THINGS TO DO IN AND AROUND LISBON

Old Mar 17th, 2006, 03:26 AM
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Hi Barbara, thanks for your concern. I have a young family, a 5 year old daughter and one of 1 month - when my older one catches things from school I then come down with it too - hence my quiet week. Actually the weather has been up and down recently - a few days ago it was beautiful: in the mid 70s and HJ was lucky with her time here. Now looking out the window is it lashing down, at least in Costa - hey, Lobo what's it doing in Lisbon?

Re Serra d'Aire - I went there a couple of years back and really liked it: the drive up is very photogenic through very rocky terrain - get the wideangle lens on the camera and take some nice shots. The caves did not feel touristy at all and it's somewhere I've been wanting to return to and take my daughter to. Didn't know about the dinosaur trail - I'll have to find out more.

Re the tram tickets you can buy a book of 5 "Bucs" (that right Lobo) each one is one trip - stamp it when you get on the tram. Also to be used for the Elevador Santa Justa. Day tickets can be purchased for the metro - that is the best way.

Beers, yes of course along with wine an area of expertise...

Forget trying all these new fangled commercial brews (like dark beers, twists of lemon beers, medieval beers etc) Just drink Sagres or Superbock, both at 5.25 % +/-. In most places you will be served an imperial which is a half pint of lager in a long glass. Seems a bit odd when used to drinking pints in the pub but you must remember the heat in Portugal and with a pint by the time you get 2/3rds of the way through it will be warm. "Imperials" are just so moreish! But if wanting to dive into a large beer order a kanecka (Spellings probably wrong but it's phonetic...)

10 weeks is more than enough time for Lobo and I to plan a really good itinerary for you here in old run down Lisboa...

Matt
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Old Mar 17th, 2006, 04:11 AM
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My eldest went 2 ways ago to spend the afternoon on the beach in a summer like weather and now it's raining. Things change fast in this part of the world.
Barb, elevadores and trams are part of the Carris system. Whatever stands for buses, stands for elevadores and trams.
As discussed in another thread, Lisbon card is expensive and 7 colinas is more cost effective.
For occasional Metro users like me, a one way ticket costs .70 euros, and a go and return (on the same day), 1.30 euros. These tickes may be bought on the spot (in automatic machines).
In the same area, there are Saint Antony caves (Grutas de Santo Antonio) and Mira d'Aire caves (Grutas de Mira d'Aire). The first of these is more natural (more like the way the first explorers found it) while the second has more light efects (colours). In both of them prepare your self to walk down a lot of steps. There are elevators to bring visitors up.
If you are interested in the dino world, consider Lourinha Museum, with lots of remains localy collected (http://www.dinodata.net/lusodinos/INF/Museum.htm)
About the tracksite: http://www.pegadasdedinossaurios.org...numento_uk.htm
Neither of these places is touristy at all. It's easier to find school kids than tourists.
If you are in the mood for rocks, there are the engravings of Vale do Coa, some date more then 20,000 years http://whc.unesco.org/pg.cfm?cid=31&id_site=866 It's a bit north. The visits must be arranged in advance. Visitors leave their cars in a park and are transported in jeeps supplied by organization.
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Old Mar 17th, 2006, 04:18 AM
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Thanks so much Matt for the info and gald you are all on the mend. I can not imagine how you get computer time with 2 small ones! No wonder it is late at night when you are on.

Here is a link to the dinosaur stuff. www.rt-leiriafatima.pt/
Then look for Jurassic track. Interesting

I will be away some of the next 10 weeks so I had to get all this taken care of while I had computer access and the time to play! I am really excited and look forward to actually seeing all I have read about.

Our weather is up and down here in DC too but that is spring. How warm is it in early June there and can that be a rainy time? You never know here so probably not there either.

Take care.
Barbara
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Old Mar 17th, 2006, 04:48 AM
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Looked like a great evening out the two of you had.

Sorry, matt, I meant to tell you that of course you are free to raid my thread on the 7 Colinas card. Better yet, I said I would post the link. Given that my computer skills lag these days, here's hoping this works:

http://www.fodors.com/forums/threads...p;tid=34766502
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Old Mar 18th, 2006, 01:38 PM
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Matt,

I knew a thread on this subject would do well - but this well? Congratulations!

I didn't get to you while in the Algarve. We had a good vacation but the weather was worse than last year - a lot of cold, cool, rain, showers, not a lot of warmth. But then better than Toronto where we are still getting temps. like minus 10C.

Keep up the good work.

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Old Mar 18th, 2006, 03:06 PM
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sorry lobo I somehow missed your post until now.

Thanks for the links on all the anthropology. I never knew that area was so rich in prehistoric sights. We have visited various places in the US but it is amazing to think the world was so much alike so long ago. I hope we can make a trip through some of those areas. Caves in the US have become very touristy and the one we visited on Mallorca a few years ago was also. But I bought my Michelin map today so I can begin to chart our exact travels.

Hope your weather is getting better there. We are back to winter here after a few days of summer. But we need the rain.
Barbara
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Old Mar 18th, 2006, 03:22 PM
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Michi, thanks for the comments but I cannot claim credit - perhaps I was the spark but to continue with this simile then everyone else has been the fuel: this fire will keep on burning just as long as there are people coming to Lisbon/Portugal...

Sue, I'll hack out some of the best bits from your transport thread and repost here - it's just so the pertinent info can be seen by more people.

Hope everyone's weekend has been good - a real electrical storm here in Costa tonight - got soaked taking the dog for a walk

Matt
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Old Mar 19th, 2006, 07:04 AM
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Just spent three days in Washington, DC and except that it was rather cold, had a great time.

My new guide book mentions something that we might or might not find interesting.

