Finally the much awaited day at the Lisbon Zoo! As everybody loves animals the family grew thicker by the minute and eventually we were 10 people all running in different directions and curious of different things, thirsty and hungry at different times. Must say that the best moment was when the sea lion got it in his head to kiss Grandpa! This happened at the Delfinarium, where we were offered quite a decent show. Even the other program with the birds flying in the open was good. It was a hot day and the animals were lazy until the late afternoon. That was when the group started to split up. First it was Pedro and ML that disappeared, then David and Vótetta. A few minutes later we discovered they had not progressed further than to a McDonald’s inside the zoo.
We the others, went home and cooked spaghetti that according to Jonatan was the best meal, since arrival. After this Patricia and Helena went to bed so we went with Grandpa to the Estrela Park with a football. We played there for a long and intensive period until Grandpa blew the whistle and we all went home. It was 9 o’ clock.
We visited the nearby park, Jardim da Estrela. Then we went off again to Vótetta who showed us, (Jonatan and Grandpa), Paço de Arcos city! Jonatan, who by this time still hasn’t learnt Portuguese, wondered what we were searching for. Then off we went! Sporting’s first home match for the season… The opponents were Lyon with Kim Källström.
A nice experience, with a big crowd and where Sporting presented all their players for the fans. Sporting also won the match 2-0. Kim had to be carried out on a stretcher. Grandpa had to change his place, as a nervous old boy, chain smoked next to him. In Portugal people seem to still think that if the match is played outdoors it should be allowed to smoke. Besides, they believe, that they cannot survive a whole match without a smoke. Well, well… We’ll see… we got out of the stadium rather fast and smoothly even though we reckon there were some 35000 people there.
We children were up late, laughing and talking. For Liv it is her last parent free night, because tomorrow mummy Helena arrives.
Have we remembered to mention Patricia’s fantastic breakfasts, with fresh bread, croissants, juice, coffee, etc.? Stadium of Light
We had been to see Sporting and Jonatan’s interest for Portuguese football only grew more and more. We decided to visit rivals Benfica. We went to their stadium and got a nice guided tour. Besides looking at their 100 most important trophies on show, we all also had a glimpse of the president’s seats, the changing rooms. We sat on the substitutes benches and met their eagle Vitória. This eagle flies before every home match. Jonatan was also impressed when he heard that Grandpa had on several occasions talked to the living legend Eusébio. During this time Liv and Patricia did the Colombo shopping center, right next door. We rushed to the airport by taxi and managed to arrive on time to welcome Helena. We ate dinner near Rato and were ready sometime between 11 and 12, Swedish time.
The ogre hunt is on, Grandpa, Daniel,David and Patricia
What a lazy day! Grandpa was shut outside, knocked on the doors and windows, but we just slept away. Grandpa and Patricia had gone out to buy another suitcase. They went to the ”Chinese”. There are plenty of these shops in Lisbon. They sell real cheap things and it is Chinese people that own them.
They cannot pronounce R and replace them with L. But everybody knows this.
In the afternoon we went off to Parque das Nações by the underground station Oriente, with the decided purpose to see a film. It became a new experience to all of us as we saw Shrek 4 in 3D. Fantastic experience as Grandpa had to duck several times to avoid being hit by various flying objects that seem to be coming towards us at incredible speed.
Real fun film where Grandpa showed that he hangs on to all sorts of technical development!
After that we went to Baixa-Chiado, another tube station, and looked for the S. Carlos opera house. A concert was taking place outdoors there, with Verdi operas in the program. Grandpa sang all the arias and people looked around from the stage to admire Grandpa. There were so many people there so we could not see much but we heard quite a lot.
Afterwards we sat outside the Brasileira where photos were taken by the Fernando Pessoa statue. We walked home through Bairro Alto where they were thousands of people in hundreds of bars and restaurants. Liv having a bica with Fernando Pessoa
Grandpa and Patricia went off to the Finanças and returned in triumph with the important papers they needed. We walked towards the center of Lisbon and Grandpa showed us places where he had lived and where our dad John had stayed as a child and had enjoyed.
Grandpa discovered that Mr. Joaquim was still standing behind the counter in the small shop on top of the Monte Olivete Street. We went in to the botanical gardens on the opposite side and looked at butterflies and learned about their lives under the supervision of Grandpa. After that we took a well-deserved rest before continuing to the Baixa where Grandpa and Patricia bought shoes for the visit to Amadora.
In Baixa we ate large sandwiches and carried on, towards the Tejo River.
