Monday, 2 April 2012

Farewell from Lisbon

Untie! Let go! We cast the lines!
Lisbon is the departure point for our Easter Cruise, the wonderful, vibrant city with so much to see. And so much to eat! Strolling through the narrow streets, your nostrils pick up the scents of most delightful fish, goat, lamb and whatever dishes, which mix beautifully with the exotic odors that emerge from the ground after the first drops of rain here after an extremely dry winter. These are smells we don't have in the North. Whoever had the pleasure of being here for an overnight or more will certainly also have noticed the biggest demonstration Portugal has ever seen. In a good way, it was more or less a kaleidoscope of Portugal's every region's folklore and tradition, trying to encourage the government not to proceed with the federalistic policy. So there was music, costumes and a pretty cheerful atmosphere.
Next morning, FRAM arrived after the long crossing over the seas from Buenos Aires. You could easily tell who was on it and who was not, tanned equator faces vs. white early springtime faces...
In the afternoon, the guests arrived in several tiers, ready for colorful Western Europe. After checking in, getting the expedition jacket, and our mandatory safety drill, the great moment of leaving, waving the shore good-bye. Not for long though, because tomorrow around lunchtime we will be arriving in Leixoes, the gateway to Porto.
The traditional welcome drink and speech of the Captain was met with a little exhaustion after a long day but huge smiles showing that everybody is looking forward to exploring Portugal, Spain, France, and England before we get to Bremerhaven in ten days from now. To all of you: Have a pleasant, exciting and unique voyage!