Saturday, February 8, 2014

2/8/14 Day 23 Aveiro

Well the day once again starts out rainy and windy and grey, but it is time to go to the beach. The rain seems to be holding out at least for now. Bruno shows us the delta of Aveiro and all of the old fishing boats. On the river side of the brackish water. We talk about the variety of fish here compared to home seems so much larger and how the governments fishing limitations are ruining the traditional fishing families livelihoods. 
We walk along the docks and over to the beach where one of the largest lighthouses in Europe and the tallest in Portugal stands at 203 feet tall, unfortunately it is only open to visitors on Wednesdays. 
This week has apparently been an unusual weather event with excessive storms, beach erosion and damaging waves. Many of the buildings along the coast are getting worked by the storms and increasingly more areas are being cut off limits for people. 
In between the cold beach walks Bruno introduced us to tripa, a sweet that originated in Aveiro and is like a delicious cross of waffles and crepes folded over fruit or chocolate, or any other filling. Most cities in Portugal are known for a particular sweet and Aveiro's is actually a sweet egg that we are still waiting to try but tripa is definitely a great substitute for the mean time. 
Here in Aveiro the sands have completely buried the boardwalk in some places and in less fortunate areas the boardwalk gas been completely ripped out by the wind and sea leaving behind only trails of wood in its destructive path. Many beachside restaurants have been completely destroyed and others will have a lot of renovation between now and summertime. 
Throughout the beachside village the houses and businesses are painted in pinstripes, so cute!
Here is the traditional color of the pinstripes. And at some point in history they began to appear in a variety of more fun colors. 
A walk through the local fish market shows how alive this culture and heritage is. As fresh as you can get with some creatures still squirming, like the eels which are used in many local dishes. 

After our time at the beach and delta it is time for some lunch and Bruno is convinced he knows of a fantastic burger place. Unconvinced we order a beef burger with bacon, grilled onions, cheese, fried egg, French fries and a beer. Compared to the other burgers we have had so far it is a really good burger, probably couldn't compete with our favorite place in Seattle (8 oz. burgers) though, but much cheaper it was only 6 euros for the whole meal. 
Now bellies full and sluggish we return to the apartment to get ready for the traditional Portuguese dinner being prepared for the evening. Dinner was amazing, Brie pastries, cheese, homemade jam and breads for apps and the main course a slow cooked chicken, blood sausage and olive oil and rice dish that was really delicious, followed by homemade flourless chocolate cake and a berry custard pie that were both amazing, we continued to drink local wine into the night until around 2am when we decided to go bar hopping. We stayed out drinking beers and socializing until around 7am when we all came home to sleep the morning away. 

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