The end of the first leg, Lisboa and Sintra

The dreamy Ecovia11 cycle trail safely delivered us to Belém, our landing for a few days of explorations in Lisboa before heading back to the UK.

Starting in Belém we made a B-line to Pasteis de Belém. Famous for inventing the ubiquitous Pastel de Nata pastry, this monastery café had been on our gastronomy must-eat for ages. Finally we tasted the delicious nata here. They’re really good, and quite different to any of the others we ate – the pastry is much crispier and a little thinner, almost cracker like – but they were not the best that we had on our trip.

Into Lisbon and we had to find some bike boxes to pack our bikes for the plane. In the UK this would be easy – you’re doing the bike shop a favour if you take any cardboard off their hands. In Lisbon it’s a different story. Shops will gladly sell you a box, sometimes at €30 a box! Ludicrous. We just couldn’t find anywhere that would hand them over, but we did find a good bike shop that packed bikes in boxes for €20 each – fair enough. Biclas did an awesome job of packing our Bokehs in next day timing, too.

In Lisbon we did our usual – find awesome sandwiches, eat more cheap and tasty food, walk a lot. The food in Lisbon is pretty awesome, but the Bifana was something else. We loved the Pastel de Nata from Manteigaria.

One day we explored some of Sintra because it was so easy to get the direct train from Lisbon, and it looked pretty magical. There’s not much to say about Sintra that hasn’t already been said – lots of tourists etc., but still marvellous for a day trip. We loved the chalet with its cork and bark ornamentation.

4 days was enough for us to decompress from life on the road and to get ready for a bittersweet journey back home.


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