“We turn right, don’t we?” I yell above the wind and rain to my husband who is pushing ahead uphill. We must have climbed at least six of this city’s legendary seven hills over the past hour.
“No. We keep on this street!” he yells back over his shoulder so I cannot really be sure he said what he said.
Eventually we huddle under two dripping umbrellas, trying to untangle a wet paper map that threatens to blow away. “I think we’re lost,” he says.
When we read in a guide book that the best way to get to know Lisbon is to get lost, we begrudgingly agree.
Welcome (bem vinda) to Lisbon, Portugal, whose historical centre boasts a thousand wrought iron balconies, narrow cobblestone streets and steep hills that take the place of gym cardio equipment. We are exhausted and we’ve arrived only yesterday.
I am laughing hysterically and I don’t know why.
It takes two days before we sort out the cellphone mess.
Our next challenge is banking. We can’t understand why the ATM allows only a withdrawal of 10 or 20 Euros. Frustrated, we approach a banking attendant who explains in English: the cash is dispensed only in 10 or 20 euro denominations.
Around the corner, we discover a local Portuguese bistro with good wine---a fraction of the cost in Canada--- serving splendid meals of carne and marisco prepared in dozens of traditional ways.
So welcome to Lisbon....more to come.