it all began in lisbon

June 4, 2011 at 10:34 pm 5 comments



the trip to portugal was the most expensive one that i had ever had due to an unfortunate event. after arriving at the lisbon international airport, i took the bus to the hotel. it was during that fateful ride that my money belt was stolen. at boarding time, i took it out to get the money for the fare and it was foolish of me not to put it back beneath my clothes. i shoved it in my front pocket instead. as a result, the fool and his money were soon parted.

after realizing what had happened, i became heartbroken and mad at myself. i lost a thousand dollar worth of cash just like that. i slumped and sulked on a bench in a park close to the hotel for two hours before i was able to pull myself together. all wasn’t lost. i still had my passport and credit card. it could have been worse if they were stolen, too. i resolved then and there that i should make the best of the situation as i might not be back in this country again.

it was on the following day that i met my friends and other members of the tour. i didn’t tell a soul about my experience for fear of ruining their vacation and giving them a bad impression of portugal. i think i made the right decision. they had great fun and so did i later on. to borrow from fernando pessoa, portugal’s most famous poet, everyone’s joy, mine included, was as sure as any religion.

we stayed in lisbon for several days exploring the city with a guide and on our own. the food was excellent and generous. One order would be enough for two.



i marveled at its architecture, its ancient landmarks and edifices untouched by the horrors of world war ii.



in one way, it reminded me of prague. in another, it reminded me of san francisco with its trams and the 25 de abril bridge that resembles the golden gate bridge.



we walked around the old neighborhoods with its steep hills and cobblestone streets.



we climbed up to saint george castle built in the 5th century and enjoyed the panoramic view of the city.



we also visited the gulbenkian museum considered to be one of the finest private art collections in the world.



i found our portuguese guide to be very well-versed in the history of her country. in conversing with her, i could sense her country’s love-hate relationship with spain. it wasn’t surprising, perhaps, considering their long history of being allies and enemies in the past. i didn’t know whether she was being matter-of-fact or just sarcastic when she said that while they have no problem understanding spanish, spaniards find it difficult to understand portuguese. could it be because spanish and portuguese don’t sound alike although they share the same heritage? even common words can be pronounced differently. to my untrained ear, portuguese sounds more like french or czech.

one day before leaving lisbon, we took the train to the neighboring town of sintra to see the pena castle and park considered to be one of the seven wonders of portugal. construction on the site was initiated in the 15h century following the apparition of the virgin mary.



from lisbon, we traveled by bus to the other parts of the country to gain more insights into its old roman, christian, and moorish past. it was a trip well-taken. i’ll write about it in another post.
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Entry filed under: Blogroll, travel, vacation. Tags: , , , , , , , .

A Tripped Event i heart portugal

5 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Judy Marie Santiago  |  June 6, 2011 at 9:32 pm

    Wow, a nice adventure sans the snatching of your bag. 😦 I think this is a really nice place to visit… Really nice architecture and picturesque views… or you’re just a great photographer? Haha! Anyway, I hope I can visit Lisbon too… Someday. 🙂

    Reply
    • 2. plaridel  |  June 7, 2011 at 8:42 am

      judy:

      pictures were from a cheap camera, but glad you like them.

      Reply
  • 3. sub  |  June 7, 2011 at 1:15 am

    $1000 is huge amount..tsk tsk ur right though, you might as well make the most out of the situation..

    were you able to get inside the buildings or just outside? wala bang mga events nung pumunta kayo dun?

    Reply
    • 4. plaridel  |  June 7, 2011 at 8:44 am

      sub:

      i did visit a few museums, old monasteries, and churches. oftentimes, cameras weren’t allowed. when allowed, my cheap camera failed me. i was able to attend a fado performance on my last day in lisbon. it was very nice.

      Reply
  • 5. Lost in Lisbon | Daniel Agnew  |  June 8, 2011 at 1:27 pm

    […] it all began in lisbon (plaridel.wordpress.com) […]

    Reply

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