portugal: torre de belém e marcostravel

September 25, 2009

--Thanks to the (maybe meanspirited?) People of Walmart site, many many more people now know the inexplicable video genius of RickyTic3

Photoblog of the Moment
A more lowkey day today, after all the hiking around I kind of needed it.

Pigeons in the park...

We went for a drive to Johnny's university, so she could hand in a revision of her veterinary thesis (she showed it to me, and the image of the post-surgery albino rat was... really something. Like a Zombie Rat from Beyond the Grave...) Anyway, I was surprised to see so much woodland so near Lisbon.

Johnny reports that these are hookers!

The view from the vet school was awesome, the river, the bridge...

...the monastery, I think she said.

Johnny reports many, many hours studying at this table.

Interesting Coke Light can.

But it can't all be Diet Coke cans - they have lovely trees as well!

Monument honoring a Portugal->Brazil plane trip.

Belém Tower was the main stop here, this excellent old sea fortification. ("Belém" is Bethlehem in Portuguese.) It used to have cannons and guarded the river.

Recognized the stone crest from the flag, I think...

Again just some neat stone work.

Reproduction of an old engraving of a rhinoceros.

I like the dark/light stone tiles. and the light in this one.

The funny thing was, there was only one skinny spiral staircase up and down, so groups of tourists had to form trains to withstand the trffic jams.

Pretty view up top.

Johnny's car is down there, along in the distance is a monument celebrating the Portuguese explorers and sense of exploration.

View down the other way.

The little turrets for people to sit and keep watch...

Hi there.

This was one of the best smelling monuments I've seen 'cause it smells like the beach. And I don't know all the words but who doesn't know the language of a heart written on sand?

Model of the place, for a different perspective.

Again, I dig this bridge-

It's so big, the trucks look so small on it.

Pink buildings-

Roadside graffiti-

More interestingly colored buildings.

Johnny outside her flat... at this point I'm getting ready to bid her a grateful adieu...

...waiting for Marcos outside the Telheiras Metro

My mom and I hosted Marcos for a year of AFS back in Cleveland, '91-'92. And somewhere along the way he became a very decent cook--

He grilled pork and beef and veggies on some electric grills outside.

His house, where he lives with Eliane and their two kids, in a neighborhood right by the top of the aquaduct and right under the planes, is very nifty, with a courtyard with a small pool. I'm standing on the guest bedroom, and in front of an office they're renovating- I'm so jealous they live in a place where you can sensibly have part of your house just open to the sky...

Handsome devil, Marcos.

We chatted pretty late, but we had a little help...

...in case you couldn't tell.

SPECIAL BONUS Alright, photos not taken by me, to placate "Secret Admirer" (and beause Johnny feels bad for vetoing the results of my attempt to get a "family portrait")

J.I.P., Hum-Hum (pronounced "Whom" but with the Hanukkah-style H), and Papoila--

Same beach we were at this week...

Papoila has an endearing habit of attempting to dig for Tibet when at the beach--

Botswanan roads are famous for having big potholes and big wildlife to avoid. There's a joke among South African overland drivers: if you see two eyes in the middle of the road while driving through Botswana at night, chances are it's a giraffe standing in a pothole.
--Conor Woodman "The Adventure Capitalist"