Saturday, April 23, 2011

The first few days in Portugal

We arrived in Portugal late afternoon on Wednesday. I have to say that flying business class over the Atlantic is the way to go. Champagne before you even sit down, good food and our "pods" allowed us to stretch out completely and sleep for at least 5 hours. Great, except for my "Black Swan" dreams!

Our first night was spent on the coast at a hotel we chose in large part for it's oceanside 100m plus pool. Unfortunately, it was closed for repairs. But I did swim and play in the ocean waves. There is nothing like ocean water to cleanse you soul.

The next day was spent exploring areas around Lisbon. We explored food and art, including amazing works related to maps. Then we got tangled in the craziest traffic ever in Lisbon, trying to park and meet a friend for dinner. We finally found under ground parking, waited in a central square where it rained profusely, watched an insane running race begin from the square and head off into the insane traffic, (I was sure they would all die, but amazingly all the cars made way for the runners). This was just the beginnings of an amazing evening of real Portuguese culture.

The rest of the evening was spent with Patricia, a good we met at Trans Portugal the last time we were here. She and here boyfriend took us to a very authentic restaurant where the waiters were surly, the customers smoking but the good fresh and fantastic. It was a great, fun evening. Then we wandered through historical Lisbon at night over small, wet, square cobblestones. I have no idea how Portuguese women do it in heels.

Yesterday we got up, surfed then walked, through lush forest to fantasy palace in the mist.

Today was another ideal day. Mountain biking south of Lisbon with plenty of stops for coffee, rain storms, wild roses and sunshine. All thanks to Jose Carlos and Rui.

Tonight it was a meal of grilled pork for Tom and cod for me. Time for sleep.



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