Friday and Saturday
It was not an easy start. I'm a nervous traveler. We live along the coast of NH and I have to get to Boston's Logan airport for a 10pm flight. My wife works in Boston and our plan was for her to arrive home at 6pm and we would race off to the C&J bus terminal in Newburyport MA, where I would board the 6:30 bus to Logan. That plan gave me good "leeway". However, it started snowing, not hard, but snowing. My wife was not home at 6pm so I enacted plan B. I drove my car to Newburyport, locked it and put the key on the front right tire. The drive to Newburyport was not easy. I had to dodge around phalanxes of plows on Rt 95. The parking lot at C&J was full but I did find a slot. As I entered the station, the ticket master told me the bus had already left but his assistant assured me it was caught in traffic and would arrive shortly.
The bus delivered me to Logan. I lost my bag (to the airline bag check service), not because it was too big but because it weighted 12 stone when the restriction was 8 stone! I made it through TSA and on to the Durgan Park bar. The couple on the bar stools next to me were on my flight to Lisbon. She is a conservator working at Harvard's Peabody museum. He is a tenure track professor at Wentworth college in Boston. His specialty is Greek? history. They met on a Cyprus dig. He was very excited about older homes in JP and how his students had been involved in new 3d laser mapping of the structures.
The young lady next to me on the flight had recently graduated from Clark in Wooster. She was working in an environmental consulting firm involved in helping buildings with energy saving. She was into rock climbing. Had been climbing in Thailand! last year.
Our airline was SATA, based in the Azores! The plane was a big airbus and full. Maybe you can guess why? The price! It was 200-400 below the direct choices I could find. So, just like with Turkish Air and Istanbul, we were slated for an hour visit to Sao Miguel in the Azores. Upon landing, we were instructed to take all our belonging with us and walk to the terminal.
That may sound like an easy task but I travel a little on the heavy side. The main problem is my riding cloths. I have a wind breaker and a fleece that just will not fit in a suitcase or backpack with all my normal things. So, I wear them, on and off the plane. As soon as I get on the plane, I dump them in an overhead rack. Did I mention I also carry a 4 foot black umbrella? I have a cap and of course a heavy raincoat. And a backpack stuffed with 2 computers (for redundancy). Nervous traveler? My wife might have a more clinical term for the condition. As soon as I get to my seat, after having disrobed at an earlier empty seat, I take the 2 computers out of the backpack and hold them in my lap as the back pack does not fit under the seat with them included. So, a long explanation of why "take all your things with you" is a little more complicated for me than for most of my fellow flyers.
After about an hour wait, we were instructed to re-board to our previous seats and we were off for Lisbon. The flight took another 2 plus hours. The bus ride to the airport was unending and the walk after that to customs, almost as long. My memory is that I got through with minimal hassle and was soon out on the street. I took a taxie to Gar Orient train startion. The taxie driver was very angry. He had waited two hours in line at the airport and ended up with a 5 euro passenger. I tipped a little but told him it really was not my fault. I had about 25 euro in coins left over from our previous travels.
The Gar Oriental was a laberinth. All open but floor upon floor with open stairs. I finally found a man who answered questions and sold tickets in a booth. I was able to buy a ticket to Lagos and went off to eat.
Being 70, I don't have a tradition of selfies but as you will see, I made a real effort this trip.
I was able to use my bank card to get Euros. In mexico, they told you each time what they were charging. Here they just gave you the money I had all my luggage so moving around was really not an option. I was on the platform and boarded the train early. The cars were pretty empty. But, it soon became apparent that we had assigned seats and cars so I had to switch everything. The train left after 2pm. It took a long time to cross the bridge out of Lisbon. It is a sprawling city!
This was a local train, so we made a number of stops like this:
and towns like this
At about 5pm, we got to Tunes, had a fast change onto the waiting local train to Lagos and we were off for that 1 hour run. Now we started to see water and restaurants along the coast.
Finally the Marina at Logos, the end of the line.
I had been texting my airbnb host since Lisbon. He had offered to pick me up. His father came along shortly in a previously grand Mercedes. As we drove to the apartment, he pointed out important sights like the location of the Saturday morning produce market. He asked if I had time and took me 5 minutes to a light house on the coast and wonderful cliffs leading down to picturesk gratos. Then a harrowing drive through town pointing out possible beer bars and back to the apartment. I was very careful to practice with all the keys as I had a bad experience in Ghent Belgium where I locked myself out of my airbnb. It was a little chilly, so he and I searched around for anything that might be an extra blanket. We found plenty but I never needed them.
The apartment was made up of Kitchen, livingroom, bedroom, bath and long hall. There was another bedroom that was locked. Here are the pictures taken later, after I have had a chance to personalize the environment!
The bike resting in the hall.
I had no idea it would be such an advantage but there is a BIG convenience store on the first floor of my apartment.
This first night I was able to buy bottled water and beer. I bought strawberries and cereal for breakfast. All my needs. I even did my laundry there!
I went out for Tapas, had a little sushi afterward and ended a long long day with beer and TV at home!