Second day in Lisbon

Trip Start Sep 08, 2009
Trip End Nov 24, 2009

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Where I stayed
Hotel Residencial João XXI

Flag of Portugal  , Estremadura,
Tuesday, September 15, 2009

It was really nice to stay in a hotel last night. Comfortable, our own bathroom, a TV… (Andre is all into the U.S. Open tennis matches). It's the cheapest hotel we could find but it’s actually perfect. After breakfast this morning we ended up taking a morning nap because we were both really tired after the last few days I guess. So in the early afternoon we set out to the Oceanarium. It is by the ocean on the outskirts of town. It’s actually in a really high-tech district. Oh, and on our way to the metro station outside of our hotel we came across a man banging his fist against a parking meter as hard as he could. We immediately started laughing after what we’d witnessed in Madrid with the old man banging the phone into the payphone machine. This was way more intense though because the guy was angry in a scary way. When we got closer we realized he was probably homeless and had mental issues. Coins were actually coming out of the machine, which he must have been stoked about. He then walked ahead of us to the next meter and got more coins. We were actually kind of impressed because we thought that if he did that all day, he’d have a lot of money on his hands (and perhaps a broken hand).

When we got to the Oceanarium, we had lunch at a café outside the building (officially the best food I’ve had on this trip yet and it was just a tomato and mozzarella sandwich! The food in Spain was bad compared to what we’ve had in Portugal so far).  We then went inside the Oceanarium to see all the cool sea creatures. We ended up spending hours in there! It was such a cool aquarium. We were mesmerized by the big tank with the sharks, fish, and sting rays. The pictures may explain it.

We took a metro back into the main part of downtown Lisbon and set out on a mission to get to Sao Jorge Castelo (St. George’s Castle). We could see it high above the city from where we were walking so we just started walking up. And up. And up. Through cobble stone streets, residential areas, long flights of stairs, etc… The sun was setting so we started hurrying as fast as we could go upwards so we could make it into the castle before closing time. We had to ask a couple locals for directions because once we got to a certain point, we couldn’t see the castle from behind all the other buildings so even though we knew it was further up, we couldn’t tell which direction we were heading anymore. Two Portuguese girls pointed us in the right direction and then we finally made it. The castle was built in the 10th century and had a bunch of security features for that day and age. We crossed the draw bridge over the mote then wandered around inside. It was really big and definitely a really cool castle ruin. There were look out points way up high that we climbed treacherous stairs up to, and got to see a really cool view of the city and the ocean.

When we got whistled at (by a real whistle) at closing time, we wandered down a winding road back to the main part of town. We ended up stumbling across the Lisbon Cathedral (the oldest building in Lisbon) and took a few pictures of the outside since visiting hours were over. We got to Rossio Square (a main area in the town) and went into the train station to check on times and the cost for our day trip to Sintra. We then wandered around some more, looking at the cool shops, restaurants, and all sorts of foreign people. That area is a big hotel district so there were a bunch of tourists everywhere. One thing we noticed while doing all the walking today and yesterday is that every sidewalk in Lisbon is the same- they’re all made up of little cobblestones. We were wondering if it was possible to wear stiletto heels and not either break your ankle or heel of your shoe. Thinking back, we have not seen one woman wearing stiletto heels here yet- they’ve all been platforms, wedges, or flats. Another thing we’ve noticed over the past few days is that so many women wear white pants and white shirts- it’s mostly younger girls. Apparently white is a fad right now.  Also, we’ve noticed that you can see a lot of peoples’ bras right through their shirts. Perhaps that’s a style as well? It just gets weird when we see older women with their bras showing through their shirts. We both cracked up laughing yesterday when we passed a woman wearing a thin, tight, tight white shirt with her money belt showing right through it and her pants obviously hiked way up high. It was so weird looking. Her husband was just walking alongside her not seeming to care. Or maybe he’s just had to get used to it. I don’t know.

We took the metro back to our hotel (before getting some dinner to take home for only 2 euros) and that is where we are now. Andre is watching the Federer vs. Del Potro tennis match (I just saw Gwen Stefani and Gavin Rossdale in the audience!) and I am picking pictures for our blog and writing it of course. We still need to decide whether we’re going on a day trip to Sintra, Portugal tomorrow then heading on to Seville, Spain tomorrow evening or if we want to spend another day in Lisbon and then push everything else back a day. I have a feeling we’ll spend another day in Lisbon because we both really like it a lot. It’s been our favorite place so far. The people here seem really friendly and helpful (and speak really good English), the streets and subways seem much safer, and there is more that we want to do here. We’ll see though… it all depends on whether we can get another night or two in this hotel and the train schedule and stuff like that. All for now!


Hello everyone! The aquarium was great; it was huge and it’s in this new-looking part of Lisbon near the water (kind of like a little Puget Sound). I was excited to get to see a sun fish (or mola mola). It was huge and his face looked like a fat third grader. You get a really good feeling walking around all the different neighborhoods of Lisbon and we are gonna stay and explore some more. Hope everyone is doing well. I’m watching the U.S. Open Final right now hoping that Federer can pull it out.

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mdaa on

At least a ton, the info said they get up to 2 tons and 9 feet tall, this one was about 6 feet tall.

mdaa on

They can get up to 11 feet long and 2.2 tons in weight. This one wasn't that big, but still really large.

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