Sardines and all that . ..


Dom Fernando II e Glória

28Picture from Lisbon web site.

While in Lisbon we had one ‘damp’ day so we decided to experience Tram 28 – the oldest tram in Lisbon.

When we arrived at the tram stop we were faced with a very long queue – many others had the same idea! Not wishing to spend our limited time in Lisbon queuing we decided to take the ferry across the Tagus River, to the small town on the other side called Almada. The ferry ride was only ten minutes.

dsc03119rThe structure in front of the ferry boat is not a submarine, but part of the breakwater on the mainland.

dsc03123rFrom the ferry boat.

We’d heard tales of the restaurants in Almada, so we thought we’d have lunch during our visit.
After leaving the ferry we had to pass an old sailing ship, so of course I dragged my wife and our friends over to check out the ship.


She was an old frigate. The submarine in front of the frigate (right hand side of the picture) had seen better days.


Dom Fernando II e Glória

A fifty gun frigate of the Portuguese navy. Built in 1843 and her maiden voyage was in 1845. She was built in India in Daman, which was part of Portuguese India at the time. She was the last ship to do the Indian to Portugal voyages. The route being created in the 16th century to carry military supplies from Portugal to her Indian colonies. She sailed over 100,000 miles and remained in service until 1878.

After she had finished her deep sea life she was moored at Lisbon and used as the naval artillery school, and later in various other scholastic capacities until 1963, when, during repair work she caught fire.
This brought to mind my old training ship HMS Conway when something similar happened to her off N. Wales in 1953.

conway coloured
After the fire, Dom Fernando II e Glória was towed to a secure area and left on the river bank for the next 29 years.
In 1992 she was removed from the mud flats and work began on her restoration as to what she would have looked like in 1850. In 1998 she was reinstated in to the Portuguese navy.

She was the centre of attention during the World Expo in Lisbon in 1998 during which time Portugal celebrated the 500th anniversary of the discovery of the sea route to India by Vasco de Gama.

Back to food  . . . .

The restaurants area was a short walk from the ferry terminal, and nearly every building in Almada seemed to house a restaurant of sorts, or at least the buildings,


which were near the ferry terminal, all had restaurants / cafes. The choice was quite large, but we didn’t want Italian, Indian, ‘British’, or any other type of food,  but Portuguese.

I’d heard so much about Portuguese sardine that I’d promised myself that it would be sardines for me at lunch. We walked the main restaurant street checking all the restaurants and ended up back near the water because we’d seen a number of Portuguese siting outside and eating, so we figured if the locals use it then it is good enough for us.


Taken from the restaurant’s web site

dsc03133rThe problem was, not long after we sat down it started to rain!. We were under a large umbrella and the rain didn’t bother us at first until it became quite heavy and everyone (not just us) made a bee line for the restaurant. Downstairs was already packed, so we were waved upstairs.


From their web site


My photograph – we had a window seat – it wasn’t long before the place was full.


The rain was very heavy, but by the time we’d finished our meal it had stopped and dried!


I had my sardines – from memory I had three very large grilled fish that covered half of my plate.


Having only eaten sardines from a tin – the tin with the special key – I was surprised at the size of the ‘daily catch’.              Picture is off the net.

thjh8bo2qqThe taste was fine, but not being a fish lover I hate having to find the meat of the fish amongst the bones. My sardines were whole, with head etc., so I had to open them to get at the meat. Later in our holiday I stayed with salted cod, which was boneless and all fish!

bacalhau-fishIt doesn’t look very appetising , more like slithers of white distressed wood washed up on a beach, until a good chef gets hold of it and turns it in to a great meal.


Boneless fish steak . . .

The above two pictures are off the net.

I was able to tick off sardines, in Portugal, off my ‘bucket list’.

Author: 1944april

Traveled a great deal - about 80 countries - first foreign country I suppose was Wales, which was only 80 miles away from where I was born. Visited each Continent, except Antarctica, and I doubt that it is on my bucket list - too cold. I love Asian food, Australian wine & British beer & trying to entertain by writing.

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