Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Lisbon, Portugal

The number of weekend's we have left open in Europe is winding down. This past one we spent in Lisbon, Portugal. We took the low cost carrier Easyjet which offers pretty cheap airfare but with less service and organization then Southwest. There were boarding groups "Easy Boarding", "A", and "B". But there were no lines or signs to indicate where you should stand. A general observation is that most Europeans don't seem to grasp the concept of a queue. Every situation we have been in that it would have been polite to stand in line, people rush in a crowd with no organization and try to take the best of what they can get. It was aggravating to say the least. There are no assigned seats so it was first come first serve.

Once in Portugal, we discovered that our bank back home had shut off our bank cards and there was no hope for reactivation. We literally had 30 euros in our wallets so we spent several hours in the airport after we landed on Skype, the internet, and at Western Union. Rob's dad helped us out and we finally got money for the weekend. The weekend was off to a rough start.

We had read about taxi drivers scamming tourists so we decided to buy a taxi voucher at the information booth at the airport. She warned us it might be 5 euros more then the regular rate of a taxi, but we bought it anyway. We are glad we did since our B&B was hard to find in the Bairro Alto district of town and the driver had to ask a couple of other taxi drivers and locals how to get there. I couldn't imagine trying to explain this to him without the voucher lady at the airport helping us out. We did find out though on our taxi ride back to the airport to leave that we paid almost twice as much then the actual cab far would have been. 10 Euros compared to 20 Euros.

We were very pleasantly surprised at the niceness of the bed and breakfast! It was a 7 room place decorated very modern. It was run by Alex and Vasco and their adopted 8 month old son (from the states!) Edgar. They had 3 sweet dogs running around the place who listened well and were very friendly to pet. The breakfast was the best euro style breakfast I have ever had. The bread was nice and fresh and the preserves were home made. I also think the OJ was fresh squeezed! If you are ever in Lisbon, you have to stay here! Casa De Bairro. They have only been open for 2 months but have skyrocketed to 2nd place in Trip Advisor. Our air conditioning was on the fritz, but we had been warned before we stayed and received a discount rate for putting up with it.

We took it easy in Lisbon and didn't try to run around and see everything we could and just tried to stay cool. It was 36 C most of the weekend so we actively tried to walk on the shaded sides of streets and took many breaks. We saw a lot of sights including the downtown area, the castle, bairro alto, chiado, maritime museum, jeronimos monastery, santa justa elevator, had custard tarts in belem, and drank lots of port at the port wine institute.


If you are planning a trip we recommend the following:

1. The port wine institute where we sampled fantastic white ports, tawny's, and ruby's. We were also introduced to as yummy creamy sheep's milk cheese.
2. Taking the ferry across the river to Caclihas and having some authentic Portuguese seafood. The ferry only cost 4 Euros for two round trip tickets. We didn't try the Caracois but many people were eating them.

Santa Justa Elevator - connecting the downtown to Bairro Alto

Classic Tiled Building

At the maritime museum. A royal barge.

White Sangria

Special Rice with Fish - YUMMY

Typical Street with a yellow tram

View from park at the top of the hill from our B&B. See the "golden gate" behind?

Port Wine Institute with a Tawny from 1980.

Antiga Confeitaria de Belem - Custard Tarts Since 1841!!!

Jeronimos Monastery - There was a wedding going on inside!


For the rest of our pictures.... click here.

1 comments:

Amanda June 23, 2009 at 6:10 AM  

Lisbon looks like a great city! I can't imagine 36 degree weather. (Though Spring Valley gets that warm, by body has adjusted to CH weather.)

About This Blog

Tina & Rob have relocated their lives to Geneva, Switzerland. This blog is a story of their adventure during the year and all the details inbetween.

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