Last year, in October, we went to Malta with friends, four other couples and us, the husbands of which all lived at the Pierwige when they were in engineering school. I lived at the Pierwige when I spent my first semester abroad in the Spring of 1970. This year, one of the couples was unable to join the rest of us, so there were only four couples all together, two from Paris and two from Biarritz. There wasn't so much catching up to do, since we did a lot of that last year. We only had one year to go over, which was enough to keep the conversation going for the whole week.
The Parisians arrived in Porto in time for lunch, which was excellent. The bonus was warm sunshine. (I had spend a month in and out of a really bad cold -- maybe it was two very similar colds close together. I ended up with a touch of pneumonia symptoms and the doctor had me come into the office the day before departure to check that the medication was working and the lungs were clear, so that I could go. We had already cancelled our trip to England at the beginning of the month for Constance's birthday.) Anyway, I enjoyed my fish and Paul had his first cod dish. Portugal is known for cooking salt-cured codfish in every possible way and he was determined to have his dose of cod. After lunch and a rest, we all set out to discover the city a bit.
azulejos, the tiles that cover most buildings, but on churches they are blue, generally, and tell a story. This gave us an overview of the city before the others' flight arrived. They got the to the hotel just as we were settling in for a cup of coffee. Once they got registered and the baggage was up in their rooms, we set out on foot. (A word about the hotel -- the Hotel Infante Sagres -- we were all happy with it. I forgot to mention, in my review, that if you opened the windows, it was noisy at night because of the clubs nearby, but if you used the air conditioning, it was OK.)
After the visit inside the church, we headed downhill into the city and we ended up going down and down and down until getting back to the hotel meant a climb back up. Dinner at the restaurant next to the hotel with our 10% discount coupons -- even with the discount, this was the most disappointing and expensive meal of the trip.
Wednesday and Thursday, we spent walking around Porto and more sightseeing. Friday, we took taxis to the right train station for our trip to Lisbon.
|Rainy day in Belem|
We had good meals. Unfortunately, we missed the art museum, just steps from the hotel, because when we decided to do a little museum visiting, Monday, it was the day they were shut, so we finally took the "hop on, hop off" tour that gave us a better overview of the city.
It seems to me that there was so much in Lisbon, that I have less to say than for Porto. I think I enjoyed Porto more. I need to go back and take a real look.