Category: Portugal

TOPO Belém, Lisbon, Portugal

At TOPO Belém, Centro Cultural de Belém, Lisbon, Portugal.
Text & Photo © JE Nilsson & CM Cordeiro 2019

Dining at TOPO Belém, on the 3rd floor of the Centro Cultural de Belém (CCB) is surreal. This bar and restaurant was a serendipitous find. The intention was to visit the modern art collections in the Museu Coleção Berardo museum, but thought to have a coffee just before the walkabout. We asked the information counter where we could find coffee, and maybe some food. We were told, “There’s a restaurant, you go to the 3rd floor.”

The CCB is both spacious, and built to accommodate a sense of space. It sprawls 140,000 m², catering for exhibitions, conferences and other activities/events. And you certainly got this sense of vast sprawl when looking for TOPO Belém. It was quite a walk to the third floor of the CCB getting to the restaurant. For a moment, it looked more like we were entering a different wing of another modern art collection. But restaurant it was.

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Convento da Ordem do Carmo, Lisbon, Portugal

Contemplating, at the Convent of Our Lady of Mount Carmel, Lisbon, Portugal.
Text & Photo © JE Nilsson & CM Cordeiro 2019

It was suggested from a very young age, that I become a nun of the Carmelite Order. For the simple reason that my father was once in the brotherhood and it was a sort of tradition.

There were more questions that came to my mind even as a child. Was I to stay a Carmelite forever? Or could I leave the Order if I wanted to marry? Could I listen to music with ear phones under the habit whilst keeping my vow of silence? How was I going to meet a man if I was technically holed up in the Convent all day? Would I marry a Priest who would similarly leave Priesthood? That seemed the only option since circumstance and environment would make that the monastary grounds as most likely the best dating realm/scene. It was also understood that nuns of the Carmelite Order did not speak unless spoken to, in which case, if it was during certain hours of the day, they might not reply, but redirect the query instead. To whom would they redict the query if everyone in the Convent kept their vow of silence?

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Breads and pastries in Lisbon, Portugal

Padaria do Bairro, Rua da Misericórdia, Lisbon, Portugal
Text & Photo © JE Nilsson & CM Cordeiro 2019

I could eat cake for breakfast. But when in Lisbon, I discovered that this eating cake for breakfast could well be epigenetics at play, because in Lisbon, a lot of people eat a lot of cake for breakfast. It felt very much like home when upon entering the morning breakfast spread at the hotel, where I was greeted with what seemed like two-thirds of the total breakfast spread dedicated to various breads, cakes and pastries. Breakfast could take some time in Lisbon, I thought.

The Portuguese do pastries so well that they simply did away with the cumbersome Danish (pastry), and the bread around the Norwegian Skolebrod to produce one of their conconctions of greatest repute, the custard egg tart, pastel de nata or in Lisbon, also known as Pastéis de Belém. There are variations of this around the globe, such as the Cantonese or Hong Kong egg tart, or in Macau, known also as pastel de nata. But pastel de nata is but one sweet temptation. Walk into any bakery or pasteleria in Lisbon, and you’ll find an array of gorgeously prepared pastries that even if you didn’t have a love of sweet bakes, would encourage you to sit and sample. And this, one could do almost anytime of the day, beginning at breakfast.

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Stalking Louis Vuitton since 2006

Lisbon, Portugal 2019

Along Avenida da Liberdade at 190A, Lisbon, Portugal.
Text & Photo © JE Nilsson & CM Cordeiro 2019

The city of Lisbon has just about 3 million inhabitants, although on an average summer’s day on the streets, the crowd feels much thicker to meander through due to the number of visiting tourists. In 2017, Lisbon saw 3.2 million visitors explore its music, food and culture. There are various means of navigating the city’s smoothened cobbled streets, on foot, by bus, trams, tuk-tuks and not the least, by taxis that make for an affordable, more private option.

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