On to Lisbon and Boston
After sending my last email update to my family (these blog posts are based on my daily email updates) I was working through the tasks to get out. I had decided that riding was just too much trouble for too little gain, when you figure in the wet cloths, shower, packing etc. So I just worked randomly on the task of cleaning, preparing another run to the recycle, gathering what goes in each bag in one place, sweeping up all the pistachio debris etc. I had strawberries and granola for the last time. Threw out the rest of the granola. Prepared the bike by putting things like the peddle straps back on, etc. Things packed up easy. I was using a plastic bag for the "cloths": Heavy rain coat, wind breaker, fleece. I think I was wearing shorts for the first time and the drink a pig T shirt and a dress shirt.
Went down at 11:20 with the bike and the man was there. I showed him the holes in the tire that I replaced but made no mention of reimbursement. He gave me the "impression" of my credit card that he had made and I had signed to protect against bike loss or damage and I tore it up. Raced back up for suitcase, back pack, plastic bag of cloths and umbrella. I texted the owner that I would write a good review, leave the keys on the table and was leaving a day early. Texted my Lisbon airbnb that I would text once in Lisbon.
I had paid to spend this Monday night at the Lagos airbnb but realized that taking the morning train at 6am to Lisbon Tuesday for a 12 noon flight was too dangerous, too nerve racking. When I found a great Lisbon beer bar online, that cinched the deal and I made a one night airbnb reservation for Lisbon.
I walked to the train station and bought a ticket for the 2:18 fast train and came back to Tam's Lighthouse for Greek salad and a few beers.
The young blond who waited on me the first British beef dinner Sunday was on. I never did learn her name. She is paying 200 eur a week? in a flat for she and boy friend, who is the young man on the Lighthouse bar that I always avoided! They share with someone else and she would love to get more privacy. She says they have not been assigned the same shifts and maybe that is good as then they do not see too much of each other. She was full time engaged in getting the TV football schedule on the whiteboard. I worked with her a little to plan ahead so she did not run out of space but she erased it several times over the 2 hours I was around.
Young scribe is working at the chalk board in the background
I asked permission to leave my lugage and walked down to the recreated galleon and took pictures of the boats.
You can see the way the boats are tied up. One end at a mooring and one end on the Qua.
Walked over to the train station, which is literally 30 meters behind and right up to two young German women with HUGE back packs sitting on a bench. I chatted them up and we sat together on the first 1 hour train to Tunes. On the next 3 hour train to Lisbon everyone has assigned seats so I was by myself.
One girl with straight hair(I'll call her Gerta) was more talkative but that may have been more a factor of english than personality. She is in grad school to be a high school history/french/social studies teacher. The other young woman, Katrina, with friz hair was in the second year of a 5 year dentist program. This was a German school "winter" break time and so they complained that the hostels were full of Germans. They would have preferred some variety. From their school in Cologne? they took the train? to Bordeaux, then San Sebastian in Spain and then decided it was too cold, lets go south so they went to Madrid, Seville, Fargo, alegave near Largos and 3 days in Largos. They were on there way with me to Lisbon for a couple days before flying back to Germany.
I of course complained about the beer. Gerta complained about the water wasted on the golf courses. I of course told my story of men showing up from the UK in the 30s with a piece of metal on a stick and want the Portuguese to create lawns with 1/10 inch grass and the Portuguese laughed and now there are 20 golf courses in Lagos that cost millions of dollars. I then go on to say that if you have high priced beer they will drink it. A man behind us says that the Portuguese beer is perfectly suited to the climate, that is why the Portuguese have developed it and drink it. My response is that when you take an elephant to a new climate, does he start eating different food? We don't really care what the Portuguese drink, lets feed the Brits.
Gerta was very involved in history. Loved the french revolution as the first democracy ideas. (I did not say it was us?) Her father works for the railroad and taught her about US football that she watches on the internet all the time. She and Katrina pulled out an ELABOATE lunch of avocado, tomatoes, cheese, spices, etc etc. I gave them my card and wrote the name and address of the beer bar on the back and told them I was buying if they showed up.
