September 23, 2012

My dad and I took a long urban hike yesterday, beginning at the Castelo de San George (a castle! a real castle! with peacocks?) and then adventuring down through the Alfama, getting lost and found and lost again. We then walked through the Rossio and caught the Metro back up to the hotel, where we met my mom (who had spent the day shopping in the Baixa) and put our feet up for a bit. In the evening, we walked through the Parque das Nações, a modern promenade along the ocean east of the city, and settled on a nice pizza place for dinner (no, not traditional Portuguese fair, but one can only take so much fish). We spent dinner sharing observations about Portugal and our favorite moments from our time together, and then went back to the hotel to sleep.

I said goodbye to my parents this morning. Overall, this was a really great part of my trip. It was wonderful to be able to spend so much quality time with my parents (who I love dearly), and also to be able to drive through so much of the country and see amazing sights along the way.

I spent the day doing laundry, writing in my notebook, and researching Barcelona, leaving only for lunch at a nearby café and then for an evening adventure on an old wooden tram around the city. I stopped at the central square for dinner, and sat near the fountain people-watching and listening to live music. And then I walked back to the hotel. I could have taken the Metro, but it was a beautiful night, and I wanted to enjoy the scenery on my last night here.

Tomorrow: Barcelona!