Sunday, July 3, 2011
When Ashlee and Ariel were in Lisbon we decided to go see Cristo Rei which is a huge statue of Christ across the river. It's not as cool as the one in Brazil or as big as the one in Bolivia, but it's still worth seeing. It was a hot day and after we took a ferry across the river and a bus up the hill we were so tired that when we arrived at the statue we laid in the grass for 10 minutes before we even looked at the thing. I had trouble centering the camera.
The view of Lisbon from the other side of the river was awesome. Also, the girls helped me pick out some clothes and I proudly sported one of the shirts that day. I'm glad I have friends who will pick out clothes for me.
Last weekend Ashlee, Ariel and I went up north to Coimbra. We had originally planned on going to Braga, but it is considerably farther north so we changed our plans. Arriving in Coimbra last Saturday was awful because it was so hot, like 100 degrees hot. After waiting a very long time for our bus we got slightly lost looking for our hostel and went up an extra hill. I really liked our hostel, though because it had a great view and free cereal whenever we wanted it. I wanted it often.
The only thing I knew about Coimbra was that it’s home to the oldest Portuguese university in the world and is one of the oldest universities in Europe. I was excited to see it and had envisioned a place resembling Oxford or Hogwarts. Contrary to the graffiti on campus, it looked nothing like Hogwarts and looked like most of the European universities I’ve seen – in need of some paint.
However, it did have some funny statues like this one that looks like it’s going to slap you.
We attended the ward in Coimbra on Sunday and it was a blast. Everyone was super-welcoming and I got asked about 10 times if I'd served my mission in Portugal. I ran into a friend of a friend who helped me find a place to live in Lisbon and we met a really nice British couple that's living in Portugal for 10 months. The wife, Cathy, asked the three of us what we were doing for dinner and since we didn't have any plans she invited us over. After chatting for a few minutes she said, "I should probably ask you what your names are," and we realized that despite the fact that we were acting like old friends, we didn't really know each other. We ended up chatting with them at their apartment for a few hours and it was a blast. They're the kind of couple that reminds me of how awesome it's going to be to be married.
After walking up and down lots of hills in the heat we headed back to the hostel. There was one part we hadn't see yet that I wanted to see, but the girls didn't so I went there by myself. There was no one else in the park so I decided to sit on a bench and read my scriptures. While I was sitting there a white guy that looked a lot an American I had met in my ward in Lisbon walked by to take a picture of a fountain. I thought it was him, but he had looked at me, but hadn't said anything. I finally said, "Calvin?" and he said, "I thought that was you!" Neither of us knew that the other was in Coimbra and we laughed about the randomness of running into each other in a deserted park. He ended up hanging out with Ashlee, Ariel, and me for a few hours that night.
All in all, Coimbra is a beautiful place, but it can be seen in a day. Here's my other new shirt by the river in Coimbra.
Here's a picture of Ana and me at the Castelo Sao Jorge in Lisbon where we went for a field trip.