Scotland and Portagul Trip

I haven’t posted anything in a while… but there are a few reasons. One, I’ve been seriously busy working on Christmas presents and Two; I was on travel for work. Which brings up my topic: Scotland and Portagul.

Even though I had to work, I still had the opportunity to explore a little bit while I was in Scotland and Portagul. They both had great local foods and phenomenal sceneries.

Scotland

First stop was Scotland. Let me tell you, it was gourgous! I wish I could have stayed there for another week. There was so much to do that there was no way I could see it all within the few days I was there.

I had a lot of good local food while I was in Scotland. First place I tried was the Singl-end Cafe and Bakehouse in Glasgow, UK.

I ordered the Singl-end Cooked Breakfast Meaty off their menu. It had Eggs (I decided to try poached eggs) bacon, homemade pork and fennel sausages, black pudding, grilled portobello mushroom (which I didn’t eat since I don’t like mushrooms), roast cherry tomatoes, home-baked beans and focaccia bread. It was delicious! Just to let you know, black pudding is not what I thought it would be. I never asked what it was until I went to another restaurant that serves it. Let’s just say it’s popular in the UK and it taste different but slightly good. Oh and I only ate half of it in both places I got it so yeah… If your brave enough you can Google search what black pudding is or you can click here to see description and ingredients.

I also got a Chocolate Guiness cake at the Singl-end. Which I have to say is the best chocolate cake I ever had in my life! Omg, it was amazing! I wish I could get the recipe for it but they told me no. Darn.

After eating food with the group of people I was hanging out with, we decided to walk around and go site seeing in Glasgow.

The pictures above are just highlights of where we explored. We saw the Destiny Church Glasgow, the Glasgow Cathedral, the Necropolis cemetery, and we walked around the downtown area of Glasgow where they had a ton of shops to look around in.

After a long day of walking (according to my Samsung Gear Fit 2 watch I did a total of 24,000 steps = 10 miles), we wanted something to eat. After Google searching, we discovered The Butterfly and the Pig restaurant was a short walk from where we were at.

I wanted to try the famous Fish and Chips with peas. Looks yummy, right?

The next day, we were able to get a chance to visit Edinburgh, UK which was about a 45 minute train ride from Glasgow. Beautiful area. They have the famous Edinburgh Castle, which we did get the chance to visit but we were only able to look around for an hour since the place closes at 4pm during winter hours and we got there at 3pm. 😕

Even though I only got an hour to look around, I was still able to see almost everything. I just didn’t get enough time to read too much in the history of the Castle but I plan to look it up later.

I forgot to mention, my group ate at the Halfway House Pub before going to the Edinburgh Castle. The pub was very nice and cozy with great food and drinks. 😉

I ate the Cullen Slink and a Magners Cider at the pub. A perfect combination.

This was the group of people I was with having a great time at the Halfway House Pub. Lol. We had a blast.

After the Castle, half of us wanted to go to one of the famous whisky bars in town, Amber.

I tried only 4 different whiskies out of 3,384 whiskies in their collection. Yes, they have a s**t ton of whiskies to choose from. It was so hard to decide that I ended up asking the server what he recommended as the best four sweet whiskies they offered (I know myself and I like sweets. Hehe.)

I really liked the first two I tried (the two on the left), they were perfect for my sweet tooth but the other two were a little to strong for me and made me realize I’m not a big Scotch person. Lol. I wish I could have bought one of the bottles to take home but I decided not too since it would be more of a hassle to pack in my already full bags and go through customs. Maybe next time.

To end the night we decided to try this place that was recommended by the locals. It was called the Gardener’s Cottage.

They serve 7 course meals there. Let me tell you, we were really lucky to get a table that night since you normally have to reserve seats, but a big group had cancelled so we were able to be pencilled in! Lucky, right?

Best meal I have ever had! I give compliments to the chef because this meal was spectacular and on point. Every bite I ate felt like I was in heaven. We were there for over 2 and a half hours (got there at 7:30pm and left around 10:00pm) eating and enjoying some nice wine. If you ever get the chance to go to Edinburgh, Scotland you have to go here. It does cost £50 each (about $66) but it is well worth it, trust me.

