The first time I met Maria her happy energy carried our group through the longest bus ride of my life, twelve hours touring the North of Scotland. The second time was a few days ago when I arrived to Portugal with plans to meet her for a coffee and she gave so much more, walking a distance and talking in depth. The third time even though she caught a cold she showed up with her husband and drove us around for eight hours!
Jacinto helped me learn how to take the fish from the bone. Eating fish in this way is earning what you eat! All my life my dad has prepared fish in fillets. I will say that the smaller fish, sardines, with the most bones were the tastiest! They treated me to Flan since I could not stop talking about it after seeing it in the display. It was the best I ever had, and I've had a lot of flan. :) A lot. No really, A LOT.
So this is what it looks like on the other side of the bridge with boats to row and beaches to sink toes into white sand.
A similar statue to Christ the Redeemer of Corcovado in Rio de Janeiro faces Lisbon and a similar bridge to the Golden Gate Bridge of San Francisco.
Today it is overcast and we do not get to see the distance Maria hoped. In fact, it begins to pour rain! We hide under the hand of Christ until even this does not protect us. All three of us are drenched, but Portugal is warm enough that we dry over the length of the day.
Maria likes the museums and Jacinto likes the gardens. So, when I return they tell me that they can each take me to these parts. If there is motivation to learn the Portuguese language it is to better speak to my new friends. I feel I can not tell them my full gratitude with the English language alone.
It is time for a second round of desserts! Pasties de Belem. I tell them I am so happy that I am not staying next to this place or I would be here every single day! For now we each enjoy only one helping with espresso.
A tram covered in Festival decorations..sardines.
At the end of our day together Maria still has to go home and cook dinner for her boys, rather her young men. I get to climb into my cozy bed at Rossio Hostel. This place has class and comfort. I recommend it for anyone, really I think it would suit all crowds.
The views from the windows are nice. It's walking distance from all that is good. I only booked two nights, off to my final hostel of Lisboa in the morning. Three days left! Three in the morning...good night for now. When I put my head on the pillow I think of all the people that have blessed my life during these travels, if you are one of them...I thank you, I thank you! Tomorrow is a new day. I welcome it, always.