Óbidos and Nazaré.

Not too far north of Lisbon is a small medieval town called Óbidos. One morning, we set out early to drive up and see it. By early I mean that we left Belas (where we were staying) around 9am.

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It’s basically the cutest little European town I have seen in a long time.

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There are just so many little alleys that are so picturesque.

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For the Christmas holidays, the town had set up a Vila Natal (Christmas Village) inside the castle which seemed to be largely designed for children. So we gave that a pass and set off in search of the pathway to climb up to the top of the wall to see the town from above.

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After spending a couple of hours looking around town, we got back into the car to go to Nazaré. Apparently Nazaré is meant to have killer waves for surfing…but the water was pretty calm when we got there. If you want to check out the waves, you have to go to the Praia do Norte (North Beach).

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We decided to have lunch in Nazaré. Unfortunately, most of the restaurants had shut over the Christmas holidays. Luckily for us, we found a restaurant called Tosca just up the road from where we were. I can’t believe that I didn’t get any photos of this. I’m gutted because this place was simply amazing. Rambo and I shared three starters: black pudding, meatballs and criolis sausages. Each one was better than the last! The sausages were served with an amazing chimichurri which was very garlicky. The black pudding was more similar to a cajun boudin in that it was rice-based instead of being oat-based like they make in Scotland. The meatballs were also fantastic and served over a berry coulis that was tart and sweet and complementary. The menu had two kinds of black pork (Iberian pork) that wasn’t easily differentiated so Rambo and I got both and shared. The difference appeared to be the way in which it was sliced. The pork was incredibly tender and juicy and covered with the same garlicky chimichurri as the sausages. We left Tosca absolutely stuffed, but happy as clams. Every bite was amazing and the service was great. She explained things in English for us and was very polite.

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I would strongly suggest that you go to Óbidos early as the streets of the town fill up very quickly towards midday. If you go to Nazaré, you should absolutely go to Tosca for food. All of us walked out of Tosca as happy as clams!

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