Jorge was our tour guide in Lisbon but he doesn’t like the title ‘Tour Guide’, he prefers ‘Story Teller’, which is exactly what he is.
For 3 hours, Jorge, pronounced like the English name George (he made it clear he was NOT Spanish and so his name was NOT hor-hay) led us around the streets of Lisbon, telling tales of it’s 3000 year history. It was fascinating.
We learnt so much, from how Lisbon was built, it’s role in various empires, it’s journey through dictatorship and how it was rebuilt from a devastating earthquake, along with fun facts like how the dashing equestrian statue of King Joseph I isn’t actually a tribute to him but rather, a mockery.
When the city needed a leader the most, the King deserted Lisbon as, after the earthquake, he developed a severe case of claustrophobia. Some believe the statue (above) to be a mockery as the King is cast in a feeble light, wearing feathers in his hat, riding a pony-sized horse, holding a fairy wand and most importantly, his back to the city as he rides away.
And, we learnt that authors Ian Fleming and J. K. Rowling based many of their characters, story lines and plots around their experiences in Lisbon, and Portugal.
Whether all the tales he told were true, we’ll never know. It’s the enjoyment level that counts and we give him 10/10!