So after returning late Tuesday night, and finally getting over the jet lag -- we're ready to talk about the trip. And what a trip it was.
We've been talking about how to actually put into words what Portugal was like but it is so difficult. Where do we even start? There is so much to talk about; the food, the wine, the people, but no words would ever do it justice.
I think there will probably be a few posts talking about our travels (so stay tuned!) but let me start off by talking about the coffee. Somehow we stumbled upon a coffee drink they call a Galão. A galão is simply a shot of espresso with hot milk, served in a glass tumbler. Similar to a latte but without the airy milk foam and just so much smoother...somehow the glass made it taste better (although Mony sure had a hard time holding the hot glass - next time we'll bring oven mitts for him!)
Our days in Portugal usually started off with one of these coffees, along with a portuguese pastry. Mony usually went for the chocolate varieties, but my favourite was a local specialty called pasteis de nata.
It's a Portuguese custard tart that is heavenly. The filling is an egg custard with a slight vanilla flavour. The custard is filled in a puff pastry crust and then baked till slightly golden brown. The end result is sort of like the offspring of a creme brulee and a puff pastry tart that married. Flaky, creamy, and simply delicious.
On those days that were too hot to have a coffee, Mony would start off his day with a glass of fresh squeezed orange juice. They would juice the oranges right in front of you -- 5 beautiful oranges to fill 1 glass. The color of the juice was nothing we'd ever seen before.
I can't think of a better way to start off your day than to be feasting on galãos, fresh orange juice, and a variety of traditional pastries...all for under $3.
Picture it -- sitting with a glass of coffee, talking about the night before or planning out our day's adventures; it was picture perfect. There is a reason that there is no such thing as take-out coffee in Portugal. There is no such thing as a morning rush...no such thing as not having enough time to stop and enjoy your surroundings and the smell of fresh coffee. Everyone is happy, no one is stressed out. There is something to be learned from them.
Obrigado, Portugal, obrigado.