Luis, who owns my Lisbon airbnb had told me to get off the train at a station and then take the metro to Baixa-Chiado stop. But, this fast train did not stop at the stop he told me so I got off at a random one. I did not see Gerta and Kartina. Had a lot of trouble with the metro. It was signed pretty well from the train station but then I could not figure out which metro station this was when I got there. Ticket station said closed but the woman gave me a map and marked what station I was at. Next challenge was the ticket machine. I tried to just feed a 5 euro note into it but it would not take it. I watched other people but they all answered lots of questions on the Portuguese screen before they put in a credit card or money. I tried putting in the debit card but again no luck. Finally a helpfully non-english speaking woman came alone, was able to understand that I wanted one ride and would pay cash. I was so flustered that I had trouble holding onto the card even when I had it and my change out of the machine. I was able to show her which direction on this blue line I wanted to go and she directed me to the steps to the correct platform and showed me how to put the ticket down on the scanner to make the gates open.
Not too bad on the metro. No one had their hand in my pocket as happened on the Rome metro back in 2009. I had 100s of dollars in the outside pouch of my backpack so I was always watching who was behind me. I know, not the best place to keep it but I felt then I knew where it was. I was able to switch metro lines, following the Portuguese name for the color Blue. Finally off at Baixa-Chiad. You would not believe the 4 LONG escalators to get to the outside. Before this, I thought the London metro took the cake. I put the address for Luis airbnb into my phone and up came the route, The next problem was which way was which. Yes I see the route but how do I hold the phone so that I am walking in the right direction? That is what daughters are for. I showed a woman my google map and she got me started. Once the blue triangle started to move in the right direction on the route, then I am off.
The walk was short, 15 minutes?, but a real slog! Lots of uphill. I have to stop and strip down as the sweat is poring off me. Worse of all, there are no sidewalks or rather one person width sidewalks. I am pulling a suitcase and caring a bag and there are people oncoming. Turn left, turn right, narrow little lanes and finally I am at the address. I have seen a picture so I know I am correct and ring the bell.
Luis is not home but has left a young friend to get me settled. The rooms are fine. I make him go over the keys with me carefully. We go outside. Lock everything up and then I do the unlocking coming back in. I usually want a beer and snack for later so I assume I go out now and buy it.
Then off to this wonderful beer bar Cerveteca Lisboa.
Having found this place on the internet was a major reason why I came up a day early to Lisbon. To go to one further extreme, I had found out about Cerveteca by reading
I'll certainly use this Austin reviewer on other trips.
Anyway, it is dark. The gps knows where Cerveteca is but again I have to ask a women in the street in order to "get started" in the right direction.I was deep in narrow streets so the GPS was struggling. Finally on the right path. The blue triangle that is me is moving! Over a hill and down to the Praca das Flores. Commotion. 10 Police cars. Fire trucks. In my imagination, I have come all this way and the place has just burned down. But instead, I enter into Nirvana.
This is real beer. Some of it was Portuguese but from all over. The black board is the draft list and I would just work through them. You can see the wonderful sandwiches. I am afraid I don't have a picture of the woman co-owner. I talked to her a lot about getting good beer into Lagos, particularly Baff1 Bar. She said that just today she and her husband had been talking about trying to distribute into the Algarve. In Cerveteca they sell what looks like 100s of different bottles. They have opened a second establishment in Lisbon that is a bar also but more focused on beer education.
The woman also pushed me using the Azores on a subsequent trip. She says it is wonderful and especially recommended flying to Madalena? and using the local ferries to move between the group of islands up there.
As if the beer was not great enough, look what showed up!!
Gerta and Katrina made my night. The woman owner turned us over to her husband as we closed the place down. The other man is from Sweden and joined us. He was on vacation. Knew a lot about beer but I think worked in the delvery to restaurants business. I was honored to be able to pick up the tab. Made my way back to Luis. Had a shot and beer after roaming the 10! young people bars that make up my neighborhood. The reviews all complain about the noise at night but I did not hear it!