In a small cabin sharing with three other men, it was not an easy task. Train left at 10:30 p.m. and arrived in Lisbon at 8:15 a.m. I did not sleep well. I shared with an American student from Orange County, a circus performer from Canada and a retire pharmacist from Spain. I slept on the top bunk and my feet hung over by three feet or so…I do not know how they expect you to sleep on a train like that…
I checked in with Vanda Dias….she rented me a room. She is bright and very caring. She lives about twenty minutes from Lisbon. Although, I was very sleepy and tired, I ventured in and checked in some of the sites…I came across a young woman named, Vania. She is a student of nursing. We sat along the pier looking at the river and talked for two hours.
As I walked back into town, I came across a young man by the name of Ivan. I had asked him if he knew where their might be a large shopping mall where I could buy an electrical adapter for another electrical adapter (please do not ask me to explain). He not only pointed me in the direction of the store but he went with me to several stores until I found the adapter I needed. It took about an hour and a half. I was overwhelmed and humbled by the fact that someone would take that much time out of his day to help me. I did not know how to show my appreciation. I was in awe of this man. This adaptor would help me in recharging my battery for my camera,lap top and cellular phone…
On Tuesday, I left on the train to Sintra which is about twenty miles north-west of Lisbon, there I toured a castle and walked through some of the ancient city. I met many Americans on that small trip. One was a musician who was a native of Boston and a Red Sox fan….We had an enjoyable conversation until he mentioned baseball. I told him that I was a Dodger fan and he asked me what I thought of the Dodgers firing Paul De De Podesta. I asked him what he thought of George W. Bush of being granted the White House in 2000. He said come on, I am serious. I told him, so was I!
I told him that they both recruited to do a job who never had the qualifications to do and and furthermore, the final parties who hired them never had the experience (Frank McCourt and the United States Supreme Court) of recruiting and hiring people in those positions. Nevertheless, after a fall and early winter of panic and worry, it seems that the Dodgers have settled down at least for now….
Vanda and her friend Jose took me to Belem where the president resides. While our presidential residence is called the White House and it is white, the home for the prime minister is pink….that is right….pink! No they do not call it the pink house….Could you imagine? After walking along the river they took me to which is known the world over for their Pasteis de Belem. They were yummy…
I was told that during the 1920 war the clergy and members of the church were expelled from Portugal. Too survive the members made pastries and sold them.
We later went home and Vanda prepared a delicious supper of chicken, potatoes and vegetables.
The kindness of Vania,Ivan and Vanda (sounds like a law firm) leads me to one conclusion about the people of Portugal. They are humble, trusting and loving. That is so important to me. When you are traveling alone and have people open the doors to their house or walk with you UNTIL you get what you are looking for, well they are very special people.