Category Archives: Portugal

Lisbon City Center

Today was our last full day in Portugal and we spent it leisurely touring the downtown area around our apartment. We visited a church in which the roof collapsed, killing everyone inside (Carmo Convent) during the earthquake that practically leveled Lisbon in 1755. Near that church is an elevator where you can reach a viewing platform with a panorama of downtown Lisbon which was pretty cool as well. We also visited a church that was left unrepaired after the 5th time it caught on fire in the 1950s. That was pretty unusual, as it’s still an active church. Apparently it was left in the partially burned state as an act of repentance for the suffering inflicted by the church during the inquisition, as that building was the headquarters. We also met up for a private walking tour that mostly focused on local food, although we got a bit of history on some of the public squares as well. Definitely an informative and relaxed day. Seafood, wines, cheeses, hams… all great. We’ll mostly be heading home thinking of the amazing breads, sweets, and pastries. Until the next trip, which hopefully won’t be long ;-)…… Continue reading Lisbon City Center

Grottos and Castles in Sintra

So we slept in a bit and didn’t get out until late morning… I think we’re reset at this point on our sleep schedule. We went to a different part of the train station for the longer distance trains to head about 45 minutes outside of Lisbon to an historic area called Sintra. The ticket situation was a little confusing as the machines didn’t seem to sell the type of tickets we needed. I asked a security guard (who then face-palmed some local who tried to interrupt), and he leaned in and said softly “listen, off the record, everyone is on strike, the ticket counter has nobody working, today you don’t need a ticket, just go on the the train.” A train promptly arrived and he was telling the truth, so we certainly saved a few Euros. The way back was a different story, while it was also free, it was an hour and a half late and a bit crowded. Continue reading Grottos and Castles in Sintra

A Truly Shameless Passenger

I enjoy passenger shaming as much as anyone. I might even go so far as to say that the process is sometimes one of the enjoyable facets of travel, in particular during group transit periods. The thing is, brazenly snapping pictures of brazenly bad behavior is a risky proposition when you’re trapped in a high-altitude, high-speed aluminum tube with any number of potential lunatics. Not to mention that if anything ever really goes south on an airplane and an “altercation” ensues, you’re both gonna go through a bit of a process upon landing. Maybe I’m just not gutsy enough with the camera, but the guy that occupied the aisle seat with Martha and I on our flight across the pond really would’ve warranted video documentation to do any proper justice. Continue reading A Truly Shameless Passenger