The last day in Scotland, most of us hung around the town of Helensburgh. Very peaceful and quite. I ate brunch at the Riverhill Courtyard.

We just happened to run across it when we saw a small sign with a menu. Then you had to walk down a small alley to get to it. Ooo scary… okay not really. The alley was actually beautiful with gourgous plants guiding your way to the place. Sorry, I got distracted and forgot to take a picture of it.

Here, I got the Full Scottish Breakfast which came with puddledub bacon, sausage, eggs, black pudding, potato scone, tomato, mushroom and toast. I also got a Latte to go with it. Yummy!!

Walked around town and looked through some shops and saw a lot of churches. After walking around we decided to eat an early dinner at The Henry Bell.

Apparently this is the hot spot/best place to eat in Helenburgh.

I decided to eat a yummy chicken burger with bacon and a side of chips and onion rings. Delicious!

Well that sums up my Scotland trip. I do have a lot more pictures but I have way too many. I figured I would share the highlights and all the wonderful food I ate.

Portagul

Next stop, Lisbon, Potagul. I loved the vibrant colors they use to paint buildings and houses. It was amazing when I visit sites that were at a higher elevation and you look down to see the various colors.

This scenery was when I visited the São Jorge Castle in Lisbon. Beautiful site with all those colors!

I feel really bad but I forgot what this dish was called but it’s kind of like hush puppies but better. I know that it has cod fish in it and the side is rice and beans. I feel even worst since I can’t remember the cafe we went to eat this. In my defense, it was spare the moment and we were trying to eat fast to go site seeing. But it was really good though.

Went to the Jerónimos Monastery. I loved this site because the architecture and craftsmanship to create this monastery was impressive. I can’t believe this was made in the 16th century!

Starting left top to bottom: Padrão dos Descobrimentos monument, Lisbon Cathedral, and Lisboa Story Center. Right picture with me was at the Belém Tower.

After a long day of walking around and visiting sites, we found a nice small wine bar to eat different types of cheeses and sausages. Oh, and of course the famous Portugal wines. 😉

Next day I ate the Granier Cafe for brunch. I got a ham sandwich (as you can tell from picture I ate a few bites and realized I forgot to take a picture… woops) and an apple tart cake.

For our next adventure we decided to take a 30 min Uber ride from Lisbon to Sintra, Portagul. Btw, Uber is the way to go for transportation in Portagul because it’s cheaper than a taxi and you don’t have to wait around for the Hop On and Hop Off tourist buses. Saves a lot of time and hassle.

First stop in Sintra, we stopped by the Quinta da Regaleira. My favorite spot here was the Iniciatic Well. Looks pretty neat, doesn’t it?

Next stop was the Moorish Castle (Castelo dos Mouros) which had very scenic views with the famous Palace of Pena in the background (bottom left photo above). I have to say, I’m so glad that I started working out almost everyday when I was on this work trip because to reach this castle and venture around the castle you had to climb an enourmaous amount of stairs/steps! It felt like I went up a total of 200 flights of stairs (I did not actually calculate it since there was too many steps to count so I went with a number I felt was close. Hehe). I still ended up wheezing during the end of the castle hike but if I didn’t exercise during this trip I might have not made it during this point. I definitely had a great workout in Sintra, that’s for sure.

I thought there wasn’t going to be anymore long hikes, until we went to our last stop, Palace of Pena. Had to do more walking up an incline, but I told myself the whole way up that it was well worth it.

When we made it to the top, I was amazed how vibrant the colors were and how beautiful the craftsmanship was. Doesn’t it just make you smile and happy. I certainly was. 😁🏰

For the final meal we ate at The Restaurante Cafe Paris, which is the oldest restaurant in Sintra, Portagul. I got the Salmon with two sides and then later on I got the Chocolate Fondue with vanilla ice cream. Yummy!! Oh, and they had the richest tasting Sangria I have tasted in Portagul. Omg, it was amazing Sangria. We may or may not have ordered three pitchers of Sangria that night, but who’s counting.

Thanks for stopping by!

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