Cafe e Chocolate Bolo
My flight from EWR to LIS went swimmingly. It left at 5:45p and arrived at 5:45am, which means the overnight flight jumped into the future by 5 hours. Unfortunately, my plan of trying to pre-adjust to the time change backfired as I didn't sleep a wink on the flight. If you've never been, all International flights are like luxury. They continually feed you, like every 2 hours. About an hour in, dinner was served and then halfway through a breakfast snack was served.
TAP Portugal is a legit budget airline, for the record. The plane was beautiful and modern, with lime green headrests and touch screen entertainment consoles for every seat. I pre-ordered vegan meals. They succeeded in giving me an entirely vegan meal (complete with non dairy butter and soy creamer), but they must think that spices aren't vegan either. My entree of white rice with steamed shrooms, bell pepper, zucchini, and edamame seriously needed some spice. TAP also believes that good wine is part of Portugal's culture, so the flight included red or rose. I also ordered a decaf coffee (it was 2:00am!) and it was hands down the best coffee I've ever drank. Nespresso I think, and so good I spent a solid minute with my nose in the tiny little cup.
I started this blog a week ago while I was waiting for Lisbon to wake up, and now it's a week later. So much has happened that I can barely even think to write about my days spent in the airport. Yet, they were important because I did spend about 10 hours haunting their arrivals area. My retreat group arrived on 4 different flights spaced about 3 hours apart, so I greeted each one and then guided them through the Metro system to our Apartment.
Fortunately, the Metro system in Lisbon is amazing and cheap. Out of international arrivals, turn right (away from the Starbucks!) and walk down the ramp. Buy a data SIM card at Vodafone (30GB for 15 days for 15EUR), then stop of a cafe and cake at My Bistro. Walk out the door to the Metro and use the machines to buy a ViaViagem card for 0.50 EUR + zapping credit. Each ride is 1.31 EUR when you use this recharge option. The airport is on the far north end of the red line. Take the red line away from the airport to the green line and transfer to head south to get to Baixa-Chiado and Bairro Alto where the town comes alive at night and is filled with swanky shops during the day.
On my first day in Lisbon, I arrived at 06:00 with nothing to do. After drinking 3 espressos, I checked my luggage (5 EUR for 24 hours) in the arrivals hall and caught the Metro to the Oriente stop to visit the Oceanarium. It was pouring so I splurged the 3 EUR to take an Uber from the Metro station. The Oceanarium ticket was 18 EUR purchased from the machine. Don't underestimate how many people show up at the 10:00 opening. It was a great way to spend a rainy morning, but I breezed through it in an hour. I walked back via the mall and hangrily ate a Mediterranea platter lunch. It took 15 minutes to find the exit to the mall, but the Metro was directly across the street and took me back to the airport in 10 minutes.
If I needed to park a car (which I didn't because Surprice Car Rentals screwed me over and didn't have the van I paid for), it was about 44 EUR for 24 hours to park at the airport.
Summary: LIS is an excellent airport with very easy access to the city. Use the Metro and get to the downtown hub in 20 minutes for less than 2 EUR.
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