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Published: August 28th 2013
Welcome to Portugal
What can I say? I never thought 32 degrees would feel quite so refreshing, but after 6 days of cool breezes in Switzerland, I'm loving it. Lets just say I now know why Switzerland is SO green and lush; Ireland may be known as the Green Isle, but Switzerland could take the Green landlocked country hands down! Got caught in a flash rain storm in St Gallen walking to the train station so was literally drenched when I arrived. Still managed to get a Starbucks before I left.
I generally don't blog much about the actual travel however today had been a series of minor hiccups that all one can do is laugh. as i said to someone while I stood dripping water outside the train station, this is my 'fake happy' face! From the pouring rain, to getting on the wrong car on the train, to standing in the wrong check in line, to my flight being 45 minutes late, to standing in the departures customs line in Lisbon for 45 minutes to find out i was trying to leave the country I just arrived in, to almost losing my bag as it spun around solo all that time, well, it's been a challenging morning.
Customs officer: Where are you going?
CO: that's it?
Me: we'll I'm traveling all around Portugal, but staying here a couple days
CO: nowhere else?
Me: (now feeling quite befuddled) um everywhere? ( I wanted to ask her if she had recommendations at this point)
CO: then what are you doing in the departures line up
! In hindsight I know she was trying to hide a smirk, but you never mess with customs........ Leaving before I even arrived, now that is Passport stamping! Not that I got one since its part of the EU.
Lets say that that Lisbon airport is not strong on signage. Or I'm not good at paying attention! But standing in a line up for 40 minutes with a bunch of ancy Brazilians was interesting to say the least. What amazed me is I managed to get cut off in a queue that wasn't even moving.
Found my Trafalgar rep who is my TD as well, and he is confused as to where everyone else is, and is still waiting for the rest who were on same flight. Grabbed a coffee, Pedro took us to the hotel and I wandered around a few of the main streets. Reminds me of Buenos Aires actually, old colonial styled balconies, modern shops, artisan graffiti, and wide boulevards with trees and places to sit. Tonight is our Welcome Reception, and apparently it's a full on dinner, so Pedro warned us not to eat first. I'm on a one hour time change and m very hungry, looking forward to the orientation drive so we can get food!
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