Day 7 – Summit Crosses in Lisbon
Sunday, 25th June
yesterday at breakfast, the two Dutchmen Jip and Janneke sat at the table next to us. Whilst Jip was exhausting the possibilities of his plate every time he went to the buffet, Janneke didn't want to overstretch her plate. On Jip's plate, croissants and brioches lolled on top of grain rolls and pumpkin seed sticks. Sausage, cheese and fish peeked out between them. The sculpture was held together by jam and hummus. Janneke draped half a kiwi on her plate. Out of pity for the lonely fruit, she added a sultana as a companion.
Jip and Janneke had two completely different approaches to facing the hardships of Lisbon. Jip favoured strength. He didn't want to collapse from exhaustion while exploring the city. I can well understand that. However, Janneke's approach was also justified. With so many mountains standing around namelessly in Lisbon, she wants to keep her airways clear. She has obviously realised what this city needs most: oxygen tents.
Lisbon could easily offer city mountain tours. On the way between two sights, you cross Mont Blanc in terms of altitude. The summit cross is usually not placed on the mountain itself but on the church at the top. Of course, this is only logical. Because the highest point is the church tower, and in the vast majority of cases it can still be climbed, provided you have a breathing apparatus with you. In my opinion, the fact that the church is not designed as a bungalow but rises unnecessarily into the air is criminally reckless.
I watched in awe as some of the women were wearing high heels. Their heels hit the stone unerringly with every step. The problem is that Lisbon has signed a gag contract with a company for cobblestone work. That's why all the pavements are cobbled. The pavers have spiced up their boring work by decorating the pavements and squares with cobblestone mosaics. Walking through this city in high heels requires a level of footwork perfection that cannot be overestimated. The places where the cobblestones have loosened are evidence of the debutantes' walking practice.
Drenched in sweat, we realise a little later that there are only tourists on the road. The Portuguese had skilfully retreated into the shade at lunchtime. We wanted to do the same, but we still had a mountain tour ahead of us. Our hotel is located on a lonely mountain. The view is great, but hard-earned. I really need to see if they have erected a summit cross on the roof.
It was a long time before we ventured outside again. But as we had skipped lunch, our stomachs were growling so loudly at six o'clock that we got scared. The nearest restaurant had a good rating and served a garlic-based dish. Whereas in the Portuguese dishes we had tasted so far, garlic cloves had at best been in the same kitchen during preparation, this chef obviously assumed that a clove of garlic does not like to be left alone.
Just by trying the food, people gave me plenty of room. As we continued our stroll through the city, people began to flee. Nobody was in the way when we were taking photos and we had a seat on the underground. The other passengers crowded on the other side of the carriage. An older woman to whom I offered my seat turned green and told me she was quite happy to stand.
I'm going to try the houmous at breakfast today. We want to travel a long way on the underground today. Unlike the older woman yesterday, I'm quite happy to sit.