Return to Lisbon

1 Dec

Driving from Loule to Lisbon was easy. In the dark, we drove into Lisbon with the GPS giving us instructions, with little problem or wasted time. Finding the hotel and its parking was easy too, but we needed food for the next morning.

The hotel clerk directed us a few blocks away toward the grocery store, Pingo Doce. At the story, we were able to buy everything we needed for our morning breakfast, consisting of instant coffee, lox, bread, cheeses, and our fresh fruit. Marlene had her whipped cream and I had my low fat milk. By the end of the trip, we were eating well.

We spent our first day adding money to the phone, getting lost in the subway, and returning the car to the airport. Even getting lost in the subway turned out fine because we found a wonderful Japanese restaurant, which we returned to later for dinner. It was one of a handful of restaurants, where Marlene enjoyed the food.

We spent our second day in Belem’s modern art museum, Museu Colecao Berardo, which is part of the Belem Cultural Center. At our last visit to the museum, we had missed “Happy Consumption.” The illustrations were part of the mass production in early advertising. Later the ad companies eliminated the work of the highly skilled illustrators by further automating the production process. I noticed one ad for music, which had an African-American male with his eyes popping out. Now such a caricature would not be tolerated. I saw many ads for cigarettes. Even our attitude toward cigarettes has changed.

After the museum, we went to, perhaps, Marlene’s most favorite restaurant, Este Oeste (East West). It was a fusion of Italian and Japanese food. Everything there was delicious. After lunch while walking to the tram stop, we learned from a tour guide how to get to the starting point of the Hills Tramcar Tour.

The next day we took the Metro to Cais do Sodre, we bought our tickets, we walked around the corner and we waited for the Aerobus. After a little wait, we boarded the Aerobus and it took us to the Placa do Comercio. I remember the bus did not leave us close to where we needed to board the tram. We walked back about two or three blocks. When we crossed the street and entered the plaza, I only realized then I had been there before. We finally caught the tram.

Horses pulled the first tramcars. About the beginning of the 20th Century, the Lisbon tramcars were electrified. We weaved through the narrow streets on tracks. It took us through the Lisbon neighborhoods, including the Alfama, the oldest. On the tram, Marlene decides to get off and I quickly followed. She then decides she wants to go to the Portuguese Decorative Arts Museum. It was once a little palace. Then, some sort of boarding house, but now it’s a museum. The son of a banker, Ricardo do Espirito Santo Silva, began collecting when he was 13-years-old. Silva bought the palace and restored it to house his collection. We ate lunch in the museum cafeteria. It was a simple buffet with a few delicious items. I had some pasta and fish, which I ate too much of. I ate the salad. Again, it was delightful and so was the desert and again I ate too much of it.

When we were waiting for the tram, suddenly a bunch of people moved into the space around Marlene, bumping into her. One man was smoking a cigarette near us and he distracted me. When we got on the tram, the people did not get on the tram, but suddenly did not board. Marlene’s earmuffs were missing. Her theory is when she was jostled around, she was pick pocketed. Both Marlene and I have been victims in the past. This time they did not get much, if her theory is correct.

We walked back to the metro and took it back to near our hotel. We took a taxi to the hotel, after we went grocery shopping. We were going to have dinner with Jorge and Chico.

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