• Lisbon Portugal! Another New Adventure!

    February 11, 2018
  • Onto Lisbon Portugal!

    The next morning it was time to pack and catch the 3:30 PM train to Lisbon. Another beautiful day on the Algarve! We were given a complimentary late check out so we could hang out at the condo until about 2:30 PM, when our transfer arrived to pick us up to take us to the Albufeira Train Station. It was only a 15 minute cab ride. The train station was smaller than we expected but did the job. Trains stopped at the station throughout the day and everyone spoke English, which was good for us and other tourists coming and going! There was a little restaurant and bar located adjacent to the station, but independently operated which was very convenient!

    Albufeira Train Station & Cafe!

    Our train to Lisbon was operated by Comboios De Portugal (Trains of Portugal). We bought our tickets online before leaving home at 21 Euros, a pretty good price. The journey was 2 1/2 hours so we would be in Lisbon before 6:00 PM. The service for this journey Alpha Pendular (AP), the fastest service whose speeds can reach 220 KM/Hour at times! As our train left Albufeira Station we reflected on our 10 days in Albufeira! Great weather, nice condo in a great location close to supermarkets, restaurants but also away from the maddening crowd! All good except for the dreaded root canal, it was a wonderful place and experience! The Old Town area was certainly the highlight with the beautiful beaches, so easily accessible and the restaurants were wonderful. The nightlife was also very entertaining! So we will be going back for sure!!

    Albufeira Train Station & On the Train to Lisbon!

    Our seats on the train were very nice and certainly the best available on this route. It was however better to go back yourself to the onboard restaurant and bar than wait for the service to come to you! Service at your seat would take at least 90 minutes. Hubby went up to the restaurant/bar train car to fetch a beer for him and wine for me which cost less than 15 Euros!

    The Sights on Our Taxi Ride From Lisbon Oriente Train Station!

    This train takes you up the interior of Portugal, not many big towns with hilly countryside which was looking very, very dry while we were there. This explains the history of wildfires in Portugal to some extent. Not very scenic at all. WiFi reception on the train was pretty spotty at some places it worked, while at others not at all. As we neared Lisbon, our route took us over the 25 De Abril Bridge over the Tagus River. It was very impressive!!

    More Views From Lisbon Train Station!

    We got into Lisbon on time at 6:00PM. Lisbon Oriente Train Station is very impressive and close to the Tagus River. It was opened in 1998 and architecturally impressive! No ordinary train station. Everything in Portugal connects here, the Lisbon Metro, bus station, regional train hub, shopping centre and Police Station! There was a cab rack outside the station and it was a 20 minute cab ride from the train station to our Hotel Fenix Lisboa, a little longer than we expected. Most train stations in Europe are in the city centre but Lisbon does not seem to have an obvious City Centre! Its really spread out!! Our cab cost 20 Euros, reasonable for the distance we thought!

    View From our Hotel Room at the Hotel Fenix Lisboa

    The Hotel Fenix Lisboa is rated as a four star hotel. It is located at Marques De Pombar Square overlooking the beautiful Edward VII Park. We also booked this hotel before leaving home and got a great rate for this hotel at $130.00 Canadian prepaid. Upon on checking in we got even luckier with an upgrade to a mini suite with a separate bedroom, very impressive bathroom, a sitting area with fridge and two flat screen TV’s and an outside spacious patio overlooking Edward VII Park.

    View of the Square and Edward VII Park From our Hotel Room!

    We were booked in for three nights, so we had Sunday and Monday for sightseeing. It was a lovely evening out on the patio at 25C, very nice for a Gin & Tonic before venturing out for a bite to eat. Our hotel was under a flight path into and out of Lisbon International Airport so Hubby was in his glee! Hubby loves planes which dates back to his growing up in Gander Newfoundland, the Crossroads of the World  and living at the end of a runway! That was in the 1950’s, I kid you not!! He takes pictures of planes everywhere we go!

    Balcony off our Hotel Room & Hubby’s Favourite Pastime! Watching Planes!

    We went out to look for a restaurant around 8:00 PM and we walked down the beautiful AV Da Liberdade. It reminded us of Las Ramblas in Barcelona but with less people. But the design of the street was quite similar, tree lined with the road  in both directions separated by a wide pedestrian walkway in the middle. It also had lots of shops and kiosks in the middle, similar to Barcelona. We were not having much luck finding a restaurant though. We were being led on by signs pointing to Restauradores Square, but we got tired eventually from the long day and we finally dropped into Sanch0 Restaurant, a nice looking restaurant on a small side street. Otherwise we would have gone on further! There was only a few people in this place on a Saturday evening, not reassuring at all. Anyway the server welcomed us in and seated us promptly and served us bread, cheese, olives and oil in a flash! We did not know that this was not included in the menu prices! It was very deceptive and added to our bill on the end! Common practice in Europe! Beware! The only entrees of interest were veal which we ordered. The veal was not tender or very tasty and it cost us 55 Euros. Basically a disaster dinner. These things happen on the road. Not every restaurant serves great food.

    Sancho Restaurant! Our First Dinner in Lisbon!

    We went back up the Avienda Liberdade, all uphill this time. We got lots of exercise this day. We got back to our room at the Fenix Lisboa around 10 PM, still a nice night out on the patio. The next morning we were up around 8 AM. We noticed all of the tour buses over at the circle of the Edward VII Park. We found a guy who spoke English and booked our tours for this day around Lisbon, plus a tour for the next day up to Sintra!

    The Boulevards of Lisbon at Night!

    MK