Obidos is a small town in central Portugal with a population of ~3,000 people. I absolutely fell in love with this place. <3 What this town lacks in size it makes up in awesome scenery, quirky little stores, and good eats. I spent 2 nights here relaxing, eating, and doing a lot of reading.
The main reason I came to this town was to stay at the Literary Man Hotel which is a quirky hotel built around books. If you know me, you know that my second obsession (next to food) is books, so it was a dream for me to spend two nights completely surrounded by them. Do I sound like a nerd yet? lol I arrived Monday afternoon after a short bus ride from Lisbon. When I got there, they told me they upgraded me to a larger room free of charge! Score! The hotel was everything I expected and more. All the hallways and rooms were built with floor to ceiling bookshelves, so you feel like you’re in a library or an old fashioned bookstore. The dining room is a huge reading room with plush couches and antique-y decor. The bar is decorated in a similar fashion. I was so giddy the whole time I never wanted leave the hotel.
I spent probably 70% of my time just chilling, eating and reading in the hotel while I was in Obidos. I ate in the main dining room both nights I was there. The staff was super nice and accommodating. They had an extensive gin selection, so they whipped up some gin cocktails for me both nights. I don’t think I’ve ever been to a place that specialized in gin, so it was a pretty cool experience. The bartender made me a gin based cocktail with mint, oranges, a cinnamon stick, and carbonated soda. I loved it! It also came with oranges and mint embedded in the ice which I had never seen before.
In terms of food, I had braised beef cheeks the first night and a shrimp entree with a roasted tomato and rice. I was not particularly impressed by either dish. I thought the beef cheeks were undercooked and too salty. The shrimp also had seasoning issues. It was too bland. That aside, I thoroughly enjoyed the gelato I had for dessert the second night. It was from a gelato brand called Fini. It’s a Portugal based gelato brand that has a ton of unique flavors like port and peanut butter with banana. I had the kibana or kiwi flavor. It was amazing! It was creamy and tasted really fresh. Unfortunately, it doesn’t look like they have any international distribution, so crossing my fingers they change that soon.
I spent a decent amount of time wandering around the city as well. The city of Obidos is something to marvel at. I have never felt so at peace in a place. I took walks in the afternoon and right before sunset, and there was never an overabundance of people on the road which is something I have come to expect while traveling. All the buildings were white with blue and yellow accents which reminded me a little bit of Greece. At the center is a castle with a wall that extends around the city. There is one main shopping street that caters mainly to tourists. One thing that almost every shop sold was ginja. Ginja is a drink that is made with red wine, maraschino cherries, and water, and it is usually served in a chocolate cup. It is really really sweet. I think it is something I would try once just to say I tried it, but it really wasn’t a pleasant experience. I’m not a fan of really sweet things.
This leg of my trip was a welcome break from the hustle and bustle of the big city. I barely ever get the chance to really slow down and take things in. After 2 nights here, I felt refreshed and ready to head to my next city: Porto.