Day 9 = March 20, 2012
It’s Tuesday – time to indulge the patient husband with some serious touring!
We got to an early start for us – D was up at 9:30, I dragged myself out of bed at 10:30, and we managed to get Q moving by 11:30. Sounds pretty pathetic, doesn’t it? I have to keep telling myself that a) it’s Portugal time, and b) we’re practically still jet-lagged. Right? I am sure I read somewhere that it takes at least two weeks to get over it. (Oh, well…)
Quinland got up and asked for lotion, because her legs were itching. I don’t have any lotion with me, so that was that. This was just the beginning of all the ways in which I was a bad mother on this particular day, so watch closely.
We started out for the Feira da Ladra (the famous local flea market) right after Q drank the daily serving of liquid yogurt she calls breakfast.
There appear to be some official stalls and some official tables set up in the square, but there also appear to be random people who have laid out a blanket and started selling stuff. In other words, it’s my kind of place. Of course, my family knows me well enough to personally escort me through at their own selected pace, or I would still be there, eyeing the Oregon Caves ViewMaster reels and wondering how hard it could be to read a Danielle Steel novel in Portuguese, since I learned all her plots by heart when I was in high school.
Quinland could not get up any enthusiasm for the market; she just wanted to go to the little park in the square and sit on a bench. Once she got to the bench, all she wanted to do was snuggle. I was impatient, but David indulged her in a rest while I took a couple of photos.
Finally we marched her off to the Castelo. Q was very thirsty, but we had not brought any water along with us, and we didn’t want to stop so early into our expedition. (We weren’t quite sure how far it was to the castle from where we were, or how to get there, but little details like that would not stop us.)
When we got to the official Castelo Sao Jorge ticket booth, we learned that tickets for two adults and one child would be 19 euros, and that a family ticket would be 16 euros… but that a family had to have TWO children. We seriously considered offering to escort someone else’s child in for free. Discounts like this make my head hurt.
The castle was amazing in a dozen different ways. There were adorable school groups, a guy dressed like a knight, an archaeological dig, incredible views of the city, a man playing traditional Portuguese music on a guitar, and more. I had the best time, because I am not afraid of heights. The powers that be apparently don’t concern themselves much beyond warning signs when railings are dangerous or nonexistent, so there were all kinds of scary areas. I got to climb up in places where I was scared to get down with an expensive camera clutched in one sweaty hand. Yep, it was awesome.
See that turret in the middle of the second photo? I climbed to the top of that to get the flag photo. I rock.
We did ultimately buy Quinland a bottle of water on the way to the castle, but we did not feed her until after we got out. By this time, it was pushing 4 PM and all any of us had eaten that day was breakfast. She really wanted to eat in the tasca in our building (where she loves the food), but by the time we got back, the kitchen was closed. They graciously fixed us cold soup and sandwiches.
This was about the time that Q realized that her arm was itching and had what appeared to be mosquito bites all over her scars. By the time we got upstairs, we discovered that she was covered with them all over. The poor little parched, starving girl was having a horrible allergic reaction to the cough syrup I had given her in the morning and the night before.
A search on Google for this unknown expectorant said that hives were a rare and possibly severe side effect. Luckily, we now know how to Skype! We Skyped on over to the Kaiser advice nurse line in Portland, where they basically said they had never heard of the drug either, but that hives were hives, and as long as she could breathe, we had nothing to worry about. We gave her an antihistamine and popped her in bed. Whew!
Expenditures: Bottle of water, three admissions to the Castelo Sao Jorge, a Portuguese phone charger at the flea market, dinner at the tasca downstairs.
Experiences: Flea market, unsuccessful haggling, getting detailed directions in Portuguese, unsuccessful arguing at the ticket counter, cool castle climbing for Lori, ancient Islamic ruins, translating medical terminology on Google translate, Skyping to an 800 number in the US.