Sunday, May 24, 2009

Livid Lisbon and Faux Faro


When I arrived in Lisbon it was somewhat dead with very few people out on the streets. I found the hostel without any hassles, but for the first time since Vladivostok the staff didn't speak much English. I did eventually sort everything out although it was complicated by the fact that I had to change room on the second day and they had a new person on that night who didn't really know what was going on.

After bludging around at the hostel for a while (I didn't sleep well on the train) I left my stuff at the hostel and had a bit of a walk around the downtown area. I saw a bt of the bay where they had these large plastic things that were half bench, half large pot plant that were on wheels so you could always sit in the shade. I then headed back into the central area of town where I had lunch. I then went to the Guarda museum which had what could have been an interesting look at the revolution a few decades ago, but going through the exhibit I couldn't work out who were the good guys and who were the bad guys in the whole scenario. Then I waited near a big statue for a walking tour, but since I didn't realise that Portugal is not in the same time zone as Spain, I was an hour early and at about ten past I gave up waiting. I headed back to the hostel and took it easy for the rest of the afternoon.200905028283.JPG

On Sunday I again tried to go on a walking tour. I had wanted to go on the tour around the historic centre of town, but the guy doing that tour never turned up so I did the Discovery tour instead, which focused on Portugal's empire period. It was pretty good. The tour finished at a bakery famous for its custard tarts which were quite nice.200905038315.JPG

For the rest of the afternoon I climbed up the hill to the old fortress which was alright. Particularly impressive was the camera obscura they'd installed in the tallest of the towers that gave a great view of the city.

Monday I accomplished the main thing I wanted to do in Portugal. I went to the beach and sat on the beach all day. I split my time between reading "The Algebraist", looking at girls, and watching the Atlantic ocean. I did not wait around until sunset as around 5 I was getting hungry and my shins were getting sunburnt (I had a hat, a long-sleeved shirt, and my feet were in the sand, so only my shins were exposed to the sun) so I called it a day and headed back to the hostel for my last night.200905048361.JPG

Tuesday my plan was simply to get from Lisbon to Faro, where I was to catch my flight to London the next day. The trip was a pretty uneventful train ride south. Faro seemed like a nice town, but between world weariness and my legs I didn't feel like exploring much, so I had a quiet afternoon in.

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