Originally born and bred in Mozambique , my mum’s sister was coming to Portugal for a holiday. Being only a 3 hour plane flight away from us, she asked mum to ‘pop’ over to see her. Mum has alot of commitments, and therefore doesn’t actually go out much at all. My grannie being the age of 93 and visually impaired requires 24 hour assistance, and dad and mum’s lives rotate around her and her needs.
Dad mentioned to me that mum needs time out- and this was the perfect opportunity for me to take her.
Sorting all my own responsibilities at home- I got the hubby to look for flights for a weekend away to Portugal for me and mum whilst my aunt was there. Accomodation wise I was advised that my aunt was renting a 2 bed apartment in the city of “Odivelas” and that the 2nd bedroom was free for us to use.
We booked our flight with easyJet for £69 return and jetted off. There was alot I wanted to do and see in Portugal. I have never been before- but this trip was purely for mum- I had told myself that on this trip to do everything mum wanted regardless of how I felt as she’s never really given that opportunity at home, also I hardly get to spend time with her myself as she’s always busy running around after the family. This trip was for her.
So we had 48 hours in Portugal, what did we do?
The question is of all the cities in Portugal, they chose Odivelas. Why Odivelas?
When the civil war broke out in Mozambique in 1977, my mum’s uncle sought refuge in Portugal, and the town Odivelas. This is where he made his home, and also built a mosque. With the majority of the population of people in Portugal being Christian, and following Catholism this was very challenging, and a very controversial thing to do. Yet he was adamant and pursued. Although her Uncle is no longer here, the mosque still stands, and is a extremely popular in Odivelas. Mum had an ambition to visit it daily, and so did my Aunt. So they chose an apartment round the corner from the mosque so that they could pop in as they willed.
The one bad thing about staying in Odivelas is- everywhere you need to go is by car. So be prepared for loads of Uber costs.
1. Pasteis De Belem
Ive always wondered my whole life who I’ve gone after. After I met my Aunt. My question was answered.
All I remember is my Aunt ran out of the moving car and towards this building in an extremely busy road- nearly got ran over- and left everyone hooting at us because we had to do an emergency stop. We watched her dissapear in the rear view window of the now moving car.
My mum was having a heart attack- whilst I looked at her in Awe. This is something I would do (maybe not in front of my mum but yes) I’d risk it all if I needed to tick something off in my bucket list.
Everyone in Lisbon knows about the ‘natas’ (Portuguese tarts) at this place- and if your not from Lisbon- you’ll know by the queue outside that there is something special about this place.
At one point in the queue I told my aunt to get the ‘natas’ from the bakery nextdoor as we only here for a couple of hours and I really didn’t want to spend half a day in a queue. Let me put it this way- the queues are a testament to the food. It is unbelievably good.
The inside was beautifully decorated. You could tell it was a old building, yet decorated very artisticly. With tiled wall in the colour of the logo. It has tried to keep its originality. The building is made up of interconnected rooms all of which are huge, airy and very spacious. It seats up to 500 people at a go- and still there’s a queue!
We ordered the natas and ‘Bolinhoes de Bacalhau’ basically Codfish cakes. The Bacalhau- dried and salty cod fish is another speciality of Portugal. I don’t think you can go to any Portuguese restaurant and not see Bacalhau in the menu. And the Bacalhau- in Portugal is definately different to the codfish we get here. It’s very rich in taste, and yes you can smell the fishy smell, whilst eating it, but yet it’s very tasty and it is dry! (Hence loads of juices on standby)
The natas with the crispy outer shell, and warm and creamy custard centre were divine, the best I’ve ever had by far.
If you do go here- do make sure you walk around- there’s a little window where you can view the natas coming out of the oven, and being put away. It is said that they sell up to 20,000 natas a day. That’s only natas. They’re menu does have alot more on offer.
Also this place is the most reviewed place on the internet in Portugal. With trip advisor getting over 10,000 reviews showing that if you haven’t been here whilst in Portugal, you haven’t been in Portugal at all.
And because it was so good. I packed up some natas for all at home.
Monastery of Jerónimos
On the same street as ‘Pasteis De Belem’ further down you will find the Monastery of Jerónimos. A Monastery built in 16th Century, using ‘Manueline Architecture’ which uses palm trees, vegetables, artichokes, ropes and ships in its detailing. The Manueline Architecture is unique to Portugal.
Entry is 10euros, however because of our short stay, we decided not to go in. Being such a tourist area, there are loads of vendors selling stuff, and loads of general touristy things going on, so a stroll here is nice.
Costa de Caparica
The Costa de Caparica is a long stretch of beautiful, clean, sandy beach.
We sat and watched the surfers, and soaked our feet in the warm salty water. We spent half a day here as it was just beautiful and serene.
Whilst here we ate at the famous
With a beautiful view of the ocean., And known for its fresh food we ordered grilled sardines and (not to forget) Bacalhau.
The portions were quite large as you can see, and you could smell the freshness of the food. Definately a place to revisit to try other dishes.
Vasco de Gama Bridge
One of the longest bridge in Europe with a length of 12.3km. named after Vasco De Gama – a european sailor who discovered the route between Portugal and India.
It was my aunt’s idea to see the bridge, yet we ended up driving to the other end, here we stopped by ‘Torre de Vasco de Gama’ – basically the “Tower of Vasco De gama’ to drive all the way back. ( Oh. Yes. Sometimes we do the strangest things) .
Torre Vasco De Gama
One of the tallest buildings in Portugal, and also a landmark. At 145 metres tall it’s boasts of it panoramic view of the city, sea and the bridge. Once again named after Vasco De Gama himself.
Shaped as a sail, it’s quite a beautiful building,
This area is another tourist hotspot, this photo was taken from the aerial cable cars, which can be taken at 4 euros each one way or 6 euros both return. Its a nice ride where you can see the river and scenic views of Portugal.
In this area you also have the Vasco De Gama shopping mall if you would like a stroll, we gave this a miss due to time constraints. Portugal is known for its unique design in kitchen dishes- so I missed out here.
And that’s our trip. 48 hours in Portugal. The evenings were spent in our apartment where mum and my aunt laughed about their younger days. All in all it was a fabulous trip.
Love and regards
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