Day 7 - 21st of October
Yuck, rain rain and more rain. Still going to the zoo though. We chose that over Belèm, one of the places that was recommended to me. I'll catch it next time...
Outside of the zoo, there are big cages with various tropical birds in them, all very chatty. The cages were big enough for the birds to fly around in, though most of them preferred to stay on their perches. Some of them right by the food bowl. From what I understand, these kinds of birds only fly to find food, water, and clay (to help them digest their food). Interesting. When we got inside, we were greeted by a blue and gold macaw and a green amazon parrot. In typical usual tuxette style, I started baby-talking to the parrots. The green one blinked at me as if I were nuts...
The first thing we looked at was a sort of petting zoo set up for children. I'm not sure this fellow (NSFW?) would be considered appropriate for children to see? Or? *snicker* *snicker* We then went into this huge (and I mean huge) cage full of lorikeets. They call it Parque Acro-íris. The Rainbow Park. In order to go in, you have to go through one door, and then a thick chain curtain. Then, you got to see the lorikeets, and a few toucans, up close and personal. As in if you don't watch out they fly in your face. You also have to look out up above, if you know what I mean... Oh, and in the cage there were several zoo employees who watched and followed us carefully, from when we went in to when we left. Kooky, but fully understandable...
Next was the sea lion and dolphin show. It was one of the best I've ever seen. Among other things, the seals are able to stand up on their hind flippers and dance with the trainers, and the dolphins, clicking and squeaking away like mad, leaped up to amazing heights and tossed one of the trainers high up into the air. The absolute highlight of it all was getting kissed on the cheek by a big sea lion. Yep, you heard me. A big kiss. (And yes, boyfriend of tuxette was very jealous hahaha!) This happened at the end of the show. They took two seals around, starting at different ends of the stands. The seal blubbered its way along the benches, kissing groups of ecstatic schoolkids and eventually reaching me and giving me a big, wet, salty, fishy kiss. Boyfriend of tuxette got one too
Another highlight was the Reptile House. It was very impressive, with a good variety of species. Including a komodo dragon with a nice Ring of Fat. (Hmm...a lot of the lizards and snakes here are nice and fat!) They seemed to "specialize" in turtles and had lots of different kinds, among other things, including this strange one.
THEY HAVE PENGUINS HERE! I got one of them to open its mouth enough for me to see its spiky tongue and roof of mouth. Woohoo!
The next show was a very interesting bird show. An open-air bird show, where the birds flew around and did various tricks in the air, sometimes with the help of the kids in the audience. The various raptors were especially neat. There was this one that scared the shit out of all the pigeons. When this little hawk flew, the pigeons flew frantically in the opposite direction. Hilarious! Though he/she was a stubborn one. After the show, he/she didn't want to come down from the wire it was perched on.
Incidentally, ducks have no shame. As we walked around after the bird show, we saw this pair of ducks courting one another in a pond. Suddenly the male duck got up on the female and nonchalantly started going at it. As if we weren't there. And the male bit the female's neck and held her head under water - wtf? After they were done, the female started preening and the male swam away. Both were quacking happily. No, we don't have a video of it...
All in all, the Lisbon Zoo is very nice for being a small zoo. It seems like most of the animals have enough space, and they look healthy. Their most bizarre feature - a dog cemetary. Yep. A good-sized cemetary where people have buried their beloved pet dogs.
After looking at the rest of the animals, we were quite hungry and headed back into town to look for some food. By then, the piss-rain was really coming down. And because of it, a lot of the restaurants and cafés were quite full. Eventually we came to a restaurant called Marisqueria Popular. I ordered rice and shellfish and boyfriend of tuxette ordered roast pork. With crackling. Mmmm...pork fat. We drank Vinho Verde (Quinta de Minho 2005) with our meal, one that was specifically produced for local restaurants it seems. Vinho Verde is a lower-alcohol wine (9%) which is light and slightly bubbly. This one was very tasty. Our tasting notes: Color - very pale, almost colorless. Nose - fresh, white grapes, grapefruit. Palate - lemon pop but less sweet, semi-dry, pink grapefruit aftertaste. Would be great with spicy Asian food. Rating -
For dessert we had this almond torte along with some coffee and port. The torte was very marsipan-like, and very very rich and filling. I'm going to have to try making something like this at home...
And then the surreal. First, a big mixed group of Norwegians turned up and got themselves a table a bit away from us, luckily
Our final evening: Packing sucks sour balls. After getting most of our packing done, we went to The Rat's place where we had some beer and finished up writing postcards. We were too stuffed from dinner to be bothered with food though.
There are some interesting characters here tonight. There's one guy sitting at the beer tap with plumber pants, full cleavage action. His sidekick is rather thin, and has an umbrella hanging from the back of his coat.
The Rat and the rest of the gang that works here work very hard. It's full-gear all the time. Did I ever mention that boyfriend of tuxette noticed that with a very few exceptions, wait- and bar staff at restaurants/cafés are men? When he mentioned it to me, it hit me as well...almost all of the places we've eaten...served by men. Unlike here in Oslo...
RING OF FAT PERSPECTIVE
More breakfast! More breakfast!
Why are you walking around so much? Come on, can't you hear me growling? Stop looking at those stupid birds. Mmmm...roast tropical birds!
Aaaaah, at last! Foooooood! And wiiiiiine! Ooooh! Port! And dessert! Tasty almond treat! Give me more! More!
Mmm....beer! Hey, why aren't you getting any food?