The glamor of international travel

After a long red-eye flight from Singapore to Zurich, we survive a six hour layover before the final two and a half hour flight to Lisbon. Thanks to the many cross-Pacific flights we do, we have Star Alliance Gold memberships which gives us a few advantages. We get to board with the bigwigs in business class and we also get to use the premier lounge before & between flights. Those make the journey a little less “glamorous”.

On that second flight, we flew over St. Jean Pied de Port and also near Burgos. Those important way marks on the Camino Frances reminded me of my new word of the month: Saudade. It’s a Portugues word that does not translate well into any language. I’m told it roughly means a longing and a nostalgia for times past or a reminder of a magical time that may not have even been real. The cities certainly brought back a flood of great memories of our first Camino.

After taking the metro from the airport into the Santa Apolonia station, we walked the last kilometer to a lovely apartment (Alfama “House of Poets”found through Airbnb.com) a little behind the cathedral. The hostess  sure is passionate about the city and could not stop making suggestions for things to do tomorrow befor the proper beginning of the walk on Friday. We will do some sightseeing but we’ll also likely do the first 11km of the Caminho tomorrow to get a head start on Friday’s real start. That way, we won’t have to carry our bag for the first bit too.

Other than a great, fun and cheap dinner – my favorite theme for a restaurant (Apendre’s, n,ear the hill just northeast of the Cathedral on Rua Augosta Rosa) we visited the Se Cathedral, our starting point. coming from the US and living in Singapore, I still have a hard time grappling with the idea of 800 year old buildings.

Please forgive any typos and excess wanderings but jetlag has made me fall asleep several times  while typing this. More tomorrow. Peace.

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