From Iceland To Portugal Via London

Trip Start Oct 21, 2009
Trip End Jan 12, 2010

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Flag of Portugal  , Estremadura,
Saturday, October 24, 2009

10.24.09               Reykjavik, Iceland, to Lisbon, Portugal – via London!

Today shall be considered primarily a travel day.  We were up SUPER early (3:45am) to meet the Flybus for a ride back to Keflavik Airport.  Our flight to London went smoothly (about 2h, 40m), but Heathrow was an absolute zoo!  Our flight from London to Lisbon left late and we sat behind an incredibly goofy, misbehaving little boy who farted his way through the entire flight!  Not very pleasant.  TAP Portugal Airlines served a hot meal on the 3-hour flight to Lisbon – nice change! – and we finally arrived there around 4:45pm.  Lisbon was still light (hooray!) and wonderfully warm (hooray!). 

After getting our bags, we decided to take the AeroBus to our hotel rather than a taxi.  Very interesting experience.  Imagine too many people + too many bags + little air conditioning + only ONE "next stop please" button for the entire bus, inconveniently located near the REAR bus door.  (Now I sound crotchety and old, don't I?  Well, maybe I am.) 

Anyway, we got to our stop ok and found our hotel easily enough.  Staying at the Residencial Roma, a nice little place with beautiful, hand-painted Portuguese tile throughout the main areas and reception.  Our room is tiny, but it has a proper double bed and our own bathroom, so we’re good to go!  After settling in, we set out exploring and had dinner at El Rei D’ Frango – a budget place recommended by “Lonely Planet.”  It took us a while to find this restaurant – our Lisbon maps are not very detailed, skipping “inconsequential” streets here and there – and also, Lisbon streets are crazy!  Winding, hilly to incredibly steep, so very narrow, and all roughly laid with small flat stones.  You really have to watch your step (although tell that to the myriad of Portuguese women I’ve seen wearing full-on stilettos heels). 

So far in Portugal (actually writing this on 10.25.09), I’ve found that my Spanish gets me about halfway there – so we used our guide book to assist us in ordering dinner.  HUGE plates of grilled meat, with great rice and wonderful freshly-cut French fries (soft yet not squishy, and not at all oily). 

After dinner, we took a long walk to another book recommendation – Mar Adentro, a gay café that offers free Wi-Fi.  Funky, modern vibe to it.  Netbook in hand, we stayed a few hours, ordered some beers, hot cocoa, and desserts, and I got our travel blog site up and going!  (Proud of myself.)  After a long walk back to the hotel, we sank into bed.  Sleepy.
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