The river was thick with fish and not even Grandpa could explain what they were doing there. But it was a strange sight on all accounts. The evening was rounded up at the Alameda with a show to commemorate the century of the Republic, with artists from Brazil, Cape Verde and fado singers from Portugal. Last of all appeared the legendary Carlos do Carmo whose career and life had been followed by Grandpa through the years. We did not get to bed until one in the morning!
We are really getting lazy in the mornings now. It is all because of the late nights… Naturally this does not apply to Grandpa, who got up, put on his new suit and was picked up by a car that took him and Patricia to Amadora. There he was received by a whole bunch of politicians wanting to show him the parks of Amadora and at the same time eager to collect information about the Aquapark in Sundsvall! They ate for a long time and received the town’s medals. While they were gone we played cards and solved crosswords (a Liv specialty), it got really late before we caught the bus to Belem! We could then visit Jerónimos, The Culture Centre and the Monument to the sea voyagers as we looked up to see the airplanes landing one after another, on their path, right above our heads. After a long walk we sat down for a meal just beneath the 25th April suspension bridge. Butterflies at the Jardim Botanico.
Daniel had had enough after being stung by a wasp and needed a special medicine. His finger had swollen up and it was disgusting to see. Vótetta collected D & D with promises of lots of food and other extras. They went to see Shrek 4 in 3D, which really impressed Vótetta. The others marched off to Cascais under the leadership of Grandpa. There, everyone got to taste different dishes and where there was a place specially suited for Jonatan, as they had a buffet where one could choose from 8 different vegetarian selections. When he sat down his eye caught something that looked like the fish “bacalhau”. We discovered that in Portugal “bacalhau” is vegetarian even though Jonatan did not accept that and gave Grandpa his bits. Patricia managed to find a dress to match an invitation from one of Portugal’s largest municipalities. Even Grandpa had to look for a suit! There was one that Patricia fancied… When we got to hear the price it was €3600. They looked a bit more and then Grandpa thanked everyone for the interest shown. The evening ended with a self composed dinner at the balcony of the hotel.Goodbye Hotel Londres!
The trip to Lisbon was a success. Liv and Jonatan (now with his Torres shirt) pulled a suitcase each from the hotel to the train station. Then we took a taxi that was driven by a man who had owned a construction company. Grandpa and the chauffeur spoke of world matters before we arrived at R. de S. Bento 638. We set up camp there and ate our first home cooked meal. After that, Grandpa had to go to the Finances which is like our Tax office. Liv accompanied out of curiosity as Jonatan stayed behind to recover from a minor stomach upset. Once at the Financas and after waiting for two hours Grandpa was informed that he needed a representative, and who was his representative? This was a complete novelty for Grandpa who was used to represent and not be represented. What to do? The search for a representative started so the group rushed to Great grandpa’s at Guerra Junqueiro. After a short dispute between Great grandpa and Leonor it was decided in favor of Great grandpa. Grandpa had now found a representative. Grandpa and Patricia went to the shops and Grandpa bought two suits. By doing this it was considered he had saved the shop from a pending bankruptcy! As Liv complained of hunger we visited a Nepalese restaurant that everyone was very pleased with.
Sunday presented the opportunity, to once again visit other family members. It took us
to Parede where great uncle Pedro lives.There we met a whole new bunch of people. Hope we don’t forget anyone, Great uncle Pedro and his son Miguel, his two daughters Marta and Catarina and their boyfriends João and Guilherme. Miguel’s mother Sara and Sara’s mother Ema were there. Besides Anna and her son João an Englishman called Andy turned up! With three called João it was rather confusing because Grandpa thought everyone was yelling at him and accusing him of things he hadn’t done like for example beating up Miguel or throwing hammers, stones and so on.
To compensate for all the confusion everyone got to eat sardines, chops and salads. The whole thing finished up at the café next door with snails and ice cream. Grandpa and Jonatan spent the rest of the evening together with a bunch of Spaniards helping del Bosque to his World Cup gold. Patricia and Grandpa went for a walk as the children stayed at the hotel bar sipping long drinks of water on the rocks!
Loud Spaniards celebrate
It is now Monday on our fantastic adventure. We returned to Greatgranny’s home in
S.Pedro. D & D had not met grandpa’s mother so it was all a nice new
experience. Grandpa was asked to speak to a 99 year old from Sweden. They discussed
complicated matters and Grandpa got to know that the old gentleman was called
Arne Hulthén. He had worked for the steel industry and was originally from the
island of Gotland. Even though he was both deaf and blind they could converse
with each other. Uncle Arne thought grandpa had a strong dialect which must be
explained because of Grandpas many years living in Sundsvall. We met Maddy who
is John’s cousin and after bathing at the beach we all went back to the pool.
