The rain in Spain falls mainly in..... Portugal!
Trip Start Sep 28, 2010
86Trip End Ongoing
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Our first couple of days were bathed in sunshine, obviously the first in a while as the city was covered in freshly washed knickers, these Portuguese have no shame in showing their underwear. As well as being covered in undergarments the Alfama area where we stayed was full of crumbling buildings, lots of street art and amazing tile covered facades, which kept us entertained for many hours. Our favourite way to start the day was to have a coffee and a pastry at our little local bar downstairs, a place that hasn't changed since the 1950's and had to be the cheapest coffee in Europe. Forty cent espressos may not save the Portuguese economy but we certainly appreciated it.
Our catch up with Jane and John continued in Lisbon. They were actually here to take on many of Portugal's fine golf courses, however the weather played havoc with their plans. Lucky they had a back-up........us!! We traded fine golf courses for fine eating establishments and we will all never forget the pasteis de nata, the Portguese custard tart which truly deserve their world-famous reputation.
The accomodation we arranged turned out to be rather dodgy. It's a bit of a long story which we won't bore you with here, but thankfully we were rescued by Alex's uncle Geoffrey and his partner Sharon. It was fun, entertaining, educational and highly technological (it's too embarrassing to reveal the number of devices we had between all of us) to spend a decent amout of time with some family that we don't get to see that often, especially from now on because when they arrive back to Australia (by container ship I might add) they'll be calling Tasmania home. From this point on you will notice a vast improvement in our photos.......well they should better after endless discussions and demonstrations about photography....thanks for your help Geoff!!
When we weren't exploring the city and eating delicious treats with Jane and John, or visiting galleries and eating delicious treats with Geoffrey and Sharon, we were eating delicious treats and visiting galleries on our own.... (Do we ever stop talking about food....?!)
One of our favourite exibitions was the WW2 propaganda posters. There was a whole section of this exibit displaying images and slogans trying to convince the American public to use less resources and commodities in order to pass those savings on to their troops to help win the war. The messages were so appropriate to the environmental messages we receive today that the posters could just as easily be used for the war on climate change. One particular poster implied that by riding alone in a car, you were wasting precious fuel, and suggested that you were riding next to Hitler......
From this point on we wouldn't be riding alone, we had a shiny new toy to guide us. Jane and John were so concerned that we wouldn't be able to find our way back to get another pastei de nata that they gave us an early (and much too generous) Christmas present, a GPS for our bikes. Well we found our way back to the pastry shop in Belem again and we also found our way out of Lisbon on our way to Spain!