I remember being here in 2010 with Shana as we took the Vision across to the US. I remember comparing the colors of blue that our cameras recorded (she shoots with Nikon) of the water in the harbor and walking through the various backstreets past the funicular to see the painted doors. I have been here with others as well. It is obviously part of Portugal: the streets of patterned cobble stones are unique.
This morning I was up early, watching the lights on hills like strings of glittering golden beads in the predawn light. Don’t think it was all that early as sunrise wasn’t till close to 0800…
I waited a reasonable time before bailing off the ship: Today was a day for being an imitation mountain goat.
After leaving the port where we and one of the Aida ships were docked (sorry, but I find the painted lips and grin painted on the ships bordering on evil) and past the wall of emblems out onto the boardwalk toward the city.
It wasn’t all that far before I noticed the stairs leading up on the other side of the road. Stairs, yes, I have back my ability to do stairs no matter how much I whine and complain about everything else… Reaching the top, there is a blissfully quiet and sparsely attended park. I am sitting on a quiet bench in front of a pond which I am assuming is artificial as it is a couple hundred meters above the shore line with no obvious inflow or egress. There are swans, white along with several species of duck floating serenely inside the green painted wrought iron fence. It is quiet. Except for the one drake who seems to feel it is his obligation to comment on everyone and everything in his surroundings. Additionally, there are a couple of white birds with sandpiper type legs and bills.
The ducks came for a visit. They were not pleased to find that I had brought them nothing. It did not at all suit their opinion of what they deserved. After a bit of squawking and a peck at my shoes they left me in disgust.
I spent a few hours walking around town before settling in for a coffee and attempt at Wifi. Then it will be a slow hike back to the ship.
Did you stay late enough to see the Christmas lights? To savor blackfish with baked banana in an open air restaurant while being serenaded by an exquisite guitarist doing a die-for-good “Killing me softly”?