On Friday we went to Lisbon. Patricia took the lead on organizing and acquiring, the purchase of many tickets, for a combined travel experience, where the children could try different underground lines. To everyone’s amazement we saw greatgrandpa driving the train to Oriente. Once there, everybody charged to the restaurant area, with all the different fast foods and chose a meal of our preference.
Daniel got a dragon and David a donkey and as far as we all could tell everything tasted delicious including Liv’s doll! The group could now concentrate on the next stage which was the Oceanarium- an enormous aquarium where one could learn about the meaning and importance of the oceans, and why they need to be looked after and preserved. After being intervewed we agreed we liked the pinguins and other diving birds that could swim under the water. Nobody really bothered when Grandpa jumped in to fight a giant shark.
After eating a few ice creams David wanted to go on a tricycle that cost 13 € for 30 minutes. Earlier on Daniel had vomited but got soon better. Jonatan and Liv spent some of their capital and bought a T-shirt and a cuddly turtle at the Oceanarium.
After a visit to Greatgrandma’s flat in Lisbon we ate at a restaurant in a square called Rato where Daniel broke down crying because the people on the table behind us had eaten the last snails
Grandpa hasn’t brushed his hair for a week, but what does it matter, when everyone is on holiday? We started our day by the pool. David wanted some diving gear so he got the others to follow him to to Estoril station where these things were sold. Luncheon was taken outdoors and everyone got something to eat and one more ice cream! Then off again to Algés to meet Vótetta and aunt Gracinda and her daughter Rita. We sat at a café by a park and Grandpa showed everyone how to go on a slide. When we finally came to the flat we discovered a very scared but preety dog-Lady. Grandpa gave some advice on how to train the dog, but realized that he did not have the time to train the dog himself. After that the trip back to the hotel started.. Jonatan and Grandpa wanted to see the match and the others wanted to bathe on the pool. Even Vótetta was there but it did not influence the result. Germany won as we had predicted. We visited the handycraft fair- Feira do Artesanato. Unfortunately David did not come. He stayed behind with Vótetta after another huge meal at the hotel.
The others had great fun and we particularly liked the sleeping dogs that could breathe. Jonatan bought a candleholder for his mum and Daniel got a key ring that one could whistle to. We decided to come back, so Liv could make up her mind on what she wanted. Grandpa talked a lot with a gentleman that owned a company in the entertainment branch. Grandpa could have taken a job there, as he is so funny!!!!
We left Sweden spot on time, on a plane called Florbela Espanca!
This because grandpa drove at a record time from Sundsvall. The newly updated GPS functioned to perfection and for the first time, correctly showed the new road north of Uppsala. The trip went well and we were lucky, to get Jonatan a vegetarian meal, on board. Grandpa offered to land the plane but the captain declined politely but firmly.
In Lisbon there was a huge crowd waiting, in what must be described, as a sort of welcome committee.People ran around on different directions in great excitement as Grandpa held welcome speeches and gave out some information on Lisbon’s history and geography! The group then split up into three different vehicles. Grandpa and Jonatan went off with Greatgrandpa and Leonor (Greatgrandpa’s wife). This was also the first car to arrive at the hotel after a speedy trip with Leonor as co-pilot and Greatgrandpa holding the wheel, in what made us think of the Lisbon rally in WRC. We arrived at the Londres hotel on time to see the second half of the match between Spain and Germany. We saw this, surrounded by loud Spaniards, screaming for joy. The goal scored by David Villa was enough to put Spain on the finals for the first time ever. As the brothers D&D had disappeared for a few hours, Patricia could fulfill a much awaited dream and shared 4 sardines with Grandpa.
Next day Jonatan and Liv went off with Grandpa to visit Greatgrandma. Pamela. Before that, they picked up uncle Pedro, at the beach so he could guide the whole expedition. Pamela was well and stayed at a luxurious home for elderly. Grandpa later invited all for pizzas which was very well appreciated by all concerned. All, were also, very thankful to Grandpa who had managed to acquire tickets for the local train, which seemed to be very complicated in Portugal. Then it was decided that everybody should eat dinner at Vótetta’s. We travelled speedily to Algés. During this trip we all listened to scenes and tales being told from Grandpa’s life to everyone’s overwhelming interest.
Arrived in Algés we got a message that Vótetta was waiting for us at another station. Nothing to worry about…After a while she appeared and all could get into a small car. Grandpa who got to seat in the front offered to push the car on a steep hill but it was not necessary. Everyone was very satisfied with Vótettas wonderful cooking.