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Tedgale Trip Report: Portugal in April 2014 (with Easter in Amsterdam)

Tedgale Trip Report: Portugal in April 2014 (with Easter in Amsterdam)

Old Nov 21st, 2014, 01:20 AM
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I hope so too
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Old Nov 21st, 2014, 02:59 AM
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A word of warning for Alentejo visitors. Alentejo is the land of pork and lamb and matured reds and desserts to die for. The fish is usually limited to dry fish like cod. Visitors not appreciative of these (heavy) meals may pass a hard time south of Tagus river.
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Old Nov 21st, 2014, 06:07 AM
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Just started reading your trip report (about 1/4 through) and the early Facebook picture links still aren't working (Imani and Lisbon restaurants). The later links, that have media set as part of the link, work.
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Old Nov 21st, 2014, 06:47 AM
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Tedgale, we don't know how we missed your report until now. We've thoroughly enjoyed reading it, and appreciate the time you spent to share your trip details. Great writing! We appreciate all the historical details and descriptions of sites visited that you included.

We've just returned from a wonderful trip to the Alps, and have just begun posting our TR. Driving is our preferred manner of travel. . .except, as you note, in bigger cities. We can identify with your experiences.

From your report, we learned a new adage, "Be prepared to be baffled"! Portugal is on our "wish list", and your report gives us a lot of suggestions. Thanks again!
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Old Nov 21st, 2014, 10:51 AM
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Not sure if it was mentioned in the report, but one place NOT to miss in Lisbon is the small, exquisite
CALOUSTE GULBENKIAN MUSEUM.
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Old Nov 22nd, 2014, 03:38 AM
  #86  
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Thanks to all for your kind words.

Kybourbon: I've gone into Facebook and changed any relevant photos to "Public".

If that doesn't fix the problem, I'm stumped!
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Old Nov 24th, 2014, 04:58 AM
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Thanks! Most are working now (the three breakfast ones at the Imani still aren't.).
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Old Nov 24th, 2014, 04:45 PM
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Tedgale your trip report is SO helpful, THANKS!!!!!
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Old Jan 4th, 2015, 11:17 AM
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Awesome - thanks so much!
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Old Jan 12th, 2015, 03:40 PM
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Thanks. I'm glad people are still consulting this report and finding it useful. I'm debating another trip to SW Spain and Portugal in April.
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Old Jan 27th, 2015, 08:35 AM
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Fantastic informative report! Thanks for all the info. I'm wondering if you've received the bill for Portugese toll charges. A friend has received a charge of $260 on his credit card after 8-9 days of driving a rental car there last September. Don't know just how many miles he logged but this sounds pretty outrageous. Can you comment on your experience and offer any guidance?

Thanks again for your very helpful report.
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Old Jan 27th, 2015, 08:43 AM
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Forgot to ask: You referred to your metro experience in Lisbon as a "subterranean adventure that you would not repeat." Maybe I missed it, but can you tell us why? Thanks again.
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Old Jan 27th, 2015, 11:59 AM
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Not tedgale, but we also drove the toll roads in Portugal this past May. We didn't drive them a lot and when we did, we tried to notice the toll charge. Shortly after returning home we did get charged on our VISA with an amount that seemed ok. No way to know exactly what we owed. We were in Portugal a month driving about 3 weeks of it and our charges were nowhere near $260. But as I said we didn't drive the toll roads all the time.
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Old Jan 29th, 2015, 05:44 AM
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RE the subterranean adventure: We had one 22 inch bag each but one bag each is a lot when you have to climb monstrous staircases to switch trains.
There may have been an elevator in that station but I could not find it.
I also found the "signage" at the airport station quite confusing, which meant we got to our platform, then decided it was the wrong one, raced up stairs to get to the other side, decided we were right the first time and slunk back.
I don't recall the amount of the road tolls -- but they were not significant enough to be memorable.
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Old Feb 2nd, 2015, 11:39 AM
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Thank you for this excellent report, especially the format with accommodations and restaurants in separate sections plus your top ten. I am in the midst of planning a 4 week trip, and was conducting a search for a good base near Tomar and found your goldmine of information. In addition, while most of our booking is done, your review of Imani House has me thinking about canceling the Pousada in Arraiolos. Thanks!
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Old Feb 3rd, 2015, 06:13 AM
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Glad it was useful to you. I hope you have a good stay in Portugal. I'm deep in trip planning myself.

I'm hoping Imani Country House will extend their winter sale to April bookings as they did last year: We arrive in the region on April 8.
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Old Feb 3rd, 2015, 08:03 AM
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I've heard good reviews about 2 thematic hotels in Upper Alentejo area (no 1st hand experience). I leave here just to expand the hunting area of potential visitors.

The 1st is about marble in Vila Viçosa - http://www.alentejomarmoris.com/

The 2nd is about cork, outside Évora - http://www.ecorkhotel.com/en/hotel/
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Old May 27th, 2015, 04:17 PM
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What a great write up Tedgale. We are trying to decide how best to allocate 9 or 10 nights in Portugal staying in only three places and would appreciate any advice. Similar to you, we tend to prefer smaller centers. I was thinking of the following for our bases:

1) Porto - 3 nights
2) Lisbon - 3 nights (day trip to Sintra and maybe Belem)
3) Evora, Obidos, Coimbra (pick one) - 3 nights

The Duoro/wine region (and property - I'm high maintenance on hotels) sounds interesting but we're from Napa Valley so thinking we could skip that part of the trip.

I'm torn as we want to cover some "basics" but we also aren't worried about seeing everything (Algarve definitely off the list). For some context in providing advice:

Spain - loved Seville and the Alhambra (underwhelmed by Madrid)
Italy - love the Tuscan countryside and so so on Rome (we actually liked staying in San Gimignano one trip as it's touristy during the day when we were out in the countryside but then was charming at night).

Thanks for any thoughts.
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Old May 30th, 2015, 03:09 PM
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I don't know Porto but I suspect from all I've read that you could prune it back to 2 nights. Alternatively, take one sunny day for a daytrip - by train or car.

Three nights is adequate for Lisbon. I'm not very interested in Victorian excess so the Pena Palace in Sintra had no interest for me but the other sites and the town's setting are great.

If you like historic architecture in lovely settings, you really should visit Tomar, Batalha and Alcobaca. I rank them in that order. They were the pinnacle of our trip. (You can see 2 in one day but 3 would be rushing it.)

If you see these examples of Manueline architecture, you could skip Belem, though I write this with heavy heart....

Between Obidos Evora or Coimbra: Evora is a detour if your 2 poles are Porto and Lisbon. I'd choose one of the other 2, if you prefer not to drive too much.

PS: I have another trip report from April 2015 that describes our 2nd trip to Portugal including our further exploration of the Evora/Alentejo region and the area around Viseu, in the north central region. Click on my name to find it.

On that trip, our daytrip from Viseu to the Serra da Estrela national park was the absolute high point.
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