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Lisbon Day 3

Portugal 2016

sunny 58 °F

Up & about reasonable hour. 27E trolley stops across the street from our B&B; rode it to Commerce Center; pick up Hop Hop, heading to Gulbenkian

Just not enough time to see Sintra; next visit. So many places, so little time. About noon today Philip announced “can’t be done; we just have to give up and plan to come back.”

Enjoy walking, looking, listening to people; perhaps I'm easily entertained. Am sitting on the bus, parked in a large square, sunny & warm. I can see St. George's Castle on the hill above me.

Fascinated by the tiles. But how is it the National Tile museum doesn’t have a single tile on the outside?

Many parks & gardens - all well maintained.

Gulbenkian - marvelous; must get Philip out more, he viewed his 1st Rembrandt. We covered about ½ the museum… we just had to keep moving on thru the city.

Gulbenkian is built around many outdoor patio; integrating beauty in and out. These are ancient Syrian lamps

Coffee break with a view of some of the gardens

Spanish ambassador's home is across the street from the museum

Given up trying to pick out words we know - listening to people talk. In Italy we hear specific words & can use them - same in Switzerland & Germany. Here we only recognize "Obrigado"

Per Philip - this city just keeps on giving. I think it's a seductive city. I’m not sure a city is considered seductive … but Lisboa is seducing me.

Little like Ashland, OR; pedestrian starts to cross the street and all movement (buses & trams too) come to a complete stop. I’m a little intimidated.

This is the perfect time to be here – cool but comfortable and not crowded. We never wait in line.

We're off to Torre de Belem

The towers are held up on carved rhinoceroses; this one is quite worn ... imagine

Views from the tower

After a quick lunch we head to Tower of Discoveries

Posted by ChinaBecky 12:01 Archived in Portugal Comments (0)

Lisbon Day 4 - Final Day ... for this trip

Portugal 2016


Lisbon Day 4 final (for this trip)
Overcast; showers expected, out come the rain hoodies!

Only this AM noticed USA flag a couple of buildings away from B&B - dah, home of our ambassador.

Necessary to clarify "USA" as "states" or "america" can mean north, south or central america to the Portuguese. That or just start talking...my accent's unmistakable.

Lisboans don't wear rain hoodies - they wear chic quilted jackets & carry bumbershoots. However, the LLBEAN emblem on my hoodie is much admired.

Today's transportation is a trolley as we head up to the oldest part off Lisbon, Alfama

180 cultures represented; 1/5 of the world speaks Portuguese.

This is Tagus river - it's enormous!

Castelo de Sao Jorge is an enchanting place even on a drizzly day - ancient & modern. There's a village up here where people live.

View from the castle are spectacular

No funicular - not happening!


Per Philip - the gardens make Lisbon.

Next visit we'll stay in Chiado area. PB agrees. Maybe get a vrbo apt.

OMG! OMG! Adega das Merces - Philip's pork was average. I had rabbit, clams w/homemade chips all with an incredible rich sauce. The waiter was great, helpful. Leaving I stopped to thank him...using my 5 words of Portuguese. He offered his hand & replied "you are welcome." ham/cheese/, bread, ensalada, bottle of wine, bottle of water, entree, coffee was about 48€ for 2

Custard tarts from Manteigaria - oh so good. Thank you Rita for insisting we go to the shop. How have I lived without custard tarts?

The afternoon we're exploring by trolley - just pick one ride to the end. Jump off & find another one...eventually they all return to Baxia. What a fun 4 days this has been.

We'll look for market; wine, cheese & bread at B&B this evening. Typical market scene - dried fish and fresh fish.

Trolleys are interesting to ride but it's often hurry up wait - cars and/or trucks blocking the line...we sit & wait.

Not to end on a sour note – I got “picked” … not by a local … 3 kids were from German speaking countries. Fortunately, I carry only what I expect to use during the day … so minimal was lost. Most annoying was I forgot to move my T-Mobile SIM card to my suitcase; it was still in my purse. With a little help from our Kentucky friends; got the account suspended. I’ve traveled to other countries since 1974 – 1st time EVER. This single incident doesn’t deter me from continuing to travel again and again. Stuff happens; deal with it - my motto.

Posted by ChinaBecky 11:01 Archived in Portugal Comments (1)

The Rest of the Journey in Lagos

Portugal 2016

sunny 57 °F

(pronounced Laaa-goosh)
Modern building on way to train station

The Oriente train station has to be seen to be believed. It soars in every direction, bringing to mind the ease of sea birds flying low over the water.

Taxi ride was....fast, very fast. the city passed in a blur - I thought it was funny. Think Philip was torn between terror & awe.

We may come back a day early; just to have a last day is Lisbon - checked with Rita, we can come for a night only. Rita is charming; young - mid 20s. Speaks American english as opposed to British english; said her mother sent both children for english lessons when they were age 6. She said to call her from Lagos if we needed help or had questions.

Believe Lagos is pronounced Laaa - goosh.

We're on a regional train to Faro - only 3 cars & 1st class is almost full; transferring at Tunes & then taking a puddle jumper to Lagos. We're in a hotel tonight & move to the villa tomorrow - for the next 2 weeks. It will be nice to be settled - to have a kitchen; have my coffee whenever the needs strikes. The B&B had everything available 7/24...but, I had to get dressed.

I'm looking forward to a more relaxed pace, seeing new places but also just kick back, slow down. I have 2 beading projects with me.

