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Travel sucks, travel rocks

We slept 12 hours last night. After not sleeping at all for the previous 29.

After sitting in cramped airline seats for 9 hours between Portland and Amsterdam.

After blasting eastward through a truncated night and arriving in a strange land with as many signs in English as Dutch.

After hanging out for five hours, most in search of an electrical plugin so we could check on the happiness of our dog back home.

After arriving smoothly in Lisbon, and, to our surprise and thanks to the help of the lovely information officer — “Speak English?” A smile. “A little” — who explained how the Zap cards work on the Metro, buses, trolleys and urban trains, gliding quickly to the Metro exit that put us a short walk from sweet Marie, the young Austrian expat who was waiting on the sidewalk in front of our Airbnb rental to show us in and around.

The photo above is a look through the living room of our place, toward the little patio out back, low below a canyon of windows and laundry lines.

It was the perfect setting for the aged Gouda, hard salami, tomatoes and crusty bread that we washed down with a nice bottle of the local red — before tumbling into bed at 7:30 p.m. local time.

See what I mean? Travel is about stepping beyond the orderly comforts of our everyday lives, into a whiplash of stress and fresh surprises.

This is the first of a series of posts about our visit to Portugal. I abjure Facebook, so I will share links via old-school tools for you who may want to follow along.