Parque das Nações was where the Lisbon expo was held in 1998. It has now been reinvented as a huge new development encompassing shopping, business and tourism. We went there to visit the science museum and have a general wander about in an area recommended by most reviewers for children visiting Lisbon.
The science museum is small but quite engaging. We arrived about 2pm and were told it was ‘happy hour’ and so half price. That turned out to be particularly good because I’d have resented paying full price given the size of the display area. As it was the kids had a good time dealing with many familiar and a few new exhibits. The highlights were definitely being able to drive a car with square wheels and, for Declan, riding a bike over a tightrope.
We walked up to the other end of the park to find a nice playground with some good climbing areas for older kids. The walk up involved some interesting modern architecture including one of the longest bridges in the world traversing a grey and choppy sea. It also involved a lot of wind.
We were all exhausted after a few hours out and about. Partly because we’re an hour offset thanks to Portugal being on a different time zone. Partly because of the fiesta. We’re in Lisbon in their week of celebration. There is live music, street stalls, food everywhere. Food means barbecued anchovies in particular. Just over the road from our apartment is one of the live venues and for the last couple of nights Jennifer and I’ve sat up with the windows open enjoying the wonderful music.
It’s all beginning to catch up with us a bit though. So by 6pm we visited a warehoused-sized supermarket at the Parque das Nações and bought the requirements for a pasta meal before heading home for dinner and, in the kids case, an early bed time.
The highlight of the supermarket was the piles of salted cod. There has to be something cultural – not just that salted cod is such a delicacy, but that in the midst of a very modern supermarket, where everything else was vacuum-packed, they are still piled high on a pallet.