Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Lehigh Choral Arts in Portugal and an introduction

First, an introduction: I'm Brandon Franz and these are my thoughts on my interests and activities.

I was on tour with Lehigh Choral Arts from May 6 - May 15 in Portuguese cities Lisbon, Sesimbra, Palmela, √Čvora, Cascais, Sintra, and Estoril. We sang at three different churches and a palace, and as Doc said, each performance was better than the last. I thoroughly enjoyed them despite singing much less pieces than members of University Choir. The last performance was moving and sounded great.

The best day in Lisbon was after we were dropped off at Rossio Square for a free afternoon and evening. I had a liter of beer with lunch, we found a free wine tasting store after that, then two bottles of beer, and another liter with dinner at Republica de Cerveja, the Republic of Beer. The beer that runs Portugal is Super Bock. Another defining quality of Portugal is their hamburgers with mystery meat and an egg. For a foreign country, they sure produce some great hamburgers, especially at four in the morning.

Sergio was a good tour guide, taking us through churches, palaces, and city tours. Most of the group took his suggestion to atttend a soccer game, in which Lisbon's worst team out of three, Belinenses, lost 5-0 to Braga in Liga Sagres, the other beer that had high sponsorship in Portugal.

I had two casino experiences: in Lisbon, I lost 70 euro; in Estoril (apparently the biggest casino in Europe), I won 20 euro, both times playing roulette and discovering video roulette. I also found 20 euro on the ground one day, so that's a decent total. There was graffiti everywhere, except on public transportation, it seemed. It was a great trip that we were able to enjoy because we stayed in one hotel the whole time and had some free time to work with, both unlike in China.

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