April, 2014

April 30 – – Day in Lisbon

The highlight of the day was going to the Cathedral to get my stamp for the credenciales, then climbing up to the Moorish Castle overlooking Lisbon and the Tagus River. On the way we saw a tree that looked about 2000 years old–knurled and trimmed back for ages to leave room for the road. Had a treat afterwards: a local sweet custard tart called pastel de nata (nata for short). Check out these pics:

20140430-215314.jpg

20140430-215340.jpg

20140430-215409.jpg

20140430-215442.jpg

20140430-215513.jpg

April 29 Excursion to Sintra

Here we are in Sintra rooted in Moorish history. Twenty miles west of Lisbon, Sintra is a gem full of tourists all climbing up and down the steep streets with colorful shops and restaurants. Our highlight was a ride up to and exploring the Moorish Castle, which has breathtaking views of the city below including the National Palace of Portugal below (the two spires are the kitchen vents–only one spire can be seen in the picture)

Check out these pics:

20140429-160410.jpg

20140429-160441.jpg

20140429-160521.jpg

April 28 More on gas prices

Here you have gas prices in Euros per liter, which translates to $7.25 per gallon!’!!!!!!!!! WOW

20140428-233818.jpg

April 28–Addendum

Had a fantastic meal tonight at a place where Jean knew the chef. I asked what the best cooking style for bacalao ( heavily salt cured cod). He recommended a la Portuguese.
Results below:

20140428-231140.jpg

20140428-231154.jpg

April 28 Lisbon

Enjoyed a full day of touring by myself on the Yellow Bus Tour. It steeped me into the rich Lisbon history most notably its Age of Discovery and the HUGE 1755 earthquake that nearly destroyed everything (85%). All was rebuilt using more modern techniques rather than rebuilding a medieval city.

On the more modern side, there’s evidence everywhere of their 40th anniversary celebration last Friday of reestablishing democracy after Salazar’s failed “Estado Novo.”

Great weather!!

Apr 27, 2014 Arrival in Lisbon

After a 10-hour layover in Newark, the plane took off on Saturday the 26th. Seats were unbelievably narrow and had minimal leg room–tightest seat arrangement I’ve ever experienced. TAP was the carrier for United.

Arrived the 27th and made my way to our hotel in the heart of Lisbon, our base we’ll be using until the 2nd of May when we’ll start our walk. Met Jean and his lovely wife Carmen at the hotel. Then took her back out to the airport for her return flight to Barcelona. Waiting for her plane consumed nearly 5 hrs, after which some fun sight seeing began.

Here are some pics of the day: major Business Square, entrance to the square, steep cable car ride, view of castle, and Kurt with statue of Fernando Pessoa, the poet.

Am crashing after a long, but exciting day!

20140428-011946.jpg

20140428-012044.jpg

20140428-012120.jpg

20140428-012146.jpg

20140428-012206.jpg

D-Day Leaving for Portugal at Midnight April 25th

The first leg of the trip to Lisbon was tiresome, but not nearly as much as I would become two days later before getting to sleep in a real bed. Here’s a stunning sunrise Saturday morning just before landing at Newark.

D-7 Getting Close to Leaving for the Portuguese Comino

Relaxed today–only 8 mi (13 km) after a killer day yesterday. Visited our neighbor Sherri, in a Rehab Center now for over 2 years. I keep hoping she’ll get the strength and I keep trying to inspire her to get well, but no success.

D-8 Training for Portuguese Camino

Today’s 13.7 miles (22 km) were a killer, which means I’m getting close to where I want to be. The walk took me down to the Ventura Harbor. On the way I saw a bit of Nietschean humor– check out these BMW license plates. On further, celery was frantically harvested to make the Easter dinner table. And field workers down the road wasted no time loading flats of strawberries onto trucks. Their hard work motivated me to pick up my pace.

20140417-181817.jpg

D-12 Training for the Portuguese Camino

Today’s 10-mile walk from the house took me past the Olivas Adobe, an estate once part of the San Buenaventura Mission that after secularization in 1834 ended up in the hands of faithful military servants the Olivas family who had 21 children at this residence. It’s the only adobe in the area and quite a place to visit. They had the annual family day today. Afterwards I passed by the Ventura Marina and went on to the Ventura Harbor. Check out the pics.

20140413-201652.jpg