Lisbon Day 2

Chris woke up around 6:30am, worked and resisted eating breakfast until everyone else awoke around 9am. Breakfast was very delicious: fresh bread (still warm), yogurt with pineapple, mango juice, Portuguese milk (which is what Everett calls it), sliced cheese (something similar to Romano, but softer and not nearly as sharp), granola and chocolate bread loaf. After that we fought with Everett for about 30 minutes to get him to try to pee. We have seen him hold it for over 14 hours, as he did again last night, but we knew he had to go and bathrooms can be hard to find in Europe. We walked to the Praça do Comércio where Everett chased pigeons for a while. He also wiped out on the marble, which was wet and click from pretty heavy rain the night before. We got on the Metro to São Sebãstio to visit the Gulbenkian Museum, which has two distinguishing features. First, it’s one of the best museums in Portugal. Second, it was once someone’s private art collection, which is hard to believe once you have been through it. Everett was excited about about seeing it because they have several illuminated texts in their permanent collection, which he learned about from The Secret of Kells, one of his recent favorite movies. Afterward we walked through the gardens that surround the museum. Everett collected acorns and detritus from a tree that sheds its bark.

On the way home we took the Metro to Restauradores and immediately after exiting we walked by a funicular. A quick investigation revealed that our unlimited transit cards worked to ride it, so we hopped on and ended up near Jardim de São Pedro de Alcântara – Jardim António Nobre with a great view of the Castelo and Baixa, our neighborhood beneath it. At the start of the funicular ride back down the hill the conductor summoned Everett into the driver’s area and instructed him to stomp on a small button on the floor. Everett looked a bit mystified but did it anyway, which caused the bells to ring and we were off. At the bottom of the hill was a huge tourist information office, complete with a room of full of couches and a gift shop. Melissa walked up to the counter and asked if she could have a schedule and/or map for the transit system. “Impossible!” was the answer, followed by “Tell us where you want to go and we will tell you how to get there.” This clearly supports Chris’ theory that the bus/trolley schedules are like The Knowledge. If you live here, you just know. And if you don’t then you don’t.

In the afternoon we walked to Praça do Comércio to listen to some live music and have some outside time. Then we returned home and walked to a tiny restaurant around the corner from our apartment for dinner. Everett has taken an interest recently in beer bubbles. Where do they come from? How do they get in there? As we walked home from dinner he said “Let’s talk about carbon dioxide and beer.”

After dinner Chris went into the wine store directly under our apartment, which is at an intersection with wine stores on three corners. In addition to many varieties of Port, they had a table of some very aged Portuguese wines on sale. We bought one bottle of Gão Vasco 1975 and one Frei Joáo 1980. If these turn out to be good wines then we might start to flaunt it, the way David Sedaris does in his elaborate inner fantasy life. “We were in our summer home in Lisbon, and to celebrate we decided to open a bottle of Gao Vasco, one of the older vintages. 1975 was a very good year in that region.” And if it doesn’t work out then we probably won’t bring it up. We think the odds are heavily in favor of the latter.

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