My Day Off

I had great ambitions. A walking tour of the old town. A boat ride. All started well. It was a hot day but I was well prepared with light hiking pants, my trusty hat, my Google maps, water and sunscreen. I took the metro to the old town ( I’m an expert now) and, because I was early for the tour, due to start outside the Porto McDonald’s, I decided to check out tickets for the boat ride.

Now, this is a McDonald’s
Eat your Big Mac under this!
Who gets to clean the stained glass?

We eventually met up with our tour guide outside. She betrayed her Greek origin with a little exclamation as she checked me in. And we were off! She was surprised and happy to have a Greek-speaking guest. She gave a great tour, full of historical facts and humour. Our group was composed of French, Chinese, Americans, Japanese and myself with some other Canadians. Of course we all joined the English -speaking group. Downtown Porto was a complete chaos of huge construction sites that we all hoped would turn into metro stations before long. It looked like half the population of Europe was following one tour guide or another complete with baby carriages and electric scooters. The noise level was tremendous.

Flowers in the city walls

When the tour was over I decided to try my luck lower down the hill close to the water. Big mistake. Although I already had a ticket for a boat tour, the area was so congested that I could not stand it for the estimated one hour delay to allow me to go aboard. By this time the idea of our quiet courtyard was looking better and better. The ticket is good for a week anyway so I toiled up a steep hill to the metro station.

Would you like to spend an afternoon here?

To tell the truth I was a bit disappointed with missing the boat ride. The ticket agent looked as if he was about to burst into tears as he stewed in his wooly sweater in the throng of customers.

After a short rest in one of the hammocks in our yard I felt much restored. A young man came to sit quite close to me at a table and I noticed he was reading a very thick tome. “ What are you reading? “ as the Russians would say. Turned out to be The Brothers Karamazov.

I was astounded to see a young man if no more than twenty-five reading such a thing!

Some old favorites

It has been my experience that reading has gone out of fashion. Lucas, however, kindly put his book aside and engaged me in an unusually deep and thoughtful conversation. I was hard put to keep up with his opinions on philosophy and what truly constitutes “reality”. It was a full consolation for having missed the boat trip. I really had a great day off that left me with so much to think about. I shall be musing it all over as I swing the mop over the floors tomorrow.

One thought on “My Day Off

  1. You always find some good in any situation.
    Enjoying spending time with daughter and grandaughter.
    Full house of visitors tomorrow.
    Be sure to have some member of your family check your apt. because of yhe terrible wind & rain storm we had on Thursday


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