Portugal Lisbon 2001.01.04 - 01.06

Return to Friendliness

Disembarking the night train from Madrid, we found ourselves at the Lisbon Apolónia Train Station early Thursday morning. Strangely, the subway doesn't run from the center of Lisbon to this train station. Not to worry. Several hostal/pensão employees were collecting potential guests as they got off the train. Their offer was free transportation to view their lodging without obligation to stay. Our way to the city was resolved.

Our free ride arrived at a building undergoing repairs. The rooms needed a bit more tidying up in our opinion, and we politely declined. Finding other lodging was easy with our Lonely Planet guide.

All turned out for the best. We were downtown without cost, we ultimately found a place we were happy with, and we met Joy and Eric (from California) along the way. Joy is brilliant with languages. Having read a Portuguese phrase book in the train, she was translating Portuguese to English for us. "I know French, and it kind of sounds like French," she says. "Then my French must still suck," Wes thought to himself aloud. Brilliant. That's the only way to describe it. Brilliant.

We had our meals with Joy and Eric over the next 2 days. They're good company and good people. Hope they think of us after they return to CA and we travel on to our next destinations.

The most pleasing part of Lisbon is the people. Their friendliness confirms that we weren't imagining the coldness of the Spaniards. People in Lisbon naturally smile and make a concerted effort to understand and assist tourists (us) struggling to communicate requests in the most botched and mispronounced "Portuguese" possible.

A good Internet Café is always worth noting: Cyber.Bica on Rua Duques Braganca has floppy drive, telnet, and CuteFTP.

Red roofs of Lisbon.

The Praça do Município flies the Portuguese flag. Black and white patterned sidewalks are prevalent throughout the city.

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