Wednesday, 12 March 2008

Como esta?

...Gee, 3 days in Portugal and we think we can talk like the locals!
Have just got back from our first sojourn to the continent, spending 3 days & nights in Lisbon, Portugal... it was awesome.

Kent's been teaching some Maths at his new job, so he's obsessed with numbers at the moment... there was no shortage of them on our long weekend:

1... motorcycle accident. The guy was only on the ground for all of a second before he leapt up, got back on the bike and whizzed off... I suppose it's hardiness like that which led the Portuguese to takeover large sections of the globe in the 15th and 16th centuries!

2... copies of Asterix in Portuguese. I think Kent has decided this is his new 'thing' and that we will be hunting down as many of these in foreign languages as he possibly can - it definitely beats collecting coke cans or stamps.

3... the number of different types of drugs on offer from a street seller who approached Kent... who was slightly taken aback by the little bag of 'herbs' he was being offered... brilliant! Quite ballsy too, as there were Policia just a couple of metres away. Not surprisingly, he didn't make a sale, but we've been giggling about it ever since...

6... days a week the Naval Museum is open. This does not include Monday... which, and I know you can see where this is going, is the very day we went to visit it, at the bottom of the steepest hill we've seen since leaving NZ... can't win 'em all.

10... 45pm. The time we left a massive shopping centre in the new part of Lisbon on Sunday night when everything, even the hairdresser, was still open... on a Sunday!

25... trips on the metro underground thingy... which is soooo much nicer and cleaner than the one in London (although it is far smaller and newer, so not surprising) so no black snot here!

13... minutes by ferry to Cacilhas, Almada on the other side of the river... where we walked. A lot. Then we walked some more. During the all the walking (most of which was in the rain, thanks to the tail of that big nasty storm that hit the south of England) we stumbled across what might be the cutest little restaurante ever - it was exactly like we pictured family-run Portuguese restaurants, the woman running it didn't speak any English, but we muddled through - even ordered things I didn't know the contents of - very brave! It was just lovely and definitely one of the highlights of the trip - especially as Kent left a tip, which is usually unheard of!

17,000... teachers protesting (or, as we like to call it, shutting down the entire central city) at their rubbish pay, which a street artist told us is pretty abismal, and they were awfully organised, so you have to give them credit for that. As it turns out, we think the locals have a penchant for picketing as we saw another march two days later and several signs advertising further protests (for different causes) on weekends later this month... they were all very orderly and well behaved though.

110 metres... the height of the Monumento a Cristo Rei (Christ the King statue) that overlooks the city (like the one in Rio, only newer). It was simply massive and had the weather been kinder, the views back across to Lisbon would have been even more breathtaking than the towering statue of the big guy itself.

50 million... the number of knots of wind on Monday while we traipsed uphill and down dale. Well, maybe not quite that bad, and certainly not so strong as all the pics of England on the news (talk about picking the right time to flee the country) but it was v breezy... we even had a bit of a dodgy landing at Heathrow on Tuesday, well after the worst was over... so glad we didn't come back on Sunday night or Monday - eeeek.

It would be pretty easy to go on and on about it, the whole trip was unforgettable... here are a few of our pics:


Talk soon,
Kent & Eryn x

1 comment:

Malcolm said...

Good outline of the Portugal trip folks. Taken some good photos of course - city looks to have a nice feel to it, if you can tell such things from photos. Great to eat at small family eating place. Good to know Asterix is alive and well and living in Lisbon.