Archive for November, 2019

Portugal diary, day 13

Saturday, 30 November, 2019

Thursday, 23 May, 2019. About 21:30, on board the plane

This morning we slept in late. The breakfast basket was placed at 08:30 we were told, so there was no real reason to get up any earlier. It had two large bread rolls, one dark brown and one with grains, a small jar of raspberry jam, packs of butter, a plate of cream cheese and mild sliced cheese, a banana, a kiwifruit, an apple, a pear, a small bottle of milk, and two pastéis de nata, the mystery sweet treat. A fairly predictable mystery I suppose, but I hadn’t given it any thought so it was a pleasant surprise.

Reflecting on Lisbon
Exploring Bairro Alto on our last day

After breakfast we headed off for a short walk through the Bairro Alto, to explore more streets that we hadn’t walked down before. Before too long we had to return to our room to shower and repack our bags for the trip home. This took us until about 13:00, when we checked out. The reception office had a small white dog that was lounging on a small sofa each time we’d gone in. M. pointed out that it had a play area in the window, with artificial grass, a bed, and some toys.

Read more: our final day in Lisbon, catching a tram, getting caught in a political rally, walking up and down a lot of hills, and travelling home to Sydney

Portugal diary, day 12

Sunday, 17 November, 2019

Wednesday, 22 May, 2019. 14:11

We are on the train back from Porto to Lisbon. We got up slowly this morning and went down for the hotel breakfast buffet. It had a decent selection of items, with cereals, fruit, yoghurt, breads with various spreads, pancakes, sliced meats, cheeses, boiled eggs, and custard tarts in two sizes, slightly larger than normal and bite sized. They also had a do-it-yourself juicer with bowls of various fruits and a knife and chopping board. The sliced bread was actually being baked in an oven right there by the staff, who pulled hot loaves out and sliced them to place in the basket. This bread was very good. We had some muesli and yoghurt and fruit and then various bits of bread. I tried one of each sized tart to see if they were any different, but they were essentially the same. Good, but I’ve had better in the past few days!

Porto hotel breakfast
Breakfast, with two sizes of Portuguese tart!

We now had a couple of hours to kill before checking out and heading to the station for our train. We headed out to walk back down to the historic town area and do some more wandering to see places we hadn’t seen yet. Heading down a different street we ended up at the top of the double deck Dom Luís I Bridge we’d crossed at river level yesterday. Here we were up on the top of the arch, maybe 50 or 60 metres above the water, and the view was different and spectacular. We walked out about halfway across the bridge to get some photos and then came back. The bridge at this level is not open to cars, but only to pedestrians and two tram lines which cross it down the middle. With the trams only running every four or five minutes, there’s plenty of opportunity to cross from one side of the bridge to the other to catch the views on each side.

Read more: Last look at the hills of Porto, then on the train to Lisbon, where we explore Chiado and the Bairro Alto, before a fantastic dinner