I woke up a bit sick but it's probably just the constant rushing around in the last few days. After 2 more days I will be settled in Segovia for work and I will have a private cushy hotel room and my own bathroom. Travel luxuries by my usual standards.
I packed my bags and headed back to the airport to Lisbon. The airports here are so lax. No shoe or coat removal, and they don't assign you a gate until hour or less before your flight. Instead they guide you to the duty free shop.
Once on board I was happy within empty seat next to me and I was asleep before we even took off. I woke up only when they announced we had landed. I really will sleep almost anywhere but especially planes.
I found my hostel pretty easily and talked to the girl working there about sightseeing ideas.
I started at one of the pasteleries. They are ubiquitous here, with dozens of kinds of breads and pastries of all varieties for good prices.I had to try the famous egg custard tarts I had heard so much about. They lived up to the hype, slightly sweet, creamy, with dark blistered tops.
I wandered around until I found some type of food festival with food tents, sangria stands, sellers of olive oil, soaps, wine, charcuterie and more.
I tried the red sangria, then found a new stand to try the white. I joined an old man at a table to eat pastries and drink my sangria. I gave him one of my tarts and in exchange he aimlessly hounded me through a combination of mime and hand signals and mumbled Portuguese about my marital status. By the time the tarts were gone we were either engaged or he figured no one would marry me, that or he thinks my husband misplaced me. Old people love to ask me about my lack of husband for some reason. I am not that old!
Eventually i left my old friend behind in search of the 28 tram. Everyone says you have to ride the 28 tram to truly experience Lisbon. Not worth the hype! It took an hour for the trAm to come, 15 minutes late, it only fit 25 of the 70 people waiting in line and when I finally did get on the view was mostly of shops, graffiti, and tram lines. Theatre driver stopped after nearly an hour and kicked us all off in the middle of nowhere.
I tried to take a metro back but was so far out that there was no metro! Eventually I caught another tram back just in time to leave for my cooking class.
The map to the cooking school was terrible and I get lost even undertake best of circumstances this was bad.I stopped to ask for directions 9 times! One guy sent me in the opposite direction!
I arrived a half hour late but I finally made it with an elderly Portuguese mechanic practically holding my hand to show me the way.
The class was amazing. Just me, a motherland daughter from Bristol, England, the owner Luis and the chef instructor Andre.
Our 4 courses included blistered chorizo, bachalau (salted cod) with potato flake and black olives, red pepper pork and patatas bravas with pickled veggies and a custard meringue with cinnamon. Plus bottle after bottle of local wine, port the l8cal spirit Gingja and coffee.
The class lasted 4.5 hours and both the food and conversation were wonderful. The chef and owner were really interesting to talk with.
I tried to metro home but for some reason the station gates were locked so I took a cab and talked to the really nice driver who gave me some tips for my trip to Sinatra tomorrow.
After a quick shower it will be off to bed. I hope I get new roommates tomorrow but I doubt it. These ones don't speak English so they completely ignore me. They don't even return smiles or greetings.