Lisbon, Portugal Saturday November 19, 2016

After blue, sunny skies since I arrived in Lisbon, yesterday morning was overcast and gloomy, and by mid-afternoon it had started raining. I hope the weather is good in Faro the next few days, because I am headed there on the train this afternoon. However, the forecast for Faro is not promising: Rain today and showers tomorrow. It looks as if I will have a wet walk from the train station to the youth hostel this evening.

Speaking (or rather writing) of hostels, here’s a picture of some of us sitting in the small kitchen at the Loft private hostel in Lisbon. Well, I’m not in the picture, because I’m behind the camera. The woman standing in the doorway is from the country of Georgia; the woman seated next to her with a cup raised to her lips is from Colorado in the USA; the woman in the foreground with the long, black hair is from Montreal, and the woman with her chin cupped in her hand is Stacy from Australia. Later we were joined by two Brazilians, a Hungarian, and a Scott.

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Despite the cramped quarters, I like staying in hostels, because I get to meet so many interesting people from all over the world. If I were staying in a hotel, I would be alone in my room in the evening instead of exchanging lies about our various countries with people from all over the world.

One thing I regret about this visit to Portugal is that almost everyone in this country seems to speak English well. I would like the chance to improve the basic Portuguese that I have learned so far, but the opportunity seldom happens.

Below is a picture of one of the bathrooms. If you’re wondering what that low, sink-like contraption is between the toilet and the sink, it’s a bidet, pronounced bee-DAY. It’s used to clean your nether regions after you go to the bathroom. I have read that modern, high-tech toilets have electronic bidets built into them. After you have finished doing your business, you remain seated on the throne, and the automatic bidet washes and dries your private parts for you. I am not so sure that I would like to go through that experience.

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That is enough potty talk for this blog entry. I did walk around town yesterday, but I didn’t take many photos. The ramparts up on the hill in the following picture belong to the Castilo de São Jorge or Saint George’s castle. I couldn’t get a picture of it without a crane intruding. There is so much construction going on in the old part of Lisbon that it is difficult to avoid it.

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For those who think that there are absolutely no gun “rights” in Europe, below is a photo of a storefront where guns and ammo are  sold. However, unlike the United States, where guns are sold with the idea that they may someday be used to shot a person, guns are still used in Portugal the way they were used in Pennsylvania when I was a kid, for hunting.

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