Thursday, July 15, 2010

I wish i knew some portuguese

Went to Lisbon Portugal on an excursion this weekend. Lisbon is the most beautifu place i've ever seen in my life. All the buildings had these beautiful tiles on them. The city was destroyed by an earthquake in the 1700,s and to rebuild they invited all these forign archatects to reconstruct buildings. The city is full the best of every countries archatecture. there were buildings that lookes french, italian, english, and of course portugese. The city kind of reminded me of San Francisco,it's close to the ocean and they have trollies. They even have a bridge that looks like the goldan gate bridge across the river. It was really amazing! They had a monument where the palace was next to the river. Some poeople actually got left behind there. Our tourguide who we refered to as Alehandro (we found out later is name was really daniel it was pretty dissapointing) was very illusive. When he left u had better be following him. After that point everyone knew to arrive early and kinda stalk him. He was a nice guy tho. When we stopped to eat we asked a random person where was a good place to eat. turns out he was a resturant owner, and he lead us to his place. Ordering was really complecated, his english wasn't good and we had no portugise other than ola and obrigado (thank you). They charge u for bread in Europe even if u don't ask for it. It was good, but it was a difficult expierience. Needless to say we ate in more toursity areas the rest of the time whith english or spanish speaking waitors. We went to hard rock cafe that night ja ja.
My absolute favorite part was the castle, Castillo de San Jorge, it was so beautiful and we climed up it. the view of the city was breathtaking. We could see the slits where they shot arrows from, it was really neat. We saw the Cathedral and 2 monistaries with cathedrals. They weee all amazing. The Monistario de los Jeronimos had royals and some famous Explores buried in it. We also went to the Monistario de Batalha, where they have the portugise tomb of the unknown solider which was neat, plus mre dead royals. It was so beautiful, the sealings were so high and hte carvings and stained glass were amazing!
We saw the Torre de Belem, which was this fort thing by the ocean, there were ladies selling scarves, they were pretty reasonable and pretty so i bought a blue one. It was neat.
We went to Cascais to go to the beach. It was a really nice area. We ate lunch at this place with an amazing view. Americans don't really think of portugal too much as a vacation destanation, but it's really nice. The weather is reminicant of California and it's hot by the beach. It's probably about the same as going to hawaii. I really liked it. We saw this huge gorge tidepool theing called la Boca del InFierno, the mouth of hell, someone signidficant fell into it and died, I think the tour was in fast Spainard Spanish and the sign was in portugise.
We saw the cathedral in the city, at the time it was the most amazing thing i'd ever seen, buried saints and royals and all. The next day we visited an even grander Cathedral and monistary. Monistario de los Jeronimos

The last day We went to this mideval village that was really nice. it was cold in the morning, the past week was super hot for us so we were really excited for the cold. We really liked the people in Obidos, the y were a lot calmer and less pushey than the shop owners in other places. In Lisbon when we were eating peopel would try to sell u sunglasses and all kinds of stuff constantly. It was neat tho, got to hear lots of free portuguise music.

Unfortunatly we had some bad luck on the road. The bus overheated and we were stranded for about an hour on the side of the road, then we were able to drive to a mall. I was stranded for 8 hours in this Portugise mall. DURING THE WORLD CUP FINAL THAT SPAIN WON! we at least got to watch the game. It was an experience. We're writing letters of complaint hopefully we can get a refund because it should not have taken that long to get a new bus. They didn't even call them for 4 hours while they were trying to fix the first one. We didn't get back to Salamanca untill 4:30 am. They dropped some people off pretty far from their house. people were saying "stop here stop here" and they didn't respond. When we passed my place i yelled "Puedes Altar" and they stopped so I didn't have to walk I was so glad. Aside from that and some pompous portuguise hotel worker who wouldn't cash my traveler's check (apparently my signature was different he sat there and yelled at me for like 15 minutes, the manager fixed it in like 2 seconds, i think it was some portugise machismo) I'm glad I went. If anything it's a great story, how many people get stranded in a portugise mall?

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