So Cat invited us to Lisbon to experience the way she lives, so off we trotted….
Day 1, 27th March
First things first, someone had to lose their luggage, that award went straight to pip. Luckily though his iPod made it off the plane.
We were stopping at Cat’s apartment in a suburb of Lisbon south of the river. By the time we got there it was late and we were all hungry, so Cat took us to a local restaurant, the food was ok (steak and chips), but we didn’t expect much that late at night, but the wine was very nice. I am not a red wine drinker, but since we were here I thought I would give it a go, and mmmmm, alentejo.
Then, when we got home, we made a wondrous discovery, Dan brought cards with him!
Quote of the day; Pip: Have I corrupted anyone?
Day 2, 28th March
Today began the big exploration of Lisbon, so after a bus and ferry we were in the centre of town. Luckily the ferry was relatively calm, so we didn’t have to put up with a pukey Becca, but we thoroughly expected to have to later in the week.
We wondered around the main square for a while, took a few pictures, and found an Irish pub, how English we are. We were all rather amuzed when we saw a car that had bumped into something and broken it’s headlight, not a great travesty, except it had stopped in the middle of the road and brought most of Lisbon to a halt!
We ate at a seafood restaurant close to Cats, not being a fan of sea food I ate steak, but the others assured me the fish was good. Then we retired to play some cards, who would have thought the game shit head could have so many different sets of rules.
Quote of the day; Pip: Patronize me more.
Day 3, 29th March
We called into the cathedral on our way to the castle, it lacked much of the grandeur you would expect from a cathedral, still I guess there is something to be said about understatement.
Cat used to be a tour guide at the main castle of Lisbon, so we used her super tour guide skills to get a tour (how cheap we are). The castle itself is rather dull, there are some nice views of the city, but no real museums or things to see, except the periscope that is. This was a mirror and lens system mounted in a tower which projects the city onto a large white thing. The guide there gave us a tour of the landmarks with this thing, it was very cool, and now I want one put on my house……..
Pip did his utmost to help the Lisbonese street economy by hanging his wallet out of his pocket for all and sundry to see. Luckily, just as the inevitable was happening (pick pocketing) a nice Portuguese lady saw the perpetrator and shouted at him so he ran off. Thank you lady. Pip’s luggage turned up too.
Cat took us to an Italian restaurant tonight, the trouble with this being that Italian food is probably the only cuisine Becca cannot eat anything of, ho hum. Then back for more cards.
Day 4, 30th March
Cat decided to go leave us to go see her friends a family today, time to see if we can survive by ourselves.
Apparently the Portuguese church elders said during the war that if they managed to escape unscathed then they would build a mini version of the big Jesus thing in Rio. They did, so they did, and so we went up it. It’s just up the road from Cat’s house so we walked there and took hundreds of pictures (reduced to just fifteen).
From here we went to the fado museum (it’s a type of local folk music), all spanishy guitary type stuff with a whiney singer, not really my cup of tea.
We also found a church with the word ‘testes’ on a display, amused us a bit. Even more cards was played.
Quote of the day 1; Pip: Something a bit ooh. (Pip’s interpretation of that wonderful Girls aloud classic).
Quote of the day 2; Pip: I’d rather be cold and frightened then warm and frightened.
Quote of the day 3; Dan: Cuck funt.
Day 5, 31st March
With less of us in the house we managed to get out of the house and down to the port by 10am!
Lisbon is rather hilly, so some bright spark built a lift in the centre of town near a big hill, nice. Some nice views, which of course means lots of pictures.
We were reliably informed that the Bario Alto is the place to go out in Lisbon, so we went for a wonder around during the day to see what it was like. Everything was closed, covered in graffiti, and smelt of urine. We decided that this wasn’t really the kind of place we wanted to be drinking in.
We had heard that there was a nice eatery and drinkery place by the docks in the general direction of the big bridge so off we went. We couldn’t find it, sigh.
We found the restaurant district and found somewhere that was selling kid, so we had some, it was nice, a little salty, but nice. Afterwards were very English and went to the Hard Rock cafe.
Quote of the day; Pip: Becca’s going to do a Marylin Manson. (This was in the context of Becca walking over a grill venting air from the subway while wearing a dress).
Day 6, 1st April
Woke up feeling rather dehydrated, all that salt I suspect.
We went to St. Vincent, some fantastic views. Got to climb all the way to the top.
Dan bustificated his travel card, again, like the retardo he is (hence danificardo). We traced the problem to his ass, bizarre!
