Flights of Fancy

Day 1. Home – Bordeaux – Lisbon

I got in home last night (this morning really) from a gig in Bordeaux; Gerry decided to wait up but he’s full of cold and probably should have gone to bed earlier.

Our flight wasn’t until three so we had a cup of tea and a croissant in bed… (actually we had a pain au raison but I couldn’t be bothered to type that… but honesty got the better of me whilst proof reading). We read the papers and generally took our time. We showered, packed, unpacked and repacked… passport… tickets… money.  We were ready.

Looking out of the plane window I could see the Pyrenees rising out of the flat landscape of the Landes. The coffee cart came by as we flew over them and I was a tad miffed as I missed the best of the view… but I needed coffee.

We flew on and it’s hard to get our bearings but I thought I could see Pamplona… then Estella and the long flat walk into Los Archos. Was that Burgos? Are these fields the mesata? If I look hard enough will I see a white path or a late pilgrim ambling along on this fabulous autumn afternoon? I closed my eyes and I was back on the Camino Frances. It’s so crazy, I have this love hate relationship with the Frances. It was my first… it was incredible… it is beautiful… but it’s busy and these days I think I prefer the path less travelled. But whenever I get a scent of the Frances, a glimpse, a reminder… my love for that path washes over me again and I long to return.

So I drank my coffee and closed my eyes. I can smell the sweet fruity Gummy Bears that Gerry is eating to try and ease his poor sore throat. I’ve stolen 4 of 5 but it’s like taking candy from a child so I’ve stopped.

The captain announced our descent into Lisbon and Gerry gave me the last Gummy Bear… I hesitated but then took it anyway.  Apparently it’s a balmy 34c in Lisbon; it’s October! I’m so glad I brought two long sleeve tops!

As we made our descent we could see the city below and landmarks like the tower at Belem. But rather than turn towards the airport we kept on going out towards the atlantic. Gerry looked at me and suggested that perhaps the pilot had forgotten our destination… further out still we flew and my cheery husband looked out and explained how had he watched the Flight Crash Investigators last night… ” I know how these things worked… the pilots will be slumped over the controls and we’ll keep going until we run out of fuel” …thanks for that dear.  Fortunately the pilot then asked the cabin crew to prepare for landing and Gerry could relax.

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We have a small apartment in the Alfama district. We dropped our bags and went in search of a pharmacy; the Gummy Bears didn’t work and Gerry needed something stronger.

We wandered back to the apartment, buying cokes and beers on the way. An hour later we wandered back into town again for dinner. We chose a little family affair off one of the streets and ate chicken and salad and rice, washed down with a house vinho verde…whilst Portugal played Andorra on the TV. It wasn’t going well for Portugal so the restaurant was fairly quiet.  We wandered home… passing bars competing for business with either football or Fado. I do love Lisbon

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