Saturday, May 24, 1969
Arose very early. 6 a.m. Clipped Coco’s nails after my coffee and did many little packing chores. Arrived at Roberts at 8:45 a.m. had hair set, shopped at Thrifturay – disgusted because they again had no coupon items. Fixed lunch – turkey soup, pear, and strawberries. Continued packing while Joe took a nap. Saw The Pryor’s and Elysia. Phoned sister, left home at 4’oclock. Dragged Coco at Ms. Williams at 5 p.m. Ate dinner at Howard Johnson’s in William Grove and came through ex-passageways rather well until we entered Brooklyn where traffic was heavy. Checked in at Pan Am at 8 p.m., while Joe drove the car to storage. Because of a special check-in counter, all was so easy but I had no choice of seats as our group is assigned together in rear.
When Joe arrived we found all eating spots and bar were closed so we walked to the other terminal where I had a dubonnet cocktail and Joe had a martini. I wrote a card to Mom and sister – we went back to the Pan Am and waited till takeoff much later.
On board we had K-sherry, Joe – 2 gins and then creamed chicken and petit flours. We took off around 4:30 – Lisbon time. After eating, we slept a couple of hours and then at 8:30 we were served breakfast – fruit cup, sausages, French toast and coffee. Now, at 9:30, we are descending and should be in Lisbon at 10 a.m. – 5 ½ hours flying time. Temperature in Lisbon is 60 degrees. Somewhat cloudy.
Sunday, May 25
Landed safely. An American Express Rep was waiting. We had to wait for quite a while for baggage because someone’s bag was missing. Never found it, so boarded a bus for our hotel. Passed by a slums area – The people here look somewhat like Mexican-Indian. Saw small street cars, tile fronted houses, The Bull ring, The Metro
9subway). Arrived at hotel and went to bed until 10 o’clock lunch hour. Restaurant is on top floor, overlooking the harbor – very picturesque. We had to wait ¾ of an hour for a seat, then rushed through cream soup, beans, veal (stew-like, Portuguese style), flan, and pigs ears. Coffee, wine, coffee. Went with our bus with a Portuguese guide along the park, down the Avenue de Liberade, to the Black Horse Square. Then along a park of the old town near the harbor – saw very narrow streets. On to the Museum of the Royal Coaches. Saw various types, Belinda, Coaches, Sedams, etc. Then went to the waterfront to see The Tower of Belem where we bought The Portuguese dolls. We then stopped at the Monastery of Jeronimo. Saw Gothic and Renaissance architecture, a lively cloister, tomb of Vasco da Gama, and Luis de Cameos (poet). Peeked at Ethnographic Museum next door. Back to hotel. Walked back to park where natives were lolling on the green. Such a clean city – no papers on streets. Back to hotel for a nap. Dinner with sparkling rose wine. Enjoyed a small bass and grilled cake Portuguese main dinner. After dinner, walked to Parque Edwards, around Marquis of Pombal Square and down Avenida da Liberdade. Saw the bookshops where each publisher displays and sells his latest books. At 10:30 it was mobbed with Portuguese who seemed to enjoy their books. Back to the hotel and bed.
Monday, May 26
After a continental breakfast we went via bus to Ted + Blanche to the shopping area. I bought a caravelle gold chain. Joe got some money exchanged, we walked through the shopping area to the river, where is began to rain at Black Horse Square so we took a bus to the hotel. Got Joe’s coat and my umbrella and left via taxi for the Castle of St. George. Original structure dates from Visigoths (5th century) and was later occupied by the Moors. Captured in 1147 by King Alfonso Henriques (first King of Portugal), it became Christian. The views of Lisbon and the Tagus River were lovely. The grounds had ponds, streams, all many types of birds – all white in color peacocks, swans, turkeys, ducks, etc.
We took a bus from the hill to a town square and via taxi headed for the gift shop to get Joe a tie, which he had seen the night before while window-shopping. Couldn’t find it but found an art shop and bought two statues. Back to the hotel for a short nap before lunch. After lunch we left Lisbon via our bus and a city tour director and traveled along the Tagus River, west of the Atlantic Ocean. Because of the rain, the sunny coast did not look exciting. Estoril, a famous resort was wet. On to Cascais, a small fishing village and a spot for exiled royalty. Drove north to Sintra – a very old town where writers and poets have written. Sainter was the summer residence of the Kings of Portugal. Across the town were the remains of the Moorish Castle on the hilltop.
Dinner at 7:30 and at 8:30 we boarded a bus for the nightclub tour. About 12 persons went from our hotel. We rounded up other night lifers from other hotels and went to a small local restaurant where we had either Portuguese port or cognac. The performers were local dancers and vocalists. A Fado singer was the typical type – mournful songs. On to the Casino Estoril – a small bus, some four groups went by larger buses with many American Express tourists. We saw at the Casino a Furch show – pretty girls, effeminate males, lovely costumes – all seemed to sing and dance. The finale was a Maori group who played and sang along with a very loud, but very good male vocalist. We all had a glass of champagne, nuts, raisins. Joe managed to get 3 ½ glasses of champagne. After the show we dashed to the casino (estimate fee was $1.05). Saw an odd type of craps, poker, slot machines (I came out with +6 ct.). Back to the hotel and to bed at 2:45 a.m.
Do you even remember what you had for dinner last night? Thanks to Cath's detailed journals, we know she accidentally had sloth soup for dinner 53 years ago while visiting the Amazon. Read through these interesting chronicles for memorable anecdotes from Cath's travels.