Sunday, January 22, 2023

Portugal Day one

Hi friends. 

Been a while since I’ve made a blog entry. No excuses here just laziness. 

Deb and I are taking a grown up trip for a change. Portugal and Spain for two weeks … 

Here are highlights from yesterday. 

On the plane to Lisbon we flew first class (told you it was a grown up trip). Very comfortable but challenging from the seat operations perspective. Debbie who is patient in so many more things than I … is not at all patient with electronic operations. 

“Excuse me!” She told one of the flight attendants. “Can you tell me how to operate the massage feature of my chair?”

“We have a massage feature?” She said. “I’ve been doing this flight for years and never knew that.” 

Deb was not happy. Two minutes later … “Excuse me!” To another flight attendant. “How can I adjust the air? Do I have to stand up and turn the knobs?”

“Yes. Yes you do.” 

I liked her. 

There were various other questions about reclining the seat, bag maintenance under her feet and such … but there was a little gift bag that kept her busy (a sleeping mask, slippers, a tooth brush …) she talked about those for most of the 6 hour flight. 

We landed. 

A driver whisked us away to a truly wonderful hotel in the middle of old town Lisbon. 

We napped for a couple of hours and then walked through the town with a guide who told us great stories. 

He pointed out that the buildings were in fact historical exteriors and renovated interiors (partially subsidized by the government) to retain consistent quality. 

Each had historical reference signage. 

In the center of town was a statue of the poet/bar owner … The 16th-century Portuguese poet, António Ribeiro who was fondly known as 'Chiado', which is what this district is named. Interesting guy … hung out with everyone famous at the time. Never wrote anything down but eventually was published by other writers of the time. 

There’s a glove store that is the smallest in the world. Word is … only two people at a time fit. Frequented by Asians. True story. (Note: Only one quarter of my fat body could fit)

The Church of St. Dominic took my breath away not with beauty but with horror as we were told the story in 1506 of the massacre of hundreds of Jews by order of the priest. The church burned down every decade since but was rebuilt to commemorate the tragedy. 

Sorry … wanted to end on a lighter note. Sometimes you just can’t. 

But trust me … Lisbon is a beautiful city and we love it here! The people are wonderful.

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