This is the 4th of a series of posts recalling my trip to Europe, using e-mails sent at the time. Unlike later trips, I didn’t e-mail people everyday. Trip reports are largely as I wrote them at the time with two exceptions: 1. I was usually pretty rushed due to Internet fees in Europe, so I’ve cleaned up my e-mails to make them more coherent, which wasn’t a priority at the time. Also, in some blog posts I’ll add additional thoughts with the hindsight of nine years later or to add further clarification. I’ll use “NOW” in such cases.
This 4th report covered my leaving Madrid for Lisbon before returning to Madrid briefly.
[NOW: I took a train from Madrid to Lisbon and would out at a nearly deserted hostel; at least the first night I had the room to myself. Not sure why; the place was decent enough].
Well, my trip has taken a turn for the worse again, this time losing my Eurailpass. Doesn’t appear to be replaceable, or if it is, would be tricky to send to Europe. Cutting out a few places that I wasn’t all that interested in (Andora, Hungary, all Nordic countries, unfortunately meaning Legoland’s out), and a few places that I really wanted to go to like Berlin. Also, to shorten things Salzburg will be a ringer for Vienna.
[NOW: Well, the original Legoland was out of the picture but I did end up going to another Legoland later.]
Lisbon is a paradise, went to two castles yesterday; some streets in Lisbon are REALLY thin, cars parked on sidewalks, etc.
[NOW: Looking back on it, the more poor sections, the ones with the thin streets weren't much of a paradise. Also went to a beach just outside of town; it’s likely on the train there that I lost the pass. One of the castles was in town, the other outside of town, I think in a different direction than the beach. The one in town was up a hill of the thin streets.]
Called a few people for morale support and promptly lost my camera (probably left at a pay phone).
[NOW: This was as I was leaving Lisbon. Upon arrival at the Madrid train station I bought a new one]
Went to red light area (a park) in Madrid today thinking that the red light crowd would not be out yet. Well, a woman from Nigeria flat out offered me sex. Didn’t sound too romantic having sex with a prostitute in a middle of a park so I said no.
[NOW: I’m pretty sure that was the same park as the hostel I stayed at before going to Lisbon. I covered the prostitute encounter in more detail here: http://saneinsanities.blogspot.com/2011/07/getting-propositioned-in-victoria-bc.html. After that I walked back to the train station. I noticed a playground in the playground. I suppose it’s one way to keep the population under control.]