Lisbon Travel Blog› entry 40 of 51 › view all entries
June 20th, 2009 – by: jenn79
We stayed out far too late, then up far too long, and we ended up sleeping at past 5am. I enjoyed myself thoroughly - good friends and beautiful locale really make for a wonderful combination =) We all woke up a quarter to 8 and rushed to get ready and head to the train station.
Checked into the Tryp Oriente and were dead tired but didn't want to waste the day so headed out immediately. Unfortunately it was like 110 degrees outside, it was so burning hot that I literally felt like my skin was burning off. It's strange, I've been in equatorial sun in Central Africa, but it's nothing like Iberian sun - this stuff is harsh!
We took a cab to the American Embassy in Lisbon and it was so funny on so many levels...
first, I've decided after hanging out at 2 embassies that all they do is throw parties! score! sign me up for the foreign service, please.
second, embassies are pretty posh places. This one had a pool and basketball court in the back.
third, Americans don't quite understand the concept of "hospitality" - my Portuguese friends were ready to leave after 10 minutes. Basically all the embassy people were clustered around their wives/children and only 1 bothered saying hello. sigh.
We got out of dodge and headed to town. We braved the scorching sun and heat and walked down the main avenue, then happened to see the Gulbenkian museum. In Turkey, we had done a couple of presentations on intercultural exchange, and one of our featured Portuguese icons was Mr. Gulbenkian. He had a nice little collection of art that we toured around but nothing about the museum really told us about HIM as a person. Ah well.
On our way around town, we utilized the metro where we could. A few stops had been stopped and rerouted due to construction or some other poorly timed event, but we saw some of the stations and they were BEAUTIFUL.
Vera and Irene were bickering a little as Vera led us through the evening streets of Lisbon which were not quite dangerous, but... crowded with people drinking on the streets and throwing their cups and bottles IN THE STREET. We managed to get through tight throngs of people and found a tapas place that was super expensive but made me a virgin caperinha!! (however it's spelt) Man, that was deliciousness incarnate! We walked around a little bit more, escaped a rowdy drunk band of men, and called the day a complete wash. Sunburnt and achy from the marathon walks around town, we retired to the hotel.
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