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?