Today we had class for 4 hours and then after walking back and fourth from the school a few times, we went on a field trip to Alfama, which is an old part of Lisbon and the Castelo São Jorge. The area’s beautiful and I have so many pictures. There’s no real streets within most of this part of the city so you have to walk up and down stairs, through little alleyways for everything. It’s cool to see, but might be a pain to live there. This part of the city used to have a Roman wall, built in the 4th century AD to keep people out, but it became a hassle after Lisbon became a big port so it was integrated into the city. That’s one reason why the streets are at odd angles, they follow the wall.
These buildings are really old and need updating and renovating but Portugal’s doing it in a cool way; they do just a few buildings at a time and put those people in temporary housing while the reconstruction is going on and then they bring the same people back to those houses or neighborhoods, instead of reselling them for thousands more (though, with the lack of streets, garages, regular conveniences, it’d be hard to get the wealthy people to live there). Apparently this project is really costly and taking forever, but it’s still a cool idea.
The castle was cool too. It didn’t have anything on the inside, it was just open, but there were some amazing views of the city, but from the opposite side of town of where I’ve been.
After the field trip, maybe 12 of us had tickets to the Benfica soccer game, so after a lot of calling and “organizing” we finally all met up and went to the game. It was crazy and awesome. The crowd was a little like Smith’s convocation, except with more men, more clothes, and more soccer. Benfica won 2-0 against Tel-Aviv and scored some pretty awesome goals. We all either had Benfica shirts, scarfs, or colors so it was lots of fun.
The crowds though…those were crazy. The group to the right of us was singing or chanting the entire game, going through 5-10 different songs, and there were groups like that of probably 100 people or more each in each corner. The Tel Aviv corner must have been surrounded by 100 security people too, but I don’t think any fights broke out. The stadium wasn’t packed but it was pretty different from any American sporting event I’ve been to. A bunch of people had huge flags…with the soccer team’s symbol, pictures, acronyms, I don’t even know.