People are strange when you're a stranger

Trip Start May 31, 2007
Trip End Jun 10, 2007

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Flag of Portugal  ,
Sunday, June 3, 2007

    Back in the day, GGL Byron noted that "Sintra is probably the most beautiful town in the whole world."  (Thus reported the brochure from the also said "Watch out! There are magic lakes nearby".)  We decided to check the veracity of these statements for ourselves.  Anyway, Lisbon wasn't that great and a day trip seemed a good idea.
     A short train ride from Lisbon found us wandering around hilly Sintra.  From the charming main part of town we could see castles perched on the mountain top.  In Portugal, Sintra was always the place for royalty and is now cluttered with many of these fairy-tale like abodes.  We climbed up and up until we reached the entrance for an 8th century Moorish castle.  From there we clambered around on the ruins and finally over to a wall: a miniature Great Wall.  The day was hazy, but still we could see vast expanses of countryside before us.
     On our way down we encountered a group of middle-aged women; one of whom had deemed the day warm enough to take off her shirt and, bra clad, let an enormous belly have its freedom.  And, further down, we passed a cottage in which Lewis Carroll had vacationed.
     Quite famished, we decided to follow the Let's Go! restaurant recommendation.  There were several options for main dish and I chose the local specialty, which turned out to be very salty, nondescript meat surrounded by very salty, nondescript potatoes.  Mmm...salt.  At the end of the meal we had coffee: a syrup shot, really.
     Back in Lisbon, Sneeze went in search of jewelry and I for a net bar.  In the net bar a guy postulated the greatness of Jim Morrison and "Light My Fire".  The night before our waiter had complemented me on the shirt and talked about how much he liked The Doors.  I began to wonder if this was to be a trend throughout the trip.
     Later that evening we made our way to the long-distance bus station.  We read as we waited, Sneeze with her legs propped up on her suitcase, shoes off.  Suddenly a man was right in front of us, tickling her foot!  It all happened so quickly: the extended hand to her foot, the strange and high-pitched giggle...followed by our dumbfounded-ness.  We thought, "what a strange man"...especially considering the revolting blackness of the bottoms of her feet.
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