France, Spain, and Portugal 2017

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November 16th 2017
Published: November 19th 2017
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Monday November 13, Lisbon
The short drive from Sintra to Lisbon had us arriving at the Hotel Mundial by 11am. It was a large, modern hotel in the center of town. We were too early to get into our rooms, but we dropped off our luggage after parking in the hotel's underground lot and off we went on our walkabout. Dawn and I visited here briefly 8 years ago while on a cruise, but my memory of the city was quite vague. We do remember the incredible history and atmosphere here in Lisbon, the capital of Portugal since 1255, and one of the smallest European capitals...vibrant and multicultural. There are many beautiful squares with fountains and statues, one after the other, between our hotel and the promenade on the River Tagus. We walked through the Praca do Rossio and then down the pedestrian street, Rua Augusta, people watching and shop browsing. Lynda and Barry had to purchase another bag for their belongings as somehow they had run out of room...Christmas gifts for multiple generations? We enjoyed the warmth of a sunny day along the water, took some photos, misplaced Dawn's change purse forever and, after stopping for cervesas, headed back to the hotel for a delicious lunch in the dining room overlooking more lovely fountains. Then we crashed. Tuesday morning we went up the steep hill via a famous funicular called Acensor da Gloria to the upper old town, Bairro Alta, picking up a few more Portugese treasures and embracing the historic atmosphere. In the evening the area is famous for tapas and Fado. By afternoon we headed for the Algarve.

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