Poker / travel

Lisbon… At the edge of Europe
Thanks to poker I have visited many interesting countries in the last couple of years. From time to time I'll share my impressions about the most memorable trips with you. To me our last trip to Lisbon became one of all-time greats in terms of emotions, warmth and culture. Everything was there: great company, ideal weather, quality choice of sightseeing and food. They were renovating the flat above us, but even that did not spoil the impression. They started at 8 every day with a powerful sledge-hammer strike right into our heads, and it reached us as even ear plugs did not help. That was at least good that in spite of 5-day working week on Thursdays the workers were not that loud as they were getting ready for the weekend, and on Friday there was just one of them on duty. My sister lives in Lisbon. She decided all the routes in these ten days. The first couple of days we just rambled through picturesque city sights from one planned café to another. We visited a cool location. If you've ever been to street food festivals, you should just know that everything started here in Lisbon in a place called LXFactory, and there is plenty of funky stuff besides food. After that we went to a couple of nearest towns. There were the highest waves I'd ever seen in one of them. There were a couple of fortresses in another. I don't usually get really impressed by such things, but other people liked it. But absolute top1 was a place I had never hoped for. It was Lisbon Oceanarium. It is just a must visit place. I will not spoil it for you with stories, but will just say it's really impressive for great quality and soul they invest into what they do. You can always feel it. Sometimes you just come to the zoo in Lisbon as well. It is big, there are many cool animals, like little baby hippopotamus or huge white tiger. But everything is still shabby. Dirty animals, not all cages are cleaned, etc. Or vice versa you go to Alpenzoo in Innsbruck without any real expectations. And there are not that many animals (only those inhabiting the Alps), but everything is organized so well, everything is clean, the animals are well taken care of, that even you feel fantastic there. The Oceanarium takes my personal first place if you can put him in the zoo category. We also went to westernmost point of Europe. It was really beautiful there. But the story how we got there is even more interesting. After visiting some castles we went down from the mountains on foot. A guy driving a tuk-tuk was passing by and offered to give us a lift. As we a brought up by Soviet prejudices and try to avoid anything that can be even vaguely suspected as fraud, we just sent him as far as possible. And as we were going down we discussed maybe our treatment of the guy was not really necessary and we could have gone somewhere on such an unusual transport. We reached the end, and he was standing there smiling with all his 46 teeth. We agreed for a 70 Euros return ride to the westernmost point of Europe. If you do not know what a tuk-tuk is, it is a fully open three-wheel vehicle. Something in the middle between a scooter and a golf-car. We had to go via mountains. And as it is known, it is colder there. It was in the evening, and clouds were coming as well. We were really frozen stift when we reached the place. And our Brazilian driver had nothing apart from a T-shirt and 90% of the time his goosebumps prevented us from looking forward. He turned out to be a tigers, monkeys and horses tamer. Way back was even colder, the sun had already gone. We felt like participant of an Arctic expedition. But it was fun… And very beautiful.

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