- Itinerant Londoner was right - the food in Portugal is disappointing. Try as I might, I did not find mijas on the menu, and instead was left with oily, greasy and largely flavourless food. Once or twice, I did think "yes, it's stodge, but glorious stodge" a la Nigella, but that was rare.
- It struck me that while the high-end restaurants may have brilliant food, more commonplace, everyday cafés and such churned out basic, unadorned food. A bit like the food at an Irish wedding - plain and simple, nothing that'd scare that aunties and uncles.
- Cakes, buns and tarts, however were divine, especially the pasteis de nata and pasteis de Belem (above).
- There are a lot of pharmacies in Portugal. Lisbon seemed to have one at every turn.
- My favourite of Lisbon's gay bars were Setimo Ceu in Barrio Alto - ace music, friendly staff and a cool magazine-collage wall - and Max in Principe Real, unadorned, unpretentious and friendly.
- My favourite Metro stop (in Porto) was Estadio do Dragao - simply for the phlegmatic tongue-twisting way it is pronounced. In Lisbon, I quite liked Marques do Pombal as it sounded like Marques do bumhole. (Mature, I know)
- My very favourite things were: azulejos and seeing Cabo da Roca - more of this later.
Things I do
I ask people to draw maps...
· Draw the World
· Draw Europe's nations
· Crowdsourced Continent maps
I make map cards:
· See map cards
· Buy map cards
And other things I write about:
· Little moments from travel
· London art & museums
· Football with foreign fans
· London shop geography
About this blog
I may have asked you to draw me a map - have a look around, they're all here somewhere.