I love riding the train. If I could take the train everywhere instead of flying, I would! Luckily, we could take the train from Porto to Lisboa.
But first, a breakfast of champions – McDonald’s – where I ordered half the menu.
Anyways, the three-hour train ride from Porto to Lisboa was very relaxing, as we rode through the countryside, through vineyards and along the sea. Well, except for the two screaming kids sitting in front of us. Nothing my iPod couldn’t drown out, I guess. I was also able to catch up on my journal entries as I listened to Drake’s words of wisdom.
We arrived in Lisbon and decided to try to take the metro, which was pretty easy to navigate. Unfortunately, once we got off the train, we had no clue how to get to our hotel. We didn’t have a map. And Frances’ iPhone map wasn’t working.
We asked an older Portuguese gentleman for directions and he was nice enough to give us a general direction to start walking in. Luckily, that got us to a kiosk that sold maps. But Lisbon is like Toledo (Spain) – full of hills and windy streets – so a map only gets you so far.
Fortunately, we found our street. Unfortunately, it was a steep, winding road. We were at 23 and our hotel address was 198. We were at the bottom of the hill and our hotel was apparently at the very top. Yikes. And so began our uphill hike with our huge backpacks.
I really didn’t think I was going to make it. I was dripping sweat and my shoulders were trembling from the weight of my backpacks. I was not a happy camper, to say the least. But we finally made it to Lavra Guesthouse.
Lesson learned: if you’re in Lisbon, just take a cab from the train station. Our hotel host informed me that you could usually take a taxi from one neighborhood to another for 3 Euros.