Trip Report: 17 days in Spain & Portugal

Old Sep 25th, 2007, 08:50 AM
  #61  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 1,154
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Trip Report continued...
DAY 16 (Sept 15,SATURDAY): LISBON/MADRID/ MUMBAI :
This was the last day of our tour, and somewhat uninteresting to write about. After breakfast at the hotel, we finished our packing, checked out at 11 am, leaving our bags behind. Extended our 7-colinas card by one day.

DW had a lot of shopping to do. We went to Rua Augusta, and picked up a large amount of stuff based on Portuguese tile-work as mementos. Also picked up a bottle of White Port Wine. Didn't know they made white port wine; always thought it was only red. Had really wanted to visit the Institute of Vinho Porto, of which we had heard so much about, but we were a bit rushed.

Went uptown in search of a particular veg restaurant that DW was keen on trying; found it, but discovered that it was closed on Saturdays. Ate at a nearby Chinese place called "Hua Sheng" on Rua Estafania. Bamboo shoots & mushrooms, with Veg chowmein and Steamed Rice. Pretty decent stuff.

Wanted to visit Parque Eduardo VII. The place looked great, but it was the wrong time of the day. The sun was too strong, and just couldn't stand it. So left early. We took a bus from Figueira Square to the Tile Museum, which is a bit off the way, but we had really wanted to visit. An interesting museum, and nice to visit, but somehow we had expected more. It had a beautiful cafe, where we had refreshments, and came back. Go there if you have spare time. Otherwise, concentrate on the other museums which are better, Heard good things about the Water Museum and the Electricity Museum from other tourists.

We had some more shopping to do in the Restauradores Square area, which we completed. Then picked up our bags and took a taxi to the airport. We were surprised as to how cheap it was. Only about 8 euros for an airport ride.

The new terminal of Lisbon airport is quite nice, which is where we were flying out from. Had my last shot of Portuguese coffee there, and boarded our Vueling flight to Madrid at 8:25 pm. We were apprehensive about this flight, as we had heard mixed reports about Vueling. We were pleasantly surprised. Smooth check-in, very nice aircraft interiors, and quick baggage clearance at Madrid airport. And of course, the T4 terminal in Barajas is absolutely splendid. One of the prettiest international terminals we have seen.

It was almost 11 pm, and we had a 6:30 am morning flight to India. It made no sense to go to a hotel, and scamper back in 2-3 hours. We had originally planned on leaving our luggage at the Left Luggage office at Barajas, going into Madrid, partying there for a few hours (it was Saturday), and then taking a taxi back in the wee hours. But DW pleaded that she was way too tired, and requested that we stay put at the airport. I was somewhat jaded too, with the hectic travel of the last 16 days, so didn't put up much of a resistance.

We transferred to T1, where our outbound flight was scheduled. Sat down at the only cafe that was open, and ate junk food at atrocious prices all night. Eyes were beginning to droop, and many people were sprawling around, sleeping at all corners of the airport. Remembered having come across a weird internet site called sleepingatairports.com, which had listed the cosy spots to sleep in at every airport terminal in the world (what can you not find on the web ?). Wondered if we should have made some jottings about Barajas T1 !!

The short visit to Portugal had been fantastic. Lisbon and the surrounding areas of Sintra, Cascais and Cabo da Roca had been wonderful, and we were glad that we went there. Our last night at Barrio Alto had changed our opinion about the fun-loving spirit of Portuguese. They party real hard on weekends, perhaps more than Spaniards. The latter prefer a continuous party round the week. Which is more fun ? Guess it is a matter of preference.

Our Alitalia flight in the morning to India went without any hiccups. No lost baggage at Milan this time.

We were left wondering if we would ever get an opportunity to come back to this magical land of Spain and Portugal. I am sure we will visit Barcelona at some time, probably combining it with a visit to southern France. But Andalucia and Lisbon...unlikely. But who knows. The world is small and round. Someday, maybe.

This brings us to the end of my extremely elaborate trip report. As I mentioned at the outset, my apologies if it was too detailed and laboured at times. But I am no Shakespeare. Would be happy to receive your responses, and queries from future travellers. And we will try to post our photos shortly.
indiancouple is offline  
Old Sep 25th, 2007, 09:49 AM
  #62  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 15,430
Likes: 0
Received 11 Likes on 4 Posts
Not too detailed at all, love the detail. Thanks for taking the time; I know how long it takes to put together a report like this.

