Tuesday, August 2, 2011

European Adventure, Part 3: Lea and Carter Discover Lisbon

Carter and Lea explored Lisbon for two days while Erik participated in work-related stuff that Carter deemed "boring." The first day, he, Lea, Saadia and Sophia spent a morning exploring the Oceanario, Lisbon's aquarium, which was quite impressive. Adventures ensued.

Above, Carter and Sophia have a laugh after lunch along the Tagus. Following lunch, they took the recommendation of the locals to ride a tram around town. After waiting a long time to pick it up, they finally got on board. After one stop, everyone was ordered off since it was the end of the line. They returned to the trolley as it re-started the route, and jammed into marshrutka-like conditions, they lurched about town, braking and accelerating, going down roads so narrow that pedestrians could not fit alongside, and even colliding with a car. Once they realized they were only going farther and farther from the hotel, they exited the tram and tried to figure out how to get back to familiar terrain.

En route to the hotel, which turned out to be close at hand, they found a lovely park filled with giant aloe plants.

The next day, Carter and Lea struck out on their own. In the morning, they decided to climb the hill at Eduardo VII Park, a grand area near the hotel. It was a nostalgic trip since the park shared characteristics with others they visited in the former Soviet Union. At the top was a sweeping view of the city, with the castle on the left and the river below.

Following their stroll through the park, Lea and Carter decided to go to the botanical gardens. Despite map directions that seemed clear, they kept running into walls surrounding the garden (and no entrance). They surrendered and stopped to get a bite to eat at an outdoor cafe. They learned that the garden entrance was a mere 50 meters away. Carter was entranced by the gardens, truly enjoying the palm (not) trees and rare trees from all over the world. [Carter was fascinated by the fact that palm trees are herbs, not trees.]

After wandering among the trees until the end of Erik's workday, the whole family met to eat pastries at the banks of the Tagus River.

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