We left Sacto on a beautiful Monday morning and flew our first leg
of the journey into L.A. which was socked in with fog. Immediately
our flight on a United 777 was delayed 2 and a half hours so we rescheduled
out next connection from London to Lisbon as we definitely were not
going to make the flight. United probably has the oldest planes left
that fly across the ocean and it really makes for a longer flight
without the entertainment systems in the seats.
Posted by Scott
So after 10 hours we descended into Heathrow and deplaned. We had
to go to the TAP Air Portugal counter and reconfirm our tickets for
the later flight and then we had 3 hours to kill in the terminal so
we got a bite to eat. We boarder a Airbus A320 and headed to Lisbon.
After landing we went through customs and got our 500 pounds of luggage,
not actually 500 pounds but the most we have brought since we are
staying so long. The customs agent told us not to take a taxi because
they will steal from you but after asking around he meant that they
will drive us around the long way, we had thought he was saying they
would rob us. It turns out our taxi driver was extra friendly and
gave us a five star tour on the way to the hotel. Lisbon is on the
river right next to the ocean and on hilly terrain similar to San
We got checked into the Hotel Asiz and then decided we would go grab
a bite to eat so we walked down the street and ended up at a local
steak shop called Grill 20. The food was good and not too expensive.
Posted by Scott
Acting like Tourist.....
Woke up and ate breakfast at the hotel then headed out for the day.
We stayed at the Marques de Pombal and so we walked down towards the
water on Avenue Da Liberdade which is similar to the Champs Elysses
in Paris. When we got to the bottom of the hill we were in the old
part of Lisbon which is very nice. We stopped and had a drink outside
in front of the restaurant and then Maddie and Lisa went into a shop
and bought Maddie a new swimsuit.
We decided after walking a bit that we would be total tourist and
the Yellow Bus tour which is one of those double decker buses you
see in any city hauling around the foreigners with cameras. After
the walk the bus ride was just the ticket and we ended up riding across
town to Belem on the outskirts of Lisbon located right on the riverbank.
We ate some lunch then strolled down the street looking for the Pastries
de Belem a local shop that has been making special cakes for hundreds
of years and supposedly quite the spot. They serve over 25,000 of
these cakes per day and on this day they would serve a hundred extra
cakes. Yes they are that good…….
After that we rode the yellow bus back to downtown and walked around
old Lisbon checking out the scene. The old part of town is like going
back in time and the smell of salted fish stinks up the air. Old trooley
cars still line the streets and every building is hundreds of years
Lisa and Maddie did some more shopping and we stopped and got some
coffees where Lisa and Maddie claim to have had the best coffee drink
ever. After that we got dinner outside an Italian restaurant where
the food was not that good but the ambience was nice. We rode the
metro subway back to the hotel.
Afterwards I took a walk around town to capture somme night shots.
I was after a particular shot of a roman style aquaduct that crosses
a valley that was just a mile walk away. It turns out it was in a
not so good neighborhood and I was setting up a shot when a local
kid walked by and spotted the camera gear. He stopped across the street
and tried not to stare as he called his buddies on his cell phone.
I was catching on to what was happening so I started walked and so
did he. When we got to the next intersection I turned right and then
immediatly right again and as soon as I was out of his sight I heard
him start whistling and yelling in portugese to his buddies - probably
to hurry up. I ran right and then right again going a full circle
around the block then headed left which seemed to work as I never
saw them again.
Posted by Scott
Night Train to Madrid....
I started the day by heading down to the central train station and
buying tickets for the Lusitania night hotel train to Madrid while
the girls got breakfast. The tickets were a bit expensive but when
you consider it is your hotel for the night and they serve you dinner
and breakfast then the price seems right. We checked out of the hotel
and left our luggage with the hotel while we rode the metro and local
buses to Dolce Vida the largest mall in Portugal where Kidzania is
Maddie wanted to visit Kidzania since she had so much fun at the one
in Dubai. They had a real airliner fuselage in front of the check
in for the place and inside was just as amazing as Dubai. Maddie enjoyed
working at McDonalds the most where she got to assembly hamburgers.
Afterword we strolled around the Mall for a while before we took the
public transport back to get our luggage.
After picking up the bags we took a cab to the rail station and checked
them into a locker as it was only 7:00 and the train did not board
until 10:00. We took the subway into Chiado a beautiful district of
Lisbon on the hillside. We came across some local skateboarders jumping
of ancient architecture as I took their photos and they exchanged
emails to get copies of the pictures. We killed two hours and then
returned to the rail station.
Once back at the station we got our luggage out of the lockers. Maddie
and I went looking for the train and Lisa stayed to watch the luggage
and to our surprise when we returned Lisa had a dog. Yes a dog, a
full grown boxer. She was just dog sitting while the owner went to
run an errand.
Once on the train we were surprised at how small the cabin was and
how much luggage we had to fit into it. Maddie did not have a bunk
and would have to share the tiny bed with one of us. After getting
situated and the train started moving we got dinner which was very
pleasant after such a long day.
Posted by Scott