I was surprised to read your first impressions of Lisbon as quiet at night, but I guess it got more lively toward the end of your stay. We were there on a weekend and it seemed as if people never slept. Well, maybe Sunday morning...
Nikki is offline  
Old Sep 25th, 2007, 07:03 PM
  #63  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 1,154
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Yes Nikki, Lisbon is quite different on a weekday and a weekend. It was rather quiet on Wednesday and Thursday nights. Maybe the slightly adverse weather at nights also had something to do with it. But Friday night was really crazy, crowds like we had never seen before. Wish we had more weekend nights here.
indiancouple is offline  
Old Sep 25th, 2007, 09:27 PM
  #64  
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 1,711
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
About elevators in Lisbon...there are three in Bilbao, where I live, and even a funicular train right in the middle of town. The elevator in Lisbon is not very high, though, and has become a major tourist attraction. On the contrary, no tourist coming to Bilbao knows about the existance of our elevators...
mikelg is offline  
Old Sep 25th, 2007, 09:41 PM
  #65  
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 1,711
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
...and your report was great, I love the way you describe your experiences. If you ever come back to Spain, you´ll discover that in such a tiny territory (at least, compared to India) there are noticeable differences from one part of the country to another. The North is another world, gorgeous green and mountainous, rainy, and much less touristy (while absolutely a must to visit)
mikelg is offline  
Old Sep 25th, 2007, 11:47 PM
  #66  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 1,154
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Mikelg, thanks for your appreciation. You are right, one has never heard of the elevators and furniculars in Bilbao.

We certainly wish to cover Northern Spain sometime. Will definitely visit Barcelona which we missed out on, and try to cover other Northern cities as well. Have heard that they are very pretty.
indiancouple is offline  
Old Sep 26th, 2007, 12:58 AM
  #67  
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 1,314
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Just to mention that the dog’s name probably is Curro (a nickname for Francisco); wine you drank is Montilla, and the yellow seeds can also be found in Málaga, the name is Altramuces (from the Moorish name), or more vulgarly “chochitos” (don’t make me explain this).
Best regards, and hope you come back soon.
Josele.
josele is offline  
Old Sep 26th, 2007, 01:03 AM
  #68  
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 2,260
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Indiancouple, it would have been our pleasure, but I'm sure we will meet someday somewhere.
If you wish to keep in touch, just send me a mail and I'll send a "keep alive packet" at least once a year.
lobo_mau is offline  
Old Sep 26th, 2007, 02:45 PM
  #69  
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 45
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Indiancouple, thank you so much for the wonderful wealth of information that you included in your report. My family and I are going to be in Lisbon at the end of December and I appreciate all the details that you included about the museums, transportation and restaurants. Your report was thoroughly enjoyable to read. Thanks for taking the time to write a great trip report.
sognodfn is offline  
Old Sep 26th, 2007, 08:15 PM
  #70  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 1,154
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
josele, thanks again for the corrections. Now I have to sit on a weekend and memorize all the new words and terminologies you have given us, so that they become part of my active vocabulary.
indiancouple is offline  
Old Sep 26th, 2007, 08:17 PM
  #71  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 1,154
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Lobo mau, I don't have your e-mail id to send you a mail. Could you send it across ?
indiancouple is offline  
Old Sep 26th, 2007, 08:18 PM
  #72  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 1,154
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Sognodfn, glad to know that the report will be useful to someone travelling there soon. Where all are you planning to go ?
indiancouple is offline  
Old Sep 26th, 2007, 08:49 PM
  #73  
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 4,204
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Thanks again for this wonderful report. Was eager to hear your impression of Portugal after Spain as I'm considering a trip there next, though am really drawn to Green Spain as well.

And mikelg, I'll have to get the details on the escalator in Bilbao when we go.

And amsdon, thanks again for your recommendation for the Bibo and Cigala CD Lagrimas Negras--I'm absolutely in love with this CD and recommend it to all flamenco lovers.

Indiancouple,
Thank you again for this report! And don't say you won't be back--as you said, it's a small world, and you're even closer to Spain than I am and yet I keep going back again and again and am never disappointed.
artlover is offline