Praia da Luz 12/12/2014.
First things first. Happy birthday Jean (mumsy) from us here in the Algarve which as always will be the subject of another blogette.
Lisbon & Cascais 02/12 -05/12/2014
We left Lisbon and headed back to Cascais to drop off the bike to be fixed. As we had not had much sleep due to the noise from the Bellends of Belem we decided to pitch up at the campsite for a couple of days. I did spend a miserable afternoon trying to download series 5 of Midsomer Murders on a copper wire internet connection. It’s a long time since I have seen download speeds in bits per second but hey ho this is Portugal. On the Thursday we get a call from the bike repair man to say the rim had arrived, he quickly added right size, wrong number of spokes. It is difficult to say what emotional envelope I was in at this point having hung around for a week. But, we picked the bike up and headed back into Lisbon ready to give exploring it another go.
Homie Help: There is no service point in Lisbon to get the van replenished. Our advice would be to stay in Cascais and get the train in if you want to visit Lisbon. You can park for free and get a travel card for €6 from Cascais covering Lisbon as well. There is a campsite in Lisbon but is a) expensive, b) right next to a motorway and c) takes an age to get to the city. There is the parking at Belem but take ear plugs.
We parked up again at Belem. The car park has about 50% of it taken up by vans that are heavy on homing but light on motoring, most would not move without the aid of nuclear fusion. The noise of the car park is dependent on the daily influx of middle class, middle age European plastic hippies. These are people, men people to be fair who are having a bit of a mid-life and believe nirvana is achieved by having a career break, buying an old van and playing Neil Young endlessly on the stereo as they lazily head towards the Algarve for winter. The resident Bellends can spot these unfortunate souls and relieve them of their cash or stash or both and then spend the night with their new best mates giggling like schoolgirls on the effects of skunk weed. It is amazing how conversations can last all night with the use of only two words; cool and dude.
Next day we get up bright and early, nip over the road for a custard tart and coffee and leap on the tram for our grand day out. We decided to hire an electric buggy with Red Tours and do the ‘Old Lisbon Tour’. This is mainly the Alfama district and up around the Cathedral and Castle. This was stonking good fun and for €21 the best way in our opinion to see Lisbon. It is hard to put Lisbon as a city into a category but we loved it. It is laid back and much more relaxed than Paris or Rome, far cheaper too. The people are friendly, it just feels great. We had the customary tourist Beer in the main square before heading on the scenic tram 28.
Tourist Tip: The queues to get on the 28 tram can be up to an hour and if you don’t get a seat there is a fair chance you will have your pockets picked. So get tram 25 from the main square in the direction of Estrela and ride it to the terminus. It is not a bad ride in its own right but the secret ingredient to this is that it shares the same terminus as the 28. Just get off the 25 and you will be first in the queue for the 28. Simples.
We finished off by going up the St Justa lift, an amble through Chilado and Barrio before getting the Gloria funicular down and a walk along Augusta to get the tram ‘home’. A thoroughly enjoyable day in a thoroughly enjoyable city. Hats off Lisbon. We will leave you with a tourist tip and some lovely photos including one of a classy gents toilet. Tourist Tip: It has come to our attention there is no a lot of fakery going on with Tripadvisor. We have spotted quite a few places proudly displaying Tripadvisor certificates of excellence for restaurants that do not exist or are not highly rated and said website. As always, Buyer Beware.
Love to all E&T