Lisbon must be one of the prettiest cities to fly in to at midnight! Little orange lights pierce the darkness, looking like a pointillist painting. The bridge spans the river in three pointillist curves, this time in white instead of orange. It looked like a sparkling diamond necklace draped across the darkness. Even to our tired eyes it was a visual delight.
Speaking of twinkling and sparkling, we had flown out of Paris right on sunset – right over the Eiffel Tower, all lit up, twinkling and sparkling in glorious beauty. Equally glorious was the sunset itself. Paris spread out before us, dark charcoal punctuated by glittery lights….all the way to the distinct black line of horizon. There a cerise so deep it was almost red was painted across the sky, blending upwards into pumpkin orange, then fading into pale yellow which somehow morphed into pale blue. As we flew the blue canopy turned darker until eventually we were enveloped in velvet blackness. The lone bright star which had appeared before the sun had completely disappeared was joined by a myriad more. I thought of a line from one of the movies I’d watched en route – something like “take time to watch sunrises and sunsets”. Good advice, and particularly spectacular from the heavens. But even from the ground it’s usually simply a matter of perspective and having open eyes. I’m always looking for beauty, and one of the things I love about traveling is the way beauty is so easily found.
PS beauty was in short supply from Shanghai to Paris. We were encased in a speeding medical bullet. There was a constant cacophony of coughing and hoiking and sneezing and general throat clearing. And I mean constant. Take, for example, the lady across the aisle from us. She selected from that menu of sounds at least four times a minute for the entire 13+ hours we were on that plane! No exaggeration at all.
Question for the kids: what is the name of that first “star” that appears in the sky? Do you remember watching it at Rabanal?