Feliz Natal.

Trip Start Apr 10, 2010
Trip End Apr 10, 2011

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Flag of Portugal  , Estremadura,
Saturday, December 25, 2010

We woke up 30km in the wrong direction as Mary had had one of her "episodes" so a little backtracking was in order to get to the 'Most romantic castle town in Portugal' :Obidos (or “Obidosh”)
It was Christmas eve, and very cold. We made short work of the little town with it’s nick-knack shops and had become determined to visit the Christmas themed festival on Xmas day as you needed to buy tickets to get in because it is in the main castle courtyard. So we spent most of that evening up on the castle walls which you could walk right the way around the town. Although very carefully as one side of the wall platform ended in a sheer 10m drop without a rail.

We had arranged to skype home at our midnight (their Xmas morning) and had chosen an awesome place on one of the castle towers as they had town-wide wifi.
But when we were there it had started raining again, and was downright freezing.
So eventually we resorted to skype in the street under a door arch. It worked for about 20 seconds before it failed, perhaps from being overloaded. But either way, a botched attempt.

Joel caned his back in the Bigwig festivities which also made the night a bit interesting but Jena had made an amazing Christmas dinner for two, including a small bottle of champagne we had been saving from our time in Lichtenstein. Jena had also bought Joel a sneaky Xmas present too: A little green hippy flute, which she sneakily bought while he was in the WC.

The morning of Christmas day was rainy and our little park outside the walls was really struggling to wifi and skype. But Jena’s relentless trying, bought us several good minutes of contact.

Later that evening we wandered into the Christmas festival “Vila Natal!”
We were excited to go ice-skating, but the rain had demolished the ice so we had to resort to rocking the big ice slide and going to the Christmas magic show.
The show certainly was no Steve Wyrick, and the fact that we didn’t understand Portuguese didn’t help much either. But it was good fun, and the little girl down the isle was funny too, when she wept inconsolably when the wizard’s assistant was chopped up in the box. Hehe

Later we went to Santa’s Fun House. A place where you were shifted from room to room by big elves with the grand finale being the great meeting with Santa! The rooms leading up were awkward enough as we didn’t understand a thing, but when we finally got to Santa, no one wanted to see him. We were on some kind of timer, probably 15 minutes, and everyone avoided Santa by standing as far as they could, hard against the walls. He was pitifully beckoning people to come to him which made it more awkward (no music either) but despite the weirdness, we both hopped on the big man’s knee for a photo. Perhaps simply to cut the tension… Everyone rushed for the exit when they finally opened the door.

The evening finished with a traditional Portuguese fruit loaf, which was delicious but sadly was the size of a child’s fist.

Christmas day in Portugal has been so very bizarre, but admittedly, thoroughly enjoyable.
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