Friday, May 6, 2016

Lisbon, Portugal

From Salema we drove north.  We were all excited that our drive was only about 3 1/2 hours to reach Portugal's capital, Lisbon.  I hate to say it, but we've only been one place that I would not care to go back to and that is Lisbon.  It was dirty, hard to get around in, horrible food, and worst of all, not terribly interesting.  They do have a bridge that looks like the Golden Gate of San Francisco, and a statue of Christ that mimics Rio de Janeiro's Christ the Redeemer. These only made it feel as if Lisbon was trying to be like the other cool kids, but just didn't have it in it to pull it off.  They did have one nice park that we spent a lot of time in.  Luckily we could walk to it from our apartment 

We were also fortunate to be able to walk to the local LDS congregation.  It was a lovely walk through one of the oldest residential areas in the city and I did have to admire all the colorful tile on the outside of buildings.  The blue design on the apartments behind Max were there from colored tiles that cover the facade like a shower stall.  The small ward met in a converted apartment building, so the bathroom was complete with a tub, and in true Lisbon fashion, floor to ceiling decorative tile.  Although we've been to several small congregations during our travels this was the first that literally had next to no young people.  One 3 year old in primary, and one lonely soul in the youth program.

The most interesting thing we found was the Oeanarium, Europe's largest indoor aquarium.  The main attraction is a massive central tank holding more than 5 million liters of water and four different marine habitats that seemingly blend together giving the illusion of one ocean with a impressive variety of species.  It was mesmerizing, and we soaked it in for hours.

After that we visited the main square, beautiful, but had absolutely nothing going on.  We ate some really crummy food, which was probably just due to a bad restaurant choice.  But when the time came to be on our way we were more than happy to bid Lisbon farewell.

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