Paulo, the affable Portuguese man who rented us the apartment that will be our home for the next seven days, kindly offered to pick us up from the airport. Thankfully T-Mobile works here so we were able to text him our location after standing in an two hour long immigration line. No duty forms to fill out or papers of any kind. Pretty simple.
The dark haired gentleman around our age with the typical attractive Portuguese manner shook John's hand and gave me the European double cheek kiss upon our greeting. He drove us to the apartment all the while giving us a tour on the way to the Campo Ourique neighborhood. Pointing out things I knew I would never remember in my jet lagged state, I hoped John would retain some. Paulo seemed incredulous upon hearing the true purpose of our holiday in Portugal. "You are walking from Lisbon? To Spain?!" He showed us the particulars of the flat, handed us a bottle of wine and ciao!
Realizing I am sorely under packed for a week in this cosmo city, there was nothing else to do but find the bed and pass out even though it was only 10 am.
Finally pulled ourselves together enough in the afternoon to eat the breakfast sandwich we were given on the plane and wander the neighborhood a bit. We found a beautiful cathedral, the first of many on this journey I am sure, and sat quietly aware of the few women sitting in the pews praying for what only God knows. An old woman walked out of the church constantly acting out her Catholic rituals of crossing herself and blowing kisses to the Virgin Mary. We would run into her again later struggling to make her key fit in the door of her flat. John stopped to try to help with no luck and no language help on either side. Just hmmmmm...... Soon enough a young woman intervened and pushed one of the apartment buttons to be let in. Obrigada and smiles all around. Our first Camino moment.
Of course in true John and Cayce style we found happy hour in the beautiful garden center and enjoyed an Imperial cerveja. Old men sat at tables playing cards and dominos alongside children playing games and running about. Sigh..... Back in the old country once again letting the stress and anxiety of modern times slowly roll away. Since we are still off the local timeline, it being way too early for dinner, we found a market and bought some supplies for a veggie pasta and salad to enjoy with Paulos bottle of wine. Delish and early bed.