Monday, 10 October 2011

Taking steps to ensure a successful holiday

Back at work after a memorable break in Portugal in Spain.

As I pointed out before, I really enjoyed Portugal. However, one of the things that made the place so charming was that it was so hilly – you get some breathtaking views, but at the cost of breath-shortening climbs. Right from the start, in Lisbon. Flights of steps everywhere. 

Lisbon: getting us in the mood for steps
‘Hilly place,’ I commented at one point, as I paused just before the top of a particularly gruelling climb.

‘Can’t hide anything from you,’ remarked my son Nicky.

Now that’s one of my favourite lines, so getting it thrown back in my face like that underlined one of the less agreeable aspects of ageing parenthood: eventually your kids take over from you and give you as good as they ever got. I used to have a monopoly on cynicism in family, and it’s chastening to have to share it.

Steps in the Moorish castle in Sintra.
Smartarse in the foreground
Funny thing is, the stairs seemed to be everywhere we went in Portugal. Lisbon. Sintra. Lagos. Glorious sights, back-breaking climbs. I increasingly thought of the trip as the ‘step holiday’.

Oh, no. Not again.
Near Lagos. No, not that one. It's in Africa.
Still, the country was worth it. Wonderful place. We’ll have to go back. 

Funnily enough, previously Id wanted to go to another country first. Another country I’d never visited: Russia. Not quite the same weather as Portugal, I understand, but the languages - don't they sound so similar? ‘Sh’ and ‘awl’ everywhere, all dark ‘l’s and palatisation. I was very tempted to visit another country with such smooth sounds.

But now Im less keen. Not sure I can handle all those steppes. 

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

You probably can't hide anything from me either, but here's a thought:

As one becomes an ageing and decrepit parent, one's offsprings travel the opposite way. E.g. Nicky