Uh-Oh, We're Not in Kansas Anymore-Getting Lost in Beautiful Lisbon
Lisbon Travel Blog› entry 12 of 98 › view all entries
This morning fot off to a great start with a fantastic breakfast, including me teaching Duarte how to make French Toast, which made me wonder Is French Toast really from the French? As we left his place there came and Oh no, I'm screwed. Really screwed. He'd locked his keys inside, thinking that I'd grabbed them. I felt terrible, but as we waited in his parking garage for his mother to come and give him a key to get out of the garage, his sense of humor came out again as he drove around and gave me a tour of all the "Roman" artifacts down there. (One of thoese you had to be there moments, but trust me-it was funny).
All full and satisfied and finally out of the garage, he dropped me off near the bottom of the Alfama district before heading to work and I began my wandering of the city, stopping about every 15 seconds to take a photo.
After getting directions from a very nice man, I headed through the black market,complete with gypsies. Everything was sold there, from bras to iron nails, to linens. I guess it's sort of like our garage sales, but on a larger, more community scale. Two guys in their mid-twenties said hello and asked me to take a picture of them. Sure, why not? I absolutely love taking photos of people, but am usually too afraid of someone being offended when I ask them if I can. Now you will remember us, one of them tells me, which I thought was a strange thing to say, because why would you really want to remember someone you didn't even have an entire conversation with? But now they're in this blog and on my camera, so they're terribly right-I will remember them now!
My throat started hurting, so I was stopping about every hour to get a drink, hoping to not get sick this early in the trip.
Making my way back down the hill to the electric tram 28, I hopped on. Logically I got on the tram that was facing the way I had seen the castle, but somehow I ended up on the other side of town.
Then the real fun started. I started walking down the road and ended up in...the commercial part of town? I wasn't entirely sure. Actually, I wasn't sure of anything, except that I was no longer taking photos every corner, so I must be pretty far from the pretty tourist area. I definitely was. At one point trying to find my way back, I passed some obvious slums, with 'houses' made of nothing more than pieces of metel, plastic, etc.
I had reached a part of town though with lots of busus, so for the next hour I tried my best to communicate with Portuguese, everyone being very friendly, but all giving different directions, and with only every third sentence or so having any English in it. I managed to get somewhere with a little Spanish, and eventually made it to the Estacio Rossio, one of the main stations with shops and restaurants of every kind surrounding it.
Duarte was fantastic as he picked me up though. He had managed to call a locksmith to get his door open with an x-ray (don't ask, I have no idea how this works!) and even ordered food in that wouldn't hurt me to eat. We spent the next few hours talking about life, politics, culture, and work, and I learned a lot more about the Portuguese way of life, and even about the relationship between Brazil and Portugal, which is fascinating in that the Portuguese first went over there when literally everything in Brazil was rotten, and they would actually eat it that way! The spices brought from the Portuguese made a huge difference though.
At this point I was incredibly tired, and we both decided it was a good time to crash. I had made up my mind to take my emergency antibiotics I had brought, as my ears were starting to ring and I could barely swallow. Tomorrow will be a rest day!