packed with people getting intoxicated and partying outside.  The legal drinking age is 16 years old so there is a mix of very young people who also do not know how to handle their alcohol.  The bars don't card because of such a young legal age limit so there are even younger teenagers roaming the streets as well with a bottle in their hands. There are two things that people come here for other than just meeting friends.  There is an abundance of alcohol and sex available.  I don't mean prostitution.  I mean just people randomly hooking up.  As I walked down the street there are a bunch of people just making out and getting to know each other quite intimately on the streets.  

Local Subway in Lisbon

Oceanarium of Lisbon

This was the main centerpiece for the 20th century's last world fair and was completed in 1998.  This is one of the largest aquariums in Europe.  They receive over 1 million visitors per year with over 16,000 animals and over 450 different species inside this oceanarium.  This oceanarium also houses the sunfish which is usually rare because of the intense care and maintenance needed to keep this fish alive.  

Penguins cuddling 

Sea Otters

Hello!  He is giving me paw!  

Manta Ray


I don't know what he was but he was huge!!  

mascot of the Oceanarium is the puppet, Vasco
The motto is, "Vasco is cool! "

We visited the national tile museum in Lisbon

This museum houses over 5 centuries of the production, history and different forms of decorative ceramic tiles (Azulejos)
You will not find a collection this extensive anywhere in the entire world. 

The museum is housed n a huge convent in a baroque style of architecture.  If you are into church design, architecture and history, then you must not miss this site.  

Bacalao fish cakes and fried croquettes willed with meat

Humberto took me to another one of his favorite restaurants for our last meal together.  

We shared the largest crab that I have ever eaten.  This European crab weighed over 5.3 pounds!  You cannot buy this type of crab in the United States.

Look at the size of this crab claw in relation to my finger!!!  OMG!

Quebra Mar Restaurant is where you can find this yummy and gigantic crab!!

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