There are very few moments in my life that stand still that I particularly have fond memories remembering them. Lisbon was one of the those memorable cities with those rare moments.
My time in Lisbon was memorable. It had moments of awe, happiness, moments of tears, moments of exhaustion, contentment and down right peace.
“We are a city that has mini copies of everything, from all over”
he said loudly as I got out of the car. It was huge, possible the biggest statue of Cristo Rei that Ive ever seen. I wasn’t in awe at first, it was just a big statue to me. It wasnt until we wandered our way around the tourist with cameras, avoiding the possible chance of getting immortalized in someone travel photos that we got to the view. He was right, it was a mini golden gate bridge.
I felt at peace the very second, I missed home. It was strange how much the weather reminded me of home as well, it was a beautiful sunny day in Lisbon. I stood there, feeling the cold breeze on my face, wearing a horribly knitted scarf that barely covered my neck, with two coats and wearing shoes that I’ve lived in for the last 2.5 weeks. It was a comforting sight to know that I would go back home soon, but it was the first sense of excitement that kicked in standing there, over looking looking city and a bridge that connected both the masses. I remember very fondly that the clouds were puffy on that day, the kind i would imagine Hawaii would have. As I looked to my right, as soon as the land ended there was no end to the sea. It was as though it was end of the world, as though there was no where left to go. This was it, this was the mid way point to my trip.
” I like that song” lupita said as she sat in the front. He drove fast down the old roads, cutting corners, with his sunglasses on and a smile on his face. He drove us across the bridge for the first time, down to see Padrao dos Descobrimentos , which was on the top of the list of places to see in Lisbon. It was a beautiful monument dedicated to celebrate the age of discovery. He parked his car across the street and we all walked down to the walkway next to the river. A few excited photos and a few “whoa!”, “ahh” after walking around, contentment was clearly in the air.
Eventually I found myself sitting down on the walkway next to the Tagus River, laid back staring at the seagulls hover over the water looking for fish,soaking in the sun, listening to the waves crash against the concrete, and staring off into the glistening blue water.
Everyone was exhausted, it was around 5AM. He said he wanted to speak with me. So, I said ok.
Then I saw him cry. There are very few moments in life, you see someone in tears. Tears that come from pain. You can tell he was in pain and he cried out of that pain. I knew that kind of pain, Ive cried over someone the same way before. I barely knew anything about him but if it was up to me that night, I would have done anything in the world to take that pain far away from him. I say this because I was there, where he was that night and all I wished then was for someone to take that pain away.
We talked for hours that night , about everything that was wrong, everything that was right, we talked about everything that hurt and about everything the future held. I hugged him goodnight, and went to bed.
I later thought about how brave I was in front, telling him that there were bright things in the future, and assuring him that there was no where else to go except up. Its funny how you get your strength from being brave for others. He is a good man, I could tell by the he smiled at others. I hope where ever he is, he is happy. He deserves to be so.
I saw her the night before, walking around nervously at the hostel. She felt a little at unease in the sight of people, but whenever spoken to she had a big smile on. It wasnt until the morning when I was waiting for my turn to take a shower did I speak to her. Her name was Benidicta. She was from Rome, she was 34yrs old and worked as a veterinarian . She was in Lisbon for 3 days to visit and that she was alone.
“You have more independence if you travel alone”.
Our broken english conversation lasted for a good hour, she told me everything from the places she’s traveled to and what she liked in Lisbon. She told me about the people she’s hosted in her house, about how she loves being a host and learning about cultures. She told me about how she’s taken a liking for Ginjinha and jokingly confessed that sometimes in cold mornings she likes to take a small drink to keep warm.
“Hey, I’m not judging. As long as the animals don’t complain!”
If I had to sum up Lisbon in my own way:
It sounds,feels like a Amy Winehouse song. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qPnQrNF0-zk&feature=youtu.be