Lovely Lisbon — Both Martina and I were excited to be in a country where she could speak the language (she did really awesome in Spain though, cause my wife rocks).
Our hostel was a historic train station in a pretty central location. The place was great – the staff was friendly and the atmosphere was inviting, maybe the nicest hostel I’ve stayed in yet.
Things were looking good. We got some bus passes (we decided to take the two day hop-on, hop-off buses again, but they did not work out as well as in Barcelona so I would not necessarily recommend it). And we went off to explore.
Martina knew quite a bit since she had studied a little Portuguese history, and again, the language thing was uber helpful. We explored a historic church containing the remains of Vasco de Gama, a number of museums, and we had these life changing pastels de Belem. Let’s start with that.
Day 1 and Pastel de Belem: You read it right, life changing. Some of you familiar with Lisbon will probably argue that you can get those pastels any ol’ place; they just call them something different. Well, I tried many of those shops too (Martina will back me up on this) they’re just not the same. I was loving Lisbon, then came the rain.
Day 2 and Fado: The next day was miserable. It was an absolute downpour. We had on our best rain gear and our trusty umbrella, but we still managed to get soaked. Finally making it onto a bus we started to dry, and yes the rain stopped about 5 minutes later.
We rode to the Fado museum; Fado is a style of music originating in Portugal. Martina has become a fan and it has joined the playlist of our lives. It really is beautiful even if you don’t understand it. Then tragedy.
We finished exploring the Fado museum, returning to the front to collect our umbrella to find it had been stolen! Straight up stolen! If another black umbrella had been left I would have thought it was an accident, but there wasn’t another black one. I hadn’t left it at the front by choice; we had been asked by the security guard to leave it there so that water didn’t get everywhere. They apologized and gave us a small, junky one (yes I’m still a little bitter) from their lost and found. Fortunately, the rain had stopped so we were OK without it. I can look back now and say that I hope they needed it more than we did, but a month later we still need a new umbrella. What a way to end both our Lisbon adventure and our Parliamentary break. Still those pastels were really, really, really good. So it was worth it.
Well, it took me sometime, but that’s the end of our epic parliamentary recess adventure. Until next time, adventure on!