28th May 2015
Last but not least it was time for Lisbon. It was because my host and friend Lucas I was coming to Portugal and its capital. When I decided to go to Lisbon I made my planes for the Algarve, too. More about my trips around the Algarve you can find on the following pages.
I was around an hour late for meeting Lucas at the Metro station and also there were some misunderstandings, because some places have more than one name, well-known for locals, but not for visitors, but all is well that ends well. We were happy to see each other and Lucas walked Lisbon with me. He showed me all the must see and beautiful places and I learned, that many cities have an Arc de Triomph, even the most well-known is in Paris.
I asked Lucas about the Jesus statue and he told me, that it was a present from a pope. He asked the Portuguese to be neutral in WWII and promised the statue if they will be. Lucas was carrying my little suitcase and took a lot of pictures even of me and of both of us. There were not only buildings and the famous route 28 of the tram I have got to know by him, he also invited me to Pastel de Nata (an egg tart pastry). They came fresh from the oven and were still warm when I tasted them with cinnamon on the top. They are so delicious, that I still can taste them in my mind and I would like to eat them every day. Though I think it is good that I was not staying in Portugal ;-). Furthermore we walked on one or two of the seven hills of Lisbon this evening and Lucas showed me the hostel where he makes his internship, because he is in tourism. The hostel has an old character and is expensive for being a hostel – 40 € for a night!, but is really special. We also passed “Fado”-Bars this evening – all for the tourists and saw garlands in the streets because there will be a feast the upcoming weekend. I had liked to be there.
Late that evening we came home to the place where Lucas lives with his parents. It is outside Lisbon and one has to go by the Metro as well as by bus for reaching it. Actually it is some minutes away from the bus stop and we had to walk a shortcut throughout a grassland with thistles or raspberry vines and it was only possible by the torch of my tablet. Their home is a nice place in an area with apartment houses. The building also has an outside swimming pool. Lucas showed me his room immediately and told me, that it is mine as long as I am visiting. I was so surprised, I really did not expect that. By the way his mother has been waiting for us for hours. She had cooked a meal. I was very welcomed of his parents and I felt very comfortable at this place. His parents do not speak English well, just some words and phrases, but they tried and I was happy about that. We had help of some Spanish vocabulary, too, because they know Spanish very well even their mother tongue is Portuguese. Maybe they are so lovely because they are Brazilian, maybe it is just the way they are. I fall asleep happily and with a smile on my face this night.
29th May 2015
Lucas made breakfast for all of us. It was a good and well-balanced one. We had no hurry even his mother had to go to work and Lucas had an important meeting this day. He had the final exam for his studies the day before I arrived in Lisbon and he did it very well, he told me when I asked him.
We went together to Lisbon by bus and Metro and Lucas told me also how to continue by tram. He even was waiting for the tram and helped me to enter it, because there were crowds of tourists and if one is not alert, one will neither come with a tram nor get a seat in there. I remembered his way for my trip back. I was going to Belém, that part of the town which was not so hard demolished by the horrible earth quake in 1755. I arrived at the Jerónimos Monastery. There is an open area at the other side of the street where it was a market. Actually when I was checking this I saw, that it was not a market, but an event “all around school, children and their needs”. There were also groups of young people showing some acrobatic, I enjoyed. Right at the entrance to that place there was a man trying to sell special glasses with lots of holes. She told me, that I would never need my glasses again if I use his glasses only two hours a day for a while. The glasses were for 25 EUR and if it was so easy, how he told, it would be very cheap, but I could not imagine, that it will really work. I was skeptical because he told me the glasses would work against all sight problems – shortsightedness, farsightedness and astigmatism as well.
I could see the river from that place and thought, the monastery can wait, it will not disappear. The park was quite long and I took a seat on a bench for eating my lunch. I still had some cheese and bread, which I had bought in a super market in Sintra. I ate this, but it was horrible. In Sweden we call it perspiring cheese when we make some hiking during summertime and have cheese sandwiches with us, but the temperatures are a little lower there and the sun is not shining all the time on our lunch packages. I did threw away the rest of my lunch pack. I took a lot of photographs of the Padrão monument and the compass rose square as well as the famous bridge “Ponte 25 de Abril” and the Jesus statue.
