Pastel de Natas, Paella, and Monkeys!

20140202-143724.jpgThese are a few of my faaaaavorite things. (I’ll be slightly disappointed if you didn’t sing that line in your head!)

Brian and I just got back to Freiburg from a ridiculously awesome trip to Lisbon (Portugal), Málaga (Spain), and a side trip to Gibraltar.

We spent two full days in Lisbon, and probably half of that eating and drinking. The seafood here was stellar (as was expected), but the pastries, specifically Pastel de Natas, were probably some of the best I’ve ever had. A Pastel de Nata is a palm-sized cream custard pastry, with a torched top like a creme brulee. I refuse to acknowledge how many I ate… let’s just say a few and move on with it.


Pastel de Natas!

As we have been known to do, Brian and I decided to take a Sandeman’s New Europe Free Walking Tour of Lisbon, as we’ve always been pretty happy with this company. They give tours based solely on tips, so the guides have a big incentive to make it a good one! Our guide, Luiz, was fun and really knowledgeable about the city.




Tower of Belém


Brian and a Fado (Portuguese music) mural


Elevator tram in Lisbon


View of Lisbon with the Castelo de S. Jorge on the hill.

During the tour, we stopped at a hole-in-the-wall store called Ginginha do Carmo, and for 1.35 Euros, you get a chocolate cup filled with Ginginha, a very sweet cherry liqeuer. The best part? You take the shot of liqeuer, and then you get another for free! It was delicious and had about as much sugar in it as the quantity of Pastel de Natas I consumed in one trip.


Ginginha do Carmo


Pouring Ginginha


Ginginha Menu

Drinking our Ginginha shot!

Drinking our Ginginha shot!

We discovered while planning this trip that the easiest way to get from Lisbon to Málaga was to take an overnight bus, so we booked a one-way ticket with Eurolines (34 Euros/person). When we got to the bus station we were put on an Alsa bus, which was plenty comfortable and roomy. We were told they even had a bathroom on board, which when your bladder is the size of a pea (pun intended), is great news.

Start Rant/ HOWEVER, it seems as though allowing your riders to use said bathroom was above and beyond what they thought we deserved, so they instead kept it locked and inaccessible to us. That was fun. I also can’t say this about all Alsa drivers, but the two that were driving this bus to Málaga were some of the unfriendliest people I’ve met in my travels. And I’m still pretty sure they were unclear as to which pedal was the gas and which was the brake. /End Rant

Despite this, we made it to Málaga in one piece. I’m pretty sure this beach city on the Costa del Sol is what they mean by paradise. Seriously. Just look at some of the pictures!


Málaga’s Plaza de la Constitucion


2 Euro Paella


View of Málaga’s port from atop the Marriott hotel.


Málaga’s cathedral.


Brian and a Caipirinha.


And more Paella.


Big, juicy strawberries!




Beach in Málaga!


Me and the Mediterranean.


More beach.


Beer and the beach! 🙂

While in Málaga, Brian and I consumed copious quantities of Paella, fruit, beer, and sun! It was fabulous and relaxing (because, you know, we lead a very strenuous life right now), and I cannot recommend this city enough. It was also awesome to get out of the sub-40 degree rainy weather we’ve been experiencing on a daily basis in Freiburg, and get to 60-degree sunshine!

And, as I linked to in the beginning of the post, we also took a side trip to Gibraltar, which as Brian has made abundantly clear, is worth it to go if you ever make your way to southern Spain. The views were breathtaking and the monkeys wild and unafraid.

Tips for being in close proximity to the wild Gibraltar monkeys:
– Don’t try to pet them. They are as big as your torso and can probably bite your arm off.
– They will try to take your stuff if it looks like you have food hidden anywhere on your body. Don’t bring plastic bags (they associate these with food) or eat in front of them.
– They might hump each other in public. They have no shame.


Gibraltar monkey butt


More monkey


Picking bugs off each other.


Brian and a monkey!



One thought on “Pastel de Natas, Paella, and Monkeys!

  1. Pingback: Four Beverages To Try When Visiting Lisbon | The Wildly Ordinary Lives of Erin & Brian

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