I’ve just got back from a trip to Lisbon, capital city of Portugal. Despite their economic problems and a ridiculously strong Euro (which is almost on par with sterling) I had a thoroughly enjoyable time, with many notable highlights.
Day one was spent largely at Lisbon Zoo. I’m not sure what they put in the feed there, but the animals were certainly more active than most zoos! I came face to face with a gurning chimp, the dolphin show was excellent, and one of the tigers walked right up for a perfect photo opportunity. I was also heartened to see human evolution represented very well, the primate house contained a great mural showing the relationships between us and the rest of the apes.
The rest of trip was spent on the usual tourist jaunts, including some spectacular views from the caste, Belem Tower and Jeronimos Monastery. Food wise, we got a great lunch deal at the Michelin-starred restaurant Tavares, complete with it’s stunning gilded dining room. We had a curry at a Goan place, and the authentic Portuguese fare was very good too. Egg custard tarts for breakfast accompanied by freshly squeezed orange juice and a proper black coffee is certainly something I could’ve gotten used to!
I was slightly surprised by the lack of woo in Lisbon. I couldn’t see any homeopathy in the pharmacies, and the closest I came to a dodgy advert was a flier advising meditation. However, I’m sure that homeopathy must be available in Portugal, otherwise we wouldn’t have seen a Lisbon element of the 10:23 campaign. Overall, Lisbon seemed pretty rational. In fact, I remember seeing a discussion on gynaecological problems on a morning chat show where Candida albicans (a yeast I used to study) got a mention. I’d love to see that on This Morning!
Of course, I couldn’t resist leaving the hotel without taking up the challenge of hiding the Bible. In case you are not aware, the idea is that some people don’t want Bibles in their hotel rooms. Taking it away with you is stealing, writing on it is vandalism, but one option available is hiding it. I placed it underneath the cushion of the chair, safely out of sight!
All in all, I thought Lisbon was a fantastic place, I had a great time, the people were friendly, and the climate lovely too. They also had a massive flag, which of course made my trip!
That flag is tiny. 😉