June 13th, 2007
Categories: Uncategorized

Sintra, Benfica, Kebabs and Getting Drunk: Portugese Style!

 

The next day in Portugal I was wide awake at around 7am, and was really happy. The night before was great fun and I feel I was going to enjoy this holiday. Breakfast was not until 8am, so I dossed about on the free internet (on Apple Macs as well Han!) where I spoke to Guy, who implored me to “stop wasting time online and see things”. Christ mate, give me a chance!

The breakfast was the best scrambled eggs I have ever tasted. Seriously. I was spouting things like “you don’t get eggs like that in our country”. Rick couldn’t see the fuss. He got first pick of the day: a town 40 minutes away called Sintra.

First of all, this is where I noticed the difference in me and Rick. Rick is very good at reading maps, but he’d be damned speaking the language. Myself on the other hand was determined to learn a bit of the language, even if it was just “Please”, “Thank You”, “Sorry”, 1-10 and the very useful “I don’t speak Portugese”.

Sintra is a World Heritage site on the outskirts of Lisbon, famous for it’s 19th Century Architecture, and is a bit of a tourist spot, with quaint little shops and cafes. In fact, everybody who goes to Lisbon wants to go there.

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Personally, we thought it was a bit shit.

There was fuck all there. I could see why pesky London types could be impressed by it (“Oh look here sweetie! That’s that strange newfangled thing called grass!” they’d say), but after Rick bigged it up so much, we were both feeling depressed by it. Sintra is a bit like Betws-y-Coed, but more sun and less chips.

Dejected we got the train back, which itself was a bit sad. You see, on the outskirts of Lisbon there is a shanty town, not a big one, but it is visible from the train track. That was the first time I saw a shanty town, and immediately it hit me. No matter what people say about the UK and homeless figures and gypsies and the like, there are not large scale shanty buildings anywhere in the UK.

So, with the mood ever so solemn, we decided to rescue the day the only way men know how.

We got off the train at Benfica, and went to see the football stadium.

First food, we managed to find a shopping mall (“This is real Portugal, none of this touristy bollocks” Rick was heard quoting), and we plumped for some fast food. Not McDonalds or KFC or owt, oh no. Portugese fast food.

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This is the restaurant Shoarma, which served kebabs. Franchisers: get this restaurant in the UK now!

After walking around, we managed to find Benfica’s Stadium, it really did rescue the day from Shitra. My only regret was not having a Colwyn Bay FC scarf on me for the photos. Oh well.

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There was even a lego one of the stadium too!

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We left Benfica, and headed back to the hostel, to prepare for the piss up around Lisbon. This is where I really shone. I out drunk the Yanks, I out drunk the Aussies, I even out drank the Germans. I felt I kept the British end up. At 4am, we left a squashed nightclub in central Lisbon drunk and merry, and we managed to find our way home eventually.

And that’s where my holiday ended. Not in actual body, but in spirit. You see, the final day I had a bit of a tummy bug and on top of that I lost €120. I’m not letting it ruin my holiday, because it really didn’t. It was just a blip, and when I think about the last day in Portugal, I remember one incident involving me, Rick, a drug dealer and Luis Figo. The result of it is shown below.

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What happened? Well, that’s for me to know, and you to find out.

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