A very different city
My arrival in Lisbon 10 days ago had been very constrained. I just took a taxi the 1/2 mile from the airport to the Gare do Oriente, ate in the station and got to see what looked liked a very sprawling 1950s city on the train ride out.
Now I got a much more picturesque view of Lisbon. I went out and bought breakfast.
Gerta and Katrina had raved about the oranges in Lagos. So I got one with my pastry. Very good. Below are the bars, all closed up for the day.
And this is my mule imitation, all the stuff I have to drag around. And you don't even see the stuffed day pack I am wearing. But, this is a last chance to say good by to my black umbrella that I used too many days in Cancun. Took and used in Claremont. Used in Lagos at least one day. And in a few hours the Portugese TSA decide that because it has a metal point on the end, it is not allowed on the plane! Oh well Se Dommage.
I finally get to see a little of Lisbon. I never have been in such a hilly city!! Isn't Rome supposed to be built on 7 hills? I spent many days there and never saw anything like this. No wonder the escalator from the subway was so long. It happened that that metro stop must have been under a hill!
So a strange combination of very steep streets, even these finiculars! and then a flat plaza!
These are just street scenes. Mainly I was showing the contrast to the funicular and the small narrow streets near my airbnb.
I assume this is Rossio Square. I am sure the man on the obelisk was a great leader.
This pedestrian walkway is just off the main square with the statue that I have just left. You remember what I look like. Black umbrella, large plastic bag with yellow slicker, overstuffed backpack, pulling a suitcase and with my normal Hemingway visage. And some 30 year old comes up and offers to sell me hashish! One can only assume it is a sting or I am going to end up with something that is very far from hashish. Sorry I did not have the time to watch who he approached next!
There is only one last picture.
Can you see why I took it. I can assure you the dog was real. I even took video so I would have movement.
The airline, SATA, is the airline of the Azors so all flights stop in Ponta Delgada on the main island of São Miguel. It is the strangest thing as you have to take all your belonging with you off the plane, sit for 1 hour in the lounge and then re-board to your same seat. The young woman next to me on the flight claimed not to speak english. That is one of the few ways of avoiding talking to Tom for hours! I did attack 2 interesting couples in the lounge during the layover when they were totally exposed to a chatty cathy attack. One was older and had Brown University cloths. He still worked at their medical school helping do quality control on patient interaction. The idea is to teach the doctors how to interact with patients. He had a doctorate in Education and was into using Sigma repeat ability stuff to help with patient interaction. I bemoaned my luck in no longer being employable and he suggested I could be a "fake patient". You present with symptoms and role play and the training doctors have to come up with how to treat you.
For my second couple, the man was caring a guitar on his back. He again was my age. They had just sold their house in South Africa? and were starting on a nomadic life. The guitar was just a new acquisition. Mentioning it here allows me to share with you the little known information that there are no size restrictions on instrument cases. If you ever have trouble with a carry on, just put the material in a violin or guitar case. I think this couple was going on to the south of the US to visit children or friends.
I did speak to a 29 year old couple on the next Boston leg. They had just spent the week in the Azores and highly recommended it. They both worked for a resort? in North Carolina. He the chef and she the event planner. Celebrating one year of marrage.
We did have an altercation on the plane. A man siting on the isle a couple rows in front of the dog had too many drinks and started yelling at the kids who were climbing in and out to see the dog. There were words about how someone needed to control their children. The woman had no apologies and was in the man's face. There seemed to be several men in the same dog and children party but they never intervened. I was never able to sort out the relationships.
The Boston return was wild as usual but turned out fine. I had a quick trip through customs and got out on the street to wait for the newburyport C&J bus. It was slow in coming and turned up full!. They wanted us to wait a few minutes and take the next bus that was diverted from the South Station run. I asked about the timing of that verses waiting for the next regular C&J Logan bus. I decided I would rather sit in a bar then drive to South Station and that the time might be about the same. Up to the bar. Ordered a shot of tequila and beer and was informed I could only order 1 drink at a time. So I ordered water, drank the water, ordered shot, poured shot into water glass out of site of bar tender and then ordered and drank beer. The couples on the bar were off to ski in Switzerland. 30 minutes later and I went down and got on the normal C&J bus.
One last adventure. I had left the keys to the car on the front right tire and Kim had decided to just leave the car in the C&J parking lot. The keys were where I had left them and the car started. It was a bit of a stretch for me to drive in rain at night through construction after not having driven in 2 weeks but I made it home and that is my story and I am sticking to it!