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Published: October 13th 2004
So I´m in Lisbon and I could not be happier. The plane ride was easy enough and I was fortunate to see one of those wonderful fast-forward sunrises one only experiences while traveling directly East at 600 mph. Approaching Lisbon, we flew right over the south-westernly most tip of Europe and I was able to pick out each city along the coast until we got to Lisbon itself. The best part, however, was the bus ride from the airport. I unintentionaly sat next to two French girls, Elodie and Marie-Laure, having never really talked to a French girl, I was delighted to find it very easy to strike up a conversation immediately. By the time we reached the hostel, we were friends... and.... get ready... Maurie-Laure said I spoke excellent French. This may seem trivial, but if you know the French, the difficulties involved with speaking a foreign language, and the immense amount of time I spent preparing for that vary encounter, you know this is quite an accomplishment.
I roamed the city all day and ended the evening with an incredable sunset from the top of Castello Sao Jorge. I was reminded rather accutely that there´s something about European cities that no American city can match. Its the way a city, after being destoryed and rebuilt dozens of times over dozen of centuries always has a life that no city designed correctly from the begining can ever match. It also reminded me that my fondness for ancient castle has nothing to do with castles and everything to do with the hilltops on which they sit.
Portugal is wonderful, more mellow than Spain, but very aimiable. My thoughts however lie with Morocco and the Sahara. I´m tempted to go immediately across the Mediterranean, but I know I´ll regret not tasting Portugal if I do.
And I say tasting, in the literal sense. The food here is phenomenol and super super cheap. I intend on eating alot of it. Well anyway, I´m off to bed.. or maybe I´m off to find some other travellers and go out partying. We´ll see.
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