|This world is such a beautiful place. We are so lucky to have this chance to see new parts of it. I feel so blessed. We arrived in Lisbon on the 16th, and as we came into the city, it stopped raining. The clouds parted and there was nothing but sunshine. We dropped that awful car off and got a taxi to our hotel, in a neighborhood called Bairro Alto, and on the edge of a cool plaza called Principe Real. we were pleased with our pension right away, perfect location, big high vaulted ceilings and nice people. we had a balcony overlooking a pretty tree lined street. we dropped our stuff off and went to explore. Right across the street was another plaza called the Miradouro. it is this huge balcony overlooking the city with beautiful flowers a couple of fountains. we were both stunned by the view. we walked for a few more hours, and then picked a restaurant that the lonely planet recommended for its steak. And the meat was outstanding. Paige vowed we would eat there every single night, and we did keep our streak up for an unfortunate 3 nights, until we realized they were robbing us blind. Yes, we had the old extra charges on the bill because you are a tourist trick played on us. Very sad, because we thought we had made friends with the waiter, Alfredo, but money gets the best of people. all for the best i suppose, because it encouraged us to try new things. but that meat was amazing.
Mostly in Lisbon, we just walked and walked. So much to see, to take in. The first day, we walked to a little town outside of lisbon called Belem, to sample pastries that I had heard tasted like they were made by angels. And they did. Mmmmm. We walked through an old monastery there, got some gifts at a local flea market, and then settled down outside the monastery to drink .50 beer and eat free ice cream they were giving away. It was sunny, and there were these people on a stage playing drums and dancing. It was a perfect momemt. Things like that just make me appreciate the different places in the world, and this trip has already been so good for us.
On a lot of the days we checked out the center of town, called Baixa, where there is this huge plaza and it is the center of commerce. Many shops and art displayed, sort of like the embarcadero in san francisco, except there are these huge fountains and sculptures. We walked through old Lisbon several times, on our way to visit different churches and castles. Tiny, windy streets that I was glad not to be driving on with cool outdoor cafes that you could just waste hours at.
I am so glad we came to Lisbon. It is just beautiful here, and we will definitely be returning to Portugal!
Now we are off to an overnight train to San Sebastien, where we will check out Basque Country. After that, an improv trip to London to see Tennyson! Yay!
PS Pardon my spelling errors. I get excited and in a hurry, and well, the spelling of certain historical places does NOT come naturally. But Paige sits here and watches me type and then tells me later with a sly giggle that I spelled a few things wrong...Just a good thing I don´t let her do it, or we would never sightsee due to perfectionism. Touche.