Upon our arrival in Lisbon, we are heading North toward Santarem. The book mentions some towns in the Ribatejo especially Arruda dos Vinhos where you can visit and buy wine.

Do you think we might enjoy stopping in this wine area for lunch, and of course buying wine to have on our trip?

It just sounds like a nice place to take a break after the long trip. Probably the wine drinking will have to wait for the evening, but we might enjoy driving through the area.

Any opinions?
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Old Mar 20th, 2006, 02:41 AM
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Michi, It's good to know that you enjoyed your holidays, but you should have stopped in Lisbon to say hello
The bad weather, after 2 years excepcionally dry is received as a blessing by locals. Last summer, apart from a lot of raging fires in the forests that were reported here in Fodors, there was a extreme shortage of water in many parts of the country. Considering the recent experience, the rain that felt in normal conditions this year is a cause for celebration, as well as the snow that felt on Lisbon for the first time in 52 years.

Sher, in Arruda dos Vinhos there is a popular restaurant called "O Fuso". The speciality is grilled cod fish. They have also grilled steaks. Everything comes in jumbo size portions. Order conservatively or ask the advice from the staff. It's very funny because the audience is the local elite, local business men, farmers, etc. It's very authentic, not sophisticated at all. I attended there for the last 20 years and it looks exactly the same.
Referring to the wine, I'll research a little, but I'd give more attention to Cartaxo on the way to Santarem. Cartaxo is one of the wine capitals of Portugal. I'll ask some friends to suggestions of activities around Santarem and Cartaxo. On the way from Cartaxo to Santarem there is a factory of genuine calf and leather articles. My strong advice is for you to stop there. I'll sure you will buy some bargains. A fancy calf coat may cost as low as 200 euros. Even if you don't buy anything it's funny to watch.

Matt, I think it's the right time to schedule the meeting #2 of Lisbon Dining Club, don't you think?
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Old Mar 20th, 2006, 04:02 AM
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Thanks lobo. The book I am reading particularly mentioned O Luso. That is what I was thinking for lunch. We probably will not stay in the area more than three or four hours.
We are not planning to spend time in Santarem, but do not feel the need to rush to the Serra da Estrela area which we are planning to spend two nights.
With much appreciation....
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Old Mar 20th, 2006, 04:47 AM
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It should be "O Fuso". Fuso is giant size screw used to raise a multi tone rock that by use os some elementar physics ended smashing the grapes. The restaurant is a real Adega (place where the wine is produced) and has real artifacts used for wine production and real Fusos.
Give a chance to Casa das Peles (calf, leather, antilope factory).
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Old Mar 20th, 2006, 01:01 PM
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Dear Sher
Some 100 posts ago in this thread, I posted some notes about Caves Aliança (try the find function with "alianca" in the box). They have wines from 5 origins, 1st quality and very cheap.
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Old Mar 20th, 2006, 01:33 PM
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Lobo. I forgot to tell you that Duna Parque contacted me right away.
She said there is no problem with October, they have room. The only thing I have to do is make up my mind if we want a view room or garden room.

Also the wines you mentioned in that post are near Coimbra, aren't they?
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Old Mar 21st, 2006, 12:56 AM
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Sorry all, been a bit waylaid recently, justt getting round to answering emails and catching up.

Lobo, Friday night? Dinner? +-/ same time? Let's talk.

Breaking news...

I'll be heading off to old Blighty between 9th and 24th April for easter. spur of the moment thing but you only live once ;-) So Lobo, Sher, over this period you'll be handling the reins...

I've had a couple of emails the contents of which I'll post up here so others can can chip in with advice to, but I'll do that later today.

Take care, Matt
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Old Mar 21st, 2006, 04:27 AM
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I don't know how we can survive. Matt, I'm sure that in Blighty they already discovered computers and Internet ;-) So you are not that distant.
Sher, Caves Aliança is in Sangalhos, which is a tiny place (only listed in detailed maps). The town of some importance nearby is Mealhada, on the old Lisbon to Porto road. I think that from Coimbra is 20 or 30 minuts.
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Old Mar 21st, 2006, 04:47 AM
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I have been to Malheada. Or at least to the area, so I know somewhat where it is.

I am off too. We are leaving this week for our house in Florida for two weeks.

Keep the home fires burning until I return.
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Old Mar 21st, 2006, 01:34 PM
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I guess everyone will take a break for awhile. I also have to go visit my mother and will miss the daily updates on whatever.

Matt: we will save up any questions and await your return. have a good trip.

Sher: I sent you an email on my latest findings on the car rental insurance mysteries. It just gets more complicated.

Lobo: If you have more dining club get togethers we look forward to the report and new ideas for when we arrive.

My pages of notes from this thread are now up to 11 pages. Keep it coming. I think the restaurant list alone is more than a page! I think I need to concentrate on museums, etc for awhile.

Barbara
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Old Mar 22nd, 2006, 12:44 AM
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Don't worry Matt and Sher, I'll hold the castle for you.
Barb, we have a clear and fair share of responsibilities in LDC. I eat and Matt takes the pictures and writes the report This means that during his absence, there are no reports. But before that happens we have already one get together scheduled. I've been in negotiations to take Little Red Riding Hood with me and I believe I can succeed.
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Old Mar 22nd, 2006, 05:50 AM
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It looks as if Mrs Fernandes-Wilkinson wishes to meet with Red Riding Hood this friday therefore it is imperative that we have a table at a restaurant of your choice Mr Wolf. I shall bring the camera pen and paper...

Let me know and I can arrange baby sitters.

Matt
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Old Mar 22nd, 2006, 10:29 AM
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Can't wait for that report and photos!

Have a wonderful evening.

Barbara
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