Can't figure out where the train crosses the Tagus & then heads south; just spotted the bull ring stadium, so we're headed north. Aha, just cross the June 24 bridge, across the Tagus. It's the suspension bridge, modeled from the Golden Gate. It's name comes from the date Salazar's dictatorship was overthrown. There's the cross, given to Lisboa by Brazil.

We're high balling towards Faro; trip take 3+ hours: we change trains in Tunes to go to Lagos - 13 mins to make the switch. Landscape is flat, green, planted with trees - not sure what kind, don't look like olive. Crossing several rivers, of good size. Tomorrow our friends arrive in Lisbon & will driving almost the same route the train takes. Leaving Granola, terrain becoming hilly, definitely recognize olive trees. Plan to return home with local oil; so good. Trains moving so fast, pictures are impossible. Funcheira - terrain bit like Mendicino; without the costal Mtns. I can pretend the trees are Live Oaks - aha, hills are appearing. Last hour many lemon & wine fields.

Tunes train station, transferring to Lagos.

Train to Lagos has Brits...so cheap for their travel. the guy we talked to is flying round trip from England for 48€. The Brits in front of me live in a small village near Lagos. Funny listening to people complain about their countrymen, i.e. not wanting to explore other cultures, taste different foods, talk to people they don't know - makes me smile...too myself.

Lagos is lovely ... bit of an unexpected hike to the hotel. We recovered nicely by walking to the square, having a libation and food. I had a good seasfood pasta. Everything is soooo white...almost blindingly white.

Sat Jan 16
After breakfast - much like those served in England (not a big favorite of mine); we went to town and walked around; had a coffee and found the small market and huge fish fresh market; upstairs is a large fresh produce market - both close at noon. Later we walked along the waterfront to the old fort; then found an interesting place to eat. I had sea food. Philip had clay pot chicken. Checked into the villa about 4PM; Skip and Mary Fern arrived around 4:30. We had several hours of meet and greet - what a fun time we're going to have !


Posted by ChinaBecky 11:56 Archived in Portugal Comments (2)

Lagos - Lagoosh

Portugal 2016

sunny 58 °F

Call it what you like! 48 hours in and we're having a great time ... Philip's planning his 2017 return trip.

Other than no sustained heat in the villa, the rest - community, view, weather ... it's much as I expected. The company is the best - talking, laughing, exploring, misadventures, adventures ... those are the memories I'll take home with me. Skip's a good sport as he takes our teasing in stride - the man is a Foodie Extraordinaire!

Ok ... understood; some of our family & friends are experiencing rainy or cold weather ... here, it's high 50's. The villa; it's a little nippy. We're plugging in electric heaters and wearing warm piles. Our land lady suggested a fire in the fireplace ... duh ... we have no wood. Ahhh, but when the breeze stops and the sun comes out - heavenly. Tonight we met on the rooftop patio to share a bottle of wine/vodka, watch the light house flashing, listen to the sound of the Atlantic.

Sunset was lovely, highlighting MF's favorite tree & an important landmark when beach walking.
_ -
Being the Advance Party we have the advantage of adjusting to time zone. We watch our friends struggle 1st 24 hours of a 5 hour time change. Sorry ... no matter how well you feel you're adjusting; there's just this slight miscalculation in hours and timing. It's like your body is about 3 seconds ahead of your brain.

I love all the Adjusting Stuff. Opening the car doors ... poor Skip is trying to figure out how to open the car doors; Philip's managed the get the drive way gate open (it's on a timer ... works best if it"s not closing while the car is backing out) ... nothing is happening ... PB finally suggests opening the doors using the key fob ... yes, it works ... we're off!

Our 1st meal in Lagos ... a favorite of Brits ... a big hit with PB & Skip ... not much of a favorite with MF or myself. A short walk to town square - we lost the boys in the wine shop while we went ahead to discover shopping possibilities. Possibilities are real - the area is known for cork ... had no idea cork is used in many ways - purses, shoes, jewelry ... there will be some in my suitcase.

So far my favorite Logos meal is Skip's Semi-Peri chicken. I didn't come here expecting a culinary experience ... I plan to sample it all ... I'm intrigued by the history and resilience of the people.

Scenes of Lagos

Intriguing - just sort of appeared on the street

What's a stroll without shopping?

Fore! Yes indeed; that's a golf course down there...and up here; 3 9-hole courses.

Posted by ChinaBecky 00:53 Comments (1)

A Sagres Kind of Day

Portugal 2016

overcast 53 °F

And we're off...to the most western part of Europe. Out to the point where sailors thought was the end of the world. Skip is our pilot; lots of roundabouts; there's so much round & round - Skip needs dramamine.

Looks like almond trees are starting bloom.

Holy Moly -
Ponte de Sagres - built by Henry the Navigator; this was the site of his famous navigation school ... back in the day when this was considered The End of The World ... dragons and sea devil awaited.

This is the Rosa dos Ventos - or wind compass. It's 141' wide ... I simply don't understand the concept.

A simple chapel on site - keep in mind; everything but everything was destroyed by the 1755 earthquake. They rebuilt & rebuilt. This was the site of a battle between England & Spain - Sir Francis Drake led the charge - before he took his R&R journey around the world.

This is called Living on the edge! There were dozens of men fishing off the cliffs. Fabulous! PB commented on their bravery; one of the men responded "Me? You flew here on a plane!"

Seriously searching for authentic Portu food. We're at "A. Sagres"- recommended for fish. It was good; not great but good and hearty.
MF & I had Fish soup with noodles (think macaroni's)

Skip's fresh grilled fish

Posted by ChinaBecky 07:37 Comments (0)

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