I call it Lisbon, they call it Lisboa

Before going to our artist residence in Mertola Portugal we spent a week in Lisbon. We rented an apartment from AirB&b for a week. You get what you pay for. The apartment was too small for 3 people (a friend of Anita’s joined us there). It looked bigger in the pictures (our fault, we both wear glasses and are myopic) The apartment was advertised as “Centrally Located” — code word bars (one on every corner) they open at 10 p.m. and all the people talked, drank and smoked outside until until 4 a.m. close. Of course all this is our fault, we went to Lisbon in the month of August when most of Europe takes their holiday. Tourist, like marauding Huns, crowded all restaurants, streets, buses and historical attractions.
Streets throughout Portugal are named many times for doctors. Don’t know why, but they are.

The Portuguese people are a gregarious bunch, they are loud talkers and you never know if they are mad at each other or just talking loudly. So far they are the loudest talkers in Europe, but we have not visited Italy and any other eastern European countries. I’ll get back to you on the loudest. The fastest talkers are still the Dutch.
Wine in Portugal, like France, is cheap. The other day I went into a small grocery store with two shelves of wine and bought the most expensive bottle of red wine I could find —$3.25 Euros. Never complain about high gas prices. Regular gas in Portugal is $1.75 Euros a liter (1 Euro = $1.28 US, approximately 4 liters to a gallon, you do the math)
There is a bridge in Lisbon (see the photos) constructed like the Golden Gate in S.F.
We took on several occasions the infamous tram car #28, that clangs, rolls, bangs, up and down, screeching around corners with metal wheels, throughout much of Lisbon, very reminiscent of the SF cable cars.

If you come to Portugal expect to eat, in all its forms, salted codfish, somewhere, sometime. Also the sardine is the national fish and they eat it on most festive occasions. I am not a fan of a food that I have to pick bones from my mouth.
Another international export is Fado music. Kind of like Portuguese blues. Songs are all about lost loves, failed romances, tragic deaths, wasted days and wasted night. One can go to Youtube to hear this Portuguese unique music. We visited a not too good Fado bar one evening.

We took the “hop off, hop on” double-decker bus around Lisbon/Lisboa for two days and would recommend it. See pictures of some of the sights. We  went to the modern art museum and saw an eclectic show of modern art. We also went to the aquarium and sea otters have to be the cutest animal on earth.
I have made a lot of comments on the pictures we took this time.
Hope all is well with our friends at Lake Chapala, where the weather is perfect, the margaritas cold and the kids don’t ask for money.

Micahel and Anita

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