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One Room Bright and Neat

We said goodbye to Porto shortly after breakfast.  We took a taxi to the train station, about 15 minutes drive, then caught the “express” to Lisbon; three hours centre to centre, a few stops, hit 220 km/h a couple of times but mostly around 150 km/h.  The views at the start, along the coast, were picturesque, but most of the journey was agricultural, small managed forests, scrub.

Ciao Porto. Or should I say “adeus” Porto.
Glimpses of the Atlantic as we headed south towards Lisbon

Lisbon was a sunny 21 degrees.  We taxied to the hotel, the AlmaLusa Baixa, on a quiet square in the historical centre, just two blocks off the ocean.

There’s a small hotel…

Our room is big enough for one person to stand while another doesn’t.  Our room is big enough for one person to use the bathroom while the other doesn’t.  Our room is big enough for one person do something while the other doesn’t.  It’s eensy.

Starved for activity we took a two-hour loop walk, starting in the historical area then uphill towards the national assembly.

Garden behind the National Assembly & Jardin da Estrela

More uphill, with nowhere in mind, we chanced upon a pretty substantial cathedral. As you do. In Europe.

Basilica de Estrela

After that, we headed downhill towards the Lisbon version of the Champs d’Elysee, the Avenue Liberdade, where there are fancy hotels, fancy shops and some pretty fancy prices.

As we hit the end of the boulevard, the evening sun lit up the hillside where the Castelo de Sao Jorge (St. George’s castle) sits on a bluff overlooking the centre.

For dinner we went to a NYT recommendation called Tricky.  The name, space and neighbourhood all seemed dodgy but in fact we had the best food in Portugal to date; roasted carrots, cauliflower in house red curry, beet and hazelnut and cheese salad, fish tacos with a lightly grilled bream then doused in rice vinegar in a gorgeous silky wrapper. Sorry for the pictures taken in dim light. Sigh.

And now, a short segue to Amsterdam, where SS spent the first part of the vacation.

Catholic church “hidden” in the attic of a private home (during the reformation)

The above are pictures from a Martin Wong exhibition. Not to be confused with Matthew Wong. Both exceptional artists, both died young.

Crap that’s a big box of chocolates
Amsterdam. Didn’t go there this trip.

Oh, BTW, the image at the top of this post is Stephen’s hotel bathroom. That’s quite a bathroom.

The author of Here Hare has traveled to over 45 countries on six continents, and has lived in Canada, the UK and Australia.

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