Today Mum and I went to a shopping centre called the ‘Palácio do Gelo’ in Viseu, which translates into the ‘Ice Palace’ (www.palaciodogelo.pt).
It’s well worth the visit if you’re in Central Portugal. The centre is a 6 or 7 floor (I couldn’t work it out) shopping mall that has ground floor Olympic-sized swimming pool, a decorative fountain, a cinema, an ice rink, and a gym. I was actually really impressed. I’m not one for shopping (you won’t find me dead in a clothes shop) but they had many furniture and homeware shops that tickled me in the right way. I was quite taken by the fountain, nevermind the swimming pool.
After parking up in the underground parking we went to a place called ‘Jumbos’, which is on the first floor. It is essentially ASDA but it has more to it – you can buy car tyres off the shelf and pick up all you need for your DIY jobs. I would describe it as ASDA meets B&Q. So after restocking on painting rollers and food stuffs we loaded up the car and explored the upper floors. On the third floor they had their own cinema – wow! – and an incredible shop that both my Mum and I fell in love with (watch this space as to what it was called!). Up above they had an ice rink and a food court. The top floor was entirely dedicated towards every kind and type of food you can imagine, from sushi to Subway.
Food was provided in a unique way that I have only seen in Portugal. When you purchase your food you are given a cafeteria tray and seating is a free-for-all across the whole floor. So if you buy your food from Burger King you can then go and eat it outside MacDonald’s if you really wanted to. But the Ice Palace went one step better, instead they had open air balconies that you could go out on and eat your food under huge canopies. And better yet, as you’re chowing down your Subway you can sit and admire the two mountain ranges as your view: the Serra da Estrela and the Caramula mountains. Lets just pretend that those busy roads aren’t really there! :)