It's a gorgeous night here in Obidos, a small, medieval walled-town, about an hour north of Lisbon. I'ts rather touristy in the day, kind of like a 12th century Disneyland, but in the evening the tourists leave and the town is rather quiet. It's a beautiful night with a full moon, cool breeze and very peaceful. I'm kind of drunk, after having a few caiperinhas wth some Danes and then a half-bottle of wine with dinner after walking around all day in the sun. I just had a lasagna dinner at a small restaurant outside the town walls. It wasn't the best lasagna I've ever had, but it sure tasted good. The wine here is also quite nice.
The place I'm staying at is a cute little place within the town walls; something straight out of "Better tiles and gardens". The owner just came up to me, bringing me a ginginja, a cherry brandy, very popular in Portugal. its funny how some hotel and restaurant owners react when they know I work for Rick Steves. Some (like the hotel in Nazare), are almost annoyed that I'm staying at their hotel for free, But some go out of their way to welcome me. I arrived this afternoon to this place and the girl at the desk told me I was too early, and had to wait until after 2:00 to check in. This was fine, since all I wanted to do was drop my bags and get to work, but when I got back this evening, the owner ran up to me, apologizing and telling me he wanted to move me to a nicer room, and how sorry he was that he wasn't there to welcome me personally, and how he had chewed out the desk girl for not letting me check in early. I told him my room was fine, and that everything was A-ok. He then insisted on drinking some ginjinha with me (as if I needed anything else to drink) and proceeded to tell me how grateful he was to be in our book an how much he liked American tourists who come with our book.
For many hotels, being in our book is big money, and they feel like they owe us somehow. It makes me feel a bit uncomfortable, but I guess I understand. "Nao e problem, o senhor, tudo bem". he wants to give me personal tour of the town tomorrow, which is completely unnecessary, since it's so small and I already saw most of it today. But, ever the diplomat, I graciously accepted his offer and will meet him after breakfast for an 'insiders tour' of the town.