I continued in the direction of the Belém tower. I tried to go all the way on the sea-side. Unfortunately that was not possible and it became longer than I expected. I ate an ice cream and was sitting at the grass of an embankment getting some shade, because there were no chairs outside the ice cream shop. I bought a combined ticket for the tower and the monastery. For using the staircase there were red and green lights, because it was so narrow. Only one person could use it – there were no possibility to meet and continue in both directions (up and down). At every storey one had to go to the platform and one could only continue later on by green light. Though it was only possible to take one floor at the time. The stairs were horrible without handrails and it was one of these daring for me like at the Mouro castle. I had not expected that, but I had paid and I was interested in coming to the top for taking a look at the surroundings. I took lots of pictures at each floor and selfies, too. On the ground again I bought a Smoothie in a nearby restaurant. It was expensive and the waiter was boring. Like someone told me later, a typical Portuguese appearance.
On the way to the Monastery I saw a beautiful spring water. When I tried to make a nice photograph, it stopped. I was waiting a while hoping it will start again, but it took such a long time, that I was continuing my way. Later on I saw from the distance, that the spring water was activated again. I tried to get a proper photograph, but could not. I tried to enter the Monastery, but was not allowed like hundreds of people, because there were also groups of tourists. We were not told, why we were not allowed to enter. After a long waiting time people from the press were leaving the building as well as some important persons, like it seemed. It was not a lot of time left before the Monastery will close. Furthermore Lucas and me planned to meet at 6pm. Even he sent me a message, that he will be late, I could not stay for longer at the monastery. To catch a tram was like to catch a bus on Malta during the touristic rush hours.
It was windy and the wind was cold, therefore I entered a little pub and took a Galão (coffee with milk) and also was window shopping, but early enough back to our meeting point an “ask me”-kiosk.
Together we took the tram 28 to the church SE, but we could not take the first one, because also this route was a busy one. We later on entered the next possible to a view-point on another of the seven hills of Lisbon. Afterwards we walked to the castle, but we did not enter it for two reasons:
1. It was closing down
2. It was too expensive for the things one would see because there were only a wall and yards, no buildings
On our way down, what we were walking again, we visited the restaurant where Lucas was working beside his studies and also will work beside of his internship. Nearby there is an elevator, where you come down to the city centre and we used it. We were going back by the Metro and the bus and we were happy because it was very good timing – we did not have to wait for the bus. His mother picked us up at the bus stop in the village they are living. His mother also picked up pizzas at a take away, which we ate at their home. We had a nice chat before we were going to bed.
30th May 2015
It is hard to say good-bye to such a wonderful friend and his very kind parents. Maybe we will meet again, maybe in Brazil. I would be delighted!
Lucas and me left at the same time. He was going to his side job and I had to go to the airport. I had to change the Metro in Alameda and he had to continue by the green line, while I had to change to the red line for coming to the airport. It was easy to change. One could not miss the airport either. The baggage drop at the Iberians was very quick – they were waiting for just me ;-). I had checked in online before and I really like the flight companies, which offer this service.
I felt a little strange during the flight, because we were on a low high and could see the landscape all the time. Maybe it only felt like that by the weather. I could not see any clouds during this trip. We arrived in Madrid in good time and I had to ask at the information desk for the gate of my further trip to Malta. The ground staff told me, that I had to take a shuttle for another terminal, because I arrived at the T4 and had to go to the T1, so I did. It was an 10 minutes drive and we stopped at all the other terminals, too. That means at the T2 and T3. I was surprised about all the terminals and could only explain it for myself, that the flight traffic was growing throughout the years and there was no space for one big terminal.
I checked in at the Norwegians desk and that was a disaster. We had to queue for more than an hour, because it took such a long time to check in. I thought I was late when I entered the queue, but the line behind me was getting longer and longer and I was happy, that I was not at the end of it. I found the gate easily, but I did not find a toilet. Fortunately I bought a baguette and a bottle of water and ate it before entering the plan. I was happy, I did, because there were no snack onboard, but the one you have to pay for and they are much more expensive than on the airport – even this already is an expensive place. After the meal I asked at an info point for a toilet and I had to go back a long way and had to pass the duty-free shops. Anyway I was in time to the opening of the gate. Even I was on the plane in time, some were not and we had to wait for a little while. The flight was calm and we arrived in time on Malta.