Apr 02, 2012
Jun 04, 2012
It’s our first full day in Lisbon and we started the day off with the free walking tour given by the hostel, specifically Antonio with his stylish jacket and bubbly personality. Early into our walking tour we head for the Lisbon trollies, which are very much like those in San Francisco. In fact, the parallels between the two cities are quite noticeable - rolling hills, trollies, the red/ orange bridge called Ponto Veinticinco de Abril that was built in the likeness of the Golden Gate Bridge. As our large group of twenty or so waited for the trolly to arrive, Antonio - who looked after us like we were his own - began to loudly notify the entire crowd of a trio of pit pockets that had just taken up our rear. Apparently he knows them and they know him, and they were quite pissed that he was doing everything he could to blow their presumed tourist cover. The best part about this story comes when we had already gotten ourselves situated on the trolly and the trio was still waiting to board behind a group of unsuspecting people. Antonio proceeded to hang out of the window yelling “pit pockets” and pointing at the girls. With their gig up, the girls spit on the trolly and stormed off while sweet and cuddly Antonio hung out of the window yelling “bitches!” after them. It was a hilarious scene I hope to not soon forget. Big thanks to Antonio for making sure that all his little ducklings made it back to the hostel with belongings in tact. The tour proceeded to wind and weave through the city, taking us to all of the major historical sites with a traditional Portuguese meal (I had a cod, potato, onion, egg casserole-type dish), sangria and port wine in between. A bit of history on Lisbon - despite being one of the oldest cities in the world, the majority of Lisbon was rebuilt in 1755 after the massive earthquake wiped out the city. It’s current state feels a bit tired and beautiful all at once. Back to the tour... We stopped off at the flea market for a wander around and it was here that I bonded with Nina (the American from NYC) and met the Brits... Joe and Giles... love them. Once the tour wrapped up, we headed back to the hostel for a rest. I made myself comfortable in the common area, intent on working on my blog, but was soon offered a game of cards by the Brits. I joined and our friend affair began. We staked our claim on the swinging coffee table and they proceeded to teach me the rules of President/ Asshole. Kiwi Katie, who I had enjoyed Fado music with the night before, joined our game and when Julia woke up from her nap, she added to the lot as well. It was here that I introduced them all to Paolo and he became our mascot for the evening, lending his backside to the looser of each round. We stayed up until the wee hours of the night drinking Sagres, Portuguese beer, and forming intense alliances in the game that would carry us through the week. Good times...