Friday, December 18, 2009

sunday, day 3: portugal

After sleeping only 6 hours, which turned out to be after 2pm, we got ready and went to meet up with Fernando and other CSers at a barter-only market. They shared cake with everyone, and the CS table offered fresh tangerines and oranges as tokens to trade small crafts and used goods amongst everyone. Deb and I headed to San Francisco, a church dedicated to St. Francis of Assisi, which was awe-inspiring and gorgeous. It was also Baroque style, but reverent and definitely all about the reason a church exists. Inside the concrete-carved church was gold plated wood, intricately carved several hundred years ago. We popped in to crypts under the church from the 18th and 19th centuries with a small sacred art museum attached.

Then was our third night of CS dinner parties, at the house of Susanna and her young son. Deb and I laid around catching up on world news from a television the first time since we arrived in Europe, munching on little crackers and chocolates. Then the party started, with about 20 people gathering around her apartment with dishes made by her and another woman. We dined on several starters, lasagna Portuguese-style and for dessert aletria. It’s brilliant: a specific type of thin pasta noodles, boiled with a certain white sweet crème that hardens it into a casserole-like dish with cinnamon on top. Susanna gave us an entire tub to take for breakfast the next morning!

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