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Published: November 9th 2021
Doesn't that look like a cartoon came to life?
There was only one thing to do after the cooking class, and I did exactly that. Nap! This was my third day here in Lisbon, and I had been going full throttle (if you read the second blog, you will recognize that term) so it felt good to take an afternoon to rest. I was supposed to be organizing and packing my luggage for the train trip to Porto, but my thought was that I could throw crap in, sit on the suitcase, zip it up, call it happy and get some sleep; whereas, if I really took the time to fold and pay attention, I would get into an endless packing cycle. Do I need this? Should I pack this? Will the hotel notice if I took the alarm clock and desk lamp? You get the picture. So, yes. Napping won and the hotel was able to keep its room intact.
At the agreed upon evening meeting time, Dave, Merry Jo and I decided to Uber it down to a funicular that leads up to a viewpoint. Lisbon is a very clean city, and traffic is less chaotic than some places I have been. The Uber ride was quick
and easy, and soon we were standing at the bottom of the Elevador Gloria. Since I hadn’t done much research for this trip, I had no idea of what this was going to be, but it had to be something fun since fun is in the name. Slowly it descended around the corner, past well graffiti-ed walls to stop where we were standing. With the graffiti on the funicular, it looked like a cartoon car had come to life. On we hopped, and slowly it started up the hill. As I have said before, I always enjoy riding public transportation, and this was a great ride. It was very short, but it served its purpose, and soon we were up on a hill overlooking the city and river. The sun was setting, giving a golden glow to the city as we walked in the cool evening air. The temperature has been well above seasonal average, so days have been hot. It was nice to be out in the cool air. We decided to take a tuk tuk back towards the hotel to a wine bar we had all noticed. I haven’t ridden in a tuk tuk, but was up for
Rocking my new suitcase (after 20 years of the old one) and messenger bag (14 years on that one)
something new. The rest of the evening was pretty much par for the course. Wine, yummy pate and charcuterie, wine, crackers, wine. It was a grand way to end our time in Lisbon.
The next morning, I had to pay the piper for my napping yesterday, and throw crap in the suitcase just as I had planned. Fortunately, I have gained some weight on this trip, so had enough oomph to close and zip the suitcase. A quick Uber ride took us to the modern rail station to catch our train to Porto. Of course, even after determining what direction the train would be going, we ended up on the wrong end of the platform, and had to hustle to the other end. I have not seen this before, but even while there was a long line of passengers waiting to board, the doors started to close. We pushed our way onto the next car with some other passengers, and as the train left the station found our way to our seats.
The trip was smooth and pleasant as we passed through fields and small towns while we worked on our blogs. At the Porto station we were
Dave and I were shocked at how much we liked Porto
met by a representative from Tauck, the cruise line we were using. Yes, I do enjoy being met at a station or airport. We chatted with our driver as we rode to our hotel. Tauck was putting us up at Le Monumental Palace hotel, a grand, Neoclassical hotel built in 1923. Our rooms were not yet ready, so we stowed our luggage and went out in search of food.
Compared to Lisbon, Porto is a bit grittier, more weather worn, but still a nice city. I was seriously craving a hamburger, so launched a campaign to find a burger place. With our phones in hand, we walked, and walked. I was feeling badly making Dave and Merry Jo walk so far for what I could only hope was a good burger, but they were on board, and boy howdy was it worth it. We walked in to hear the blues playing; it was a good sign. Beers and amazing burgers, that is what we wanted and exactly what we found. I was so happy and content. So far things on this trip have worked out well.
After some down time in the hotel, it was time for food
again. This time, it was pizza that I was craving. There was a small restaurant just up the hill from the hotel, and from the crowd, it looked like a good place. They were seriously understaffed, but the pizza was hot, crisp and just what we needed. To be honest, I was so hungry that I don’t know if I even took a picture of it.
Overnight, the weather turned grey and chilly. We needed to check out of the hotel, leaving our bags in the room for transfer to the ship. With several hours to kill, we spend the morning riding the hop on/hop off bus, although we did not hop. We sat and enjoyed the scenery of Porto as the bus wound through the narrow streets. To be honest, my mind was on the river cruise. We were to meet at 3:30 to be taken to the ship. Back at the hotel, we ate lunch while checking out the other passengers. For fun, we gave names and backstories to some, and of course were wildly wrong about them all. It was great fun and set us up for the grand adventure ahead. But, you will have to
wait, because I haven’t written that blog yet. Soon, my friends, soon.
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D MJ Binkley
Dave and Merry Jo Binkley
You make me laugh!
You are still rambling on about that walk to get the burger. Dave and I have decided it must have been too much for you and you are projecting it on us as we were fine! LOL. Indeed it was yummy! Porto is no Lisbon but it has its high points. Great traveling with you again.
We are all Rock Stars
Lol, yes, the walk was weighing heavily, but the burgers made it all worth while. I didn't want us to do that walk and end up with a sad, tasteless burger. It was great traveling with you, and I can't wait to do it again.
And the band plays on
Blogs, burgers & bloopers. More to come no doubt. Masked Americans let loose in Europe...great to see the Masked Bandits are having fun!
Let loose in Europe
That is such a great way to put it, especially after a pandemic travel drought. Yes, we were let loose, and many bloopers to follow.
La Vida Loca
The good (and funny) life! You three really rock it. And Lisbon is one great place to wipe out that pandemic travel drought. Happy for you guys.
It really was
We knocked all the travel cobwebs out while enjoying a magnificent city. Thank you so much Liliram.
I like the sound of Porto, I enjoy visiting gritty cities, this sounds like one of them. I've also started recently to enjoy the hop-on hop-off buses, but mostly as you did also with no hopping, just the viewing. The Douro River trip sounds exciting ?
Porto was a fun place. Although I haven't been to Scotland yet, I had always associated The Granite City with Aberdeen, due to a mystery series I read. Porto is also very much a granite city, and make my desire to visit Aberdeen even stronger. Thanks for reading along on this trip.
Ren & Andrew
Love this photo!
I've finally back in TB land after a long break, and found the time to catch up on your blogs. I've now very eager to see if you compare the outrageous stories you made up about your fellow passengers (something we love to do too) with the reality of who they were when you got to know them! :)
I have been MIA myself
Work has taken over my life, so I am just now getting onto my page. I love your comments. Not sure when, but I know we will meet sometime, somewhere, and we will sit and create our own stories about strangers we see.
Ren & Andrew
Well, definitely a super-power of sorts :)
Your blogs never fail to make me smile or giggle, but I think this is the first time I've laughed out very loudly.. when I saw the graffiti on the front of the tram :D
Just for the record
I would like to point out that neither Dave, Merry Jo, nor I added to the graffiti on that sad tram.