We’ve just arrived at the magnificent beach Praia da Dona Ana and then it came. A sms from a lady from CS in Lisbon. It was quite difficult to find a place to stay in Lisbon at that time. We have been planning to arrive there exactly for the Marchas Populares, one of the biggest folks’ festivals in the world. So, as you can imagine, it was not easy to find a host at this time, so I wrote more requests than usual. After all we had decided to stay only one night in Lisbon. The lady who wrote us the sms had insisted already two times that we go to her place, but we hadn’t changed our plans. And then again, this time writing us sms to go and visit her or at least to meet her.
Well, it was strange. She had a nice profile, but somehow telling not as much as usual for a experienced CS-er about herself. And no picture! I hate those profiles without pictures. Without picture it’s always hard to recognise the host. And somehow impersonal. We’ve never hat a bad experience with CS. And almost two years later, we still have no bad experience with CS. But still, we didn’t like to visit a host without picture 🙂 Nevertheless, why shall we change our plans so spontaneously? It was already quite late and if we went directly to Lisbon, it could have been at least 3 more hours of driving. And the day was already long and hot enough. We even have bought a ten-litre-barrel of nice German beer for hour great English host in Albufeira. We can’t take this on the plane back …
But still … there was something special with this mysterious lady … some intuition told us, that we’d better go there. And we decided spontaneously to call her and maybe to go there. After the short conversation with her, we decided to stay at her place and asked for the address. But she told us, that it’s too complicated to find it without a GPS. Even with it could have been difficult enough. So better go to at an easy to find roundabout outside the city and she is going to wait us there with her cross country vehicle. That was strange again. No address? Yes, I know, in the south of Europe, especially in Italy, the address does not always help, but still, I always prefer to have it. But ok, no address is no address. We’ll find her and follow her with our car. We arranged a special signal, kind of car-lights code, in order to recognize ourselves.
Four hours later we were at the roundabout. Yes, four hours, because we stayed one hour in the traffic jam before the old bridge to Lisbon. Stupid thing. Everyone has to pay manually the maut for the bridge. And everyone has to go through this bridge. The river delta there is enormous. It looks like more like a lake, not like a river. There are only two bridges above Tejo coming from the south. And the new one is too far away (very impractical), too expensive and leads outside the city, somewhere in the suburbs. And everyone goes through the old one. So, it was pretty normal to wait in this traffic jam.
Back to the roundabout. There was, as we arranged, a black jeep. We gave the signal. She answered. So we followed her car through a not so difficult to find way. We could have easily found it. Strange again. We were a little scared about everything, but still our intuition tells us that everything is ok. Finally we were at the destination and we met her. It turned later out, that she is about 40, but looking much younger, with a magical smile and very beautiful. We were like Alice in Wonderland. Such a person! Such a woman! Both my friend and I fell immediately in love with her. And still are, when we think about her. I think that he loves us a lot as well. After this great experience I’m always letting my intuition decide and I’m never wrong when I want to take a good decision.
It turned out, that she is quite famous, that’s why everything was so mysterious about her. She is curious to meet new people, but if you are too famous, there are always some people mixing in your life. So she prefers to stay unknown even in CS. That’s why she has no picture and not so much describtion on her profile. She is a journalist and reports from the most dangerous places in the world. She used to be in Rwanda, Afganistan, Iraq, Kosovo and so on. Reporting about wars, problems, drugs and much more. And making unique documentaries about the situation at this hot spots. Pretty dangerous job for such a cute woman. But she knows who to survive.
To go to such dangerous places, to meet such people is not for everyone. Not for you, if you are afraid. She is seldom afraid, but in order not to be afraid, you have to be prepared. Very well prepared. She learns sometimes for years the local languages, cultures, habits until she goes to make her films. She has very interesting books about almost every place on the world. Books with hidden tips, not some cheap travel quides. Books from the greatest explorers of our time. I’m wondering if she is going to write a book about her experiances and about herself. She made a lot of films, but she stays behind the camera. And her life is exactly as interesting as her films, even more interesting. I could have stayed for years at her home reading the books in her library. And maybe I could have experienced even more about the world that by travelling myself. But it could have been second hand experience, real, but not original, not my own. And I wouldn’t have met all those human being who inspire me so much.
She lives in a designed flat. Every detail was in harmony with everything else, but unique. As nature and life are. We had a bath in a heart, we slept on the moon and on the sun. Like in a dream, never ending dream. And I have to mention that she insisted that we try some of the best porto wines. She had some great wines and opened some of them, so we can try. One of the wines was more than 60 years old. I don’t know if I’ll have the pleasure to drink such a wine again. She opened it especially for us. She had never tried such a wine as well. See had only one bottle and she opened it for us! I have no words to express the this feeling. We were not her first guests … We fell easily asleep after some great conversations with her. Fell asleep on the moon and wake up on the sun. Magic happens.
On the next day we had a drink at some bar directly on the delta, a beautiful view. And a place were we experianced the real spirit of Lisbon and it’s people. We could have stayed there for hours looking at the people passing by, everyone telling her/his own story and with unique behaviour. She showed us some very special places in Lisbon and we ate there some very special cakes – the best not home made cakes I’ve ever eaten. And we visited Belem. It’s not possible to be in Lisbon and not visit Belem 🙂 Or it’s not worthy not to visit it 😉 And she told us more about her life and the life at all. She has not the easiest life, but she is happy, she catches every single unique moment of life and enjoys it fully. She is the perfect alive example how not only to live, but to be happy every single moment.
We wanted to spend more time with her, to stay one more night at her home, but it wasn’t possible. Her boyfriend called her and said, that he is coming. He does not like CS. He hates it actually, although he travels a lot, because of her special profession – horse trader. She loves horses and that’s why she loves him. But she does not like him. But as she says: “That’s the magic of life. You can love everyone, even characters you don’t like at all”. Such a wise lady! I will say: “You can’t understand the human being, no matter how hard you try. You can just love them and that’s everything you can do. But that is more than enough”. And you don’t have to! Just love them and be happy! That’s my clue to be happy.