|I've spent a week in Lisbon, busily updating the chapter, running up and down hills all day long and sweating my brains out. Even with arriving 3 days early and getting a head start on things, I still barely finished. It's been hot here, Africa-hot, with temps. at or near 100 everyday, which makes my work all the more difficult. Thank god for Starbucks Lemonaid-greentea slushes, which have saved me. I have at least 2 everyday. With the heat, I don't feel like eating much and have been living off slushies, fruit and ensalada mista (mixed green salad). Produce tastes so much better here especially tomatoes and carrots. I'll stop at a small grocery store and buy a bunch of carrots to munch on during the day, better than candy I tell ya.
Lisbon hasn't changed much since the last time I was here, although the Praca do Commercio has been cleaned up quite a bit. I heard it was because the Pope spoke here last year, so they had to gussy it up a bit. All the buildings surrounding the square have been cleaned, and there is a new subway stop. The subway here is amazing; modern, clean and very efficient. I once heard someone say that we can't build a subway in Seattle because of all the hills; well why can Lisbon do it? jeez..
The city itself is a bit dingy, but it has it's charms. It reminds me a bit of San Francisco in some ways; lot's of hills, trolley cars, even it's own version of the Golden Gate Bridge, built by the same architect. There are tiles, tiles everywhere. Lot's of old buildings covered in them, some abandoned and falling down. I think a week has been long enough here and I look forward to heading out tomorrow to Coimbra, home to the oldest university in Portugal, their own little version of Harvard.