Coast to Coast



11-13 June 2019

We’d read about the Sardine Festival in Lisbon on June 12 each year so we timed our arrival accordingly. It’s actually the Feast of St Anthony, the patron saint of Lisbon and of marriages.

The narrow cobbled streets of the historic neighbourhoods are filled with music, dance, grilled sardines, pork sandwiches, wine and beer. It goes from late afternoon until dawn. Next morning the whole city still smells of sardines.

Previous Lisbon pictures are here.

Rattly trams still run around Lisbon
Chouriço assado – the sausage is cooked on top of a clay dish that has been filled with alcohol and then lit
Pastéis de nata, Portuguese Custard Tarts, fresh from the oven
Local characters of Barrio Alfama depicted in paintings on plaques outside the houses where they lived
Fado – the music of Lisbon – is always in the background
The day before the Feast of St Anthony and preparations are underway in Alfama
Beer prices are the same at all the stalls
Ginginja, or ginja, is a liquor made from sour cherries native to Portugal
Sold out of hole in the wall shops, it comes in small chocolate cups
The Feast of St Anthony crowd is building and it’s still early
There’s some unusual sardine themed costumes
About 13 sardines per second are consumed during the St. Anthony celebrations
We unexpectedly got caught up in the Saint Anthony procession
An eerie feeling being in a silent respectful group that simultaneously began to chant