What do you do when in Europe and you have a few days spare? You realize that from France, you can go anywhere, so why not go to Lisbon? I’ve been traveling all day to get here but I’m hoping it will be worth it.
Started with a very sad goodbye to Colleen and her lovely family who have bent themselves backwards to show me their beautiful part of the country, and although I felt part of the furniture, I really thought it was time to go so they could have a rest and my body could have respite from all the French cheeses and wines consumed over the past week. Poor little pussy is going to miss me I think
So here I go again! More adventure!
The train was pretty boring but my day lightened up when the bus driver carefully plucked her way down the stairs on her stiletto heels, being careful not to knock her big hair on the doorway or break a nail whilst opening the hold underneath for my bag. I spent the whole trip studying her reflection in the mirror! How odd! But this was France!
When I got to the airport, I was too early to check my bag, so I wandered over (shock,horror oh mon dieu!) to STARBUCKS, but was thoroughly entertained by the greedy little sparrows wanting to share my muffin. Thought to myself I may have to rename this place ‘Birdeaux’!
Anyway, I filled in time people -watching, very aware of the soldiers patrolling with their bullet proof vests, piercing eyes, and rifles at the ready. It made me feel a little uneasy. Then look what I found….I went through security checks and when our flight was announced, we were all herded into another room, and crammed in like sardines to wait for our flight. It was very strange. I momentarily had the thought of what it must have been like in the holocaust being herded like cattle on the way to market, not knowing what to expect. We were yelled at and ordered around by angry officious airline staff who were obviously sick of their jobs. The air grew stale and it was most uncomfortable.
Suddenly the doors opened, sunlight poured in and we were freed like hens being let out of the coop. That was the strangest experience I have ever had at an airport!
So the flight was ok but how I miss the handsome taxi driver!!!!!! To transport my sticks, umbrella, backpack and ‘after clothes’, I bought a large cheap suitcase which encloses it all in one space. It’s a bit heavy. I struggled out to get a taxi rather than the bus and had to wait in a queue a mile long for about 40 minutes!
Along came Jesus….yes another one, with his happy smile, big happy eyes and an attitude to match. He couldn’t speak much English so once again, I communicated in French! Everyone in Portugal seems to speak French! Why? I learned he used to be a policeman, that he lived in Paris for 3 years, that he has a wife and kids, and that, according to him,Lisbon is the No 1 tourist destination of Europe.
He took off like roadrunner, wheels spinning and engine roaring, leaving the waiting crowds behind like a speck in the distance. No seatbelt (but I put mine on), he skillfully weaved his way through the traffic in a kamikaze like fashion and I had my eyes closed for much of the trip after I noticed he was going 140 kph. I tried to concentrate on what he was saying but I didn’t want to talk too much because every time he spoke, he gesticulated wildly with both hands off the wheel.
I arrived safely, he kissed me on both cheeks and I went inside to recover. Thank you Jesus!