We finally found the dock area with lots of restaurants, lots of different nationally places to eat in. We were bored of Portuguese food (too salty and bland) so we decided on Spanish, mmm it was good.
Now one of the odd things about the Portuguese is that they don’t seem to like using toilet seats; virtually all the places we went didn’t have a toilet seat at all, it was only the really touristy places that did. Just struck me as a little odd.
Quote of the day; Dan: Danificado.
Day 7, 2nd April
Pip and Dan went to an art museum in the morning so Bint and I went shopping, she bought a few things, but seemed to have trouble paying everyhere we went. We ate at the Hard Rock cafe, again trouble with her card. Then when we tried a cash machine all our cards failed, maestro, switch, mastercard, all danificardoed, hmmm. We tried different cash machines, all broken, the people in the bank said they were all broken to foreign transactions. We met up with the others who had had the same problem, looked like we were about to be stranded in a foreign country with no money, so we did the only thing we could do as English folk with our remaining 40 Euros, drink.
We went to the Port wine institute, it had a wealth of different ports. We were considering on trying them all, but after the first three we decided against it. We had Ruby, tawny, and white, it was a split opinion on what was best, the ruby or the tawny.
Quote of the day; Pip: Tawny is like a party in your mouth, Ruby is like your grandparents staying over.
Day 8, 3rd April
Sintra is a small town outside of Lisbon that is a must see, so Becca booked a tour for all of us. This did mean that we had to be at the Hard Rock cafe at 8:00 am, not a happy bunny. Still, we made it, and Cat and Russ made it too, albeit 30 seconds before 8:00!
We went to the most westerly part of continental Europe, it was westerly.
Went to a nearby beach, Dan and I stood and took pictures of a gheko while the others paddled and got wet.
We finished up in a small fishing village, Caiscais, rather a posh little place, still, I managed to buy a lot of Portuguese cocks for my sister.
Pip left his glasses on the bus, but managed to get them back, luckily. Then the others went to a classical concert while Becca and I ate and went back.
Day 9, 4th April
Belem is a small part of Lisbon with a lot of stuff hidden away. There is the coach museum full of pretty old school coaches. A really old fort used to defend the city back in the day. Of course back in the day they were a lot shorter, and so us modern men struggled inside a bit!
We decided to go back to the eatery place we found the other day, this time we picked a nice French restaurant. It was posh looking (so we stuck out) but the food wasn’t that great, which was a shame.
It was today that we discovered that testes is Portuguese for forehead, as you can imagine much merriment was had.
Quote of the day; All of us: Testes.
Day 10, 5th April
And so we come to the end of our holiday, a thorough tidy up of Cats apartment and we are good to go. We all made it back ok, Pip’s luggage even made to London and not Johannesburg.
We are off to Lisbon on tuesday 🙂 Trouble is I have to pack before hand 🙁 So many things to think about, so many things to wash, so little botheredness to do it. Ho hum, I guess I had better go look for my passport………..
Can you believe it? I was at work for a whole day and no one, absolutely no one, noticed my new hair! Pffffff last time I get becca to spend £12 on a haircut for me!
We bought our dishwasher yesterday! Well rather Tesco bought our dishwasher for us, a year of collecting clubcard points and down to MFI we went. It’s going to take a month to be delivered, and then I guess it’s going to sit in the box for a month or two until our kitchen gets delivered, or I could try to do a bit of creative plumbing…………
Today I finished my first paper, well when I say finished I mean I think it’s good enough to submit (if my collaborators agree or not is another question) and when I say my paper I mean I am the second author. Still, it’s been LOADS of work, every day, evening and weekend for a couple of weeks has been spent working. But now it’s finished!
I have also had a visitor this week, our collaborator, Seppo, from Finland has been here. We have been working on our paper. He enjoyed himself, he stopped at a nice B&B that I shall be reccommending to anyone that wants to stay in MK (fairview cottage). We ate out a lot this week, and my supervisor cooked a nice meal for us on Saturday night. Seppo bought be a nice bottle of whisky for me too (thanks Seppo). We shall have to go to Finland in the near future to do some work I think……
Now all I have to do is start the next paper! I am first author on the next one, so this means even more work. I will start it tomorrow and it will probably envelop my life for the next month. On top of that, our SecondLife project goes live this weekend, so I shall be working inworld this weekend (I’m gonna need a break by the time our Portugal comes around).
Today I had to look after some cubs (9 year olds), it was with Lyndsy and Pip. We showed them some space things, I think they seemed pretty interested in some of the stuff. But my word they don’t half have a lot of energy!