Annie Bananie en Europe

A blog about travel, life, and everyday tidbits

Tag Archives: portuguese

A mission in Portugal, part 2 – Óbidos

The second part of the Portuguese mission took place in a little place called Óbidos some 80 kilometres north of Lisbon. I wanted to visit Sintra, but some of the IDS-FunMates have already been there (5 times for Carole!) So we decided to go somewhere that nobody had been to, and Óbidos it was! Originally it was supposed to be only Carole and me, but Tomin, Lo, and Tuyen joined after a little bit of convincing (or none at all). The more the merrier!

Óbidos is a medieval town that was once a wedding gift from a king to her queen, marked by a castle and surrounded by aged city walls. It was similar to other medieval towns I’ve been to, like Carcassonne and Saint-Émilion, and a fun place to spend a relaxing Sunday 😉

A sign at the entrance gate of Óbidos for the medieval market that takes place in July and August. Óbidos has been a national monument since 1951. Another sign says, “It shelters the oratory dedicated to the patroness of Óbidos, Our Lady of Piety, concluded in the 17th century, with remarkable tile covering from 1740-45.”

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A mission in Portugal, part 1 – Lisbon

I planned a trip to Lisbon, Portugal for four days at the end of April 2013 with a special mission in mind – to find my retired middle school French teacher, who is actually Portuguese and lives in Lisbon now. The task is actually on my bucket list, and I can proudly check it off now.

About Mr. da Silva, he’s nothing short of goofy. 13 years ago, in grade 7, he became my first extended French teacher – yes, he’s Portuguese, but he’s fluent in English, French, Spanish, and Italian, in addition to Portuguese – and I immediately loved his energy and charm. I would never forget the two years I spent with him in class, not only for French, but also for drama, geography, and history, IN French. It would not be an exaggeration to say that it was because of him that I continued learning French, which was the reason why I never struggled much in France.

I thought it would be no better way to explore Lisbon and its surroundings with an authentic local, and Mr. da Silva gladly agreed to be my guide. He even offered to pick me up from the airport, and I was so excited as he waved to me right as I exited. I went back to my middle school to visit him after graduation, but how many years has it been since I saw him? I don’t even remember, so the fact that he recognized me right away surprised me. Well, I guess Facebook must have helped. Yes, he’s 66, but he has Facebook and we’re friends. Old friends, in fact 😉

In three days, I did quite a lot, including a trip to Cascais, Sintra, Cabo da Roca, and Óbidos. Let’s start with Lisbon, shall we?

As the plane was about to land, I saw a gorgeous view of the Lisbon aqueduct – yay for my window seat! I’ve been to Lisbon two years ago, so I knew that the view outside the window just before landing would be magnificent. And yes, I know I wasn’t supposed to be using electronic devices during take-off and landing, but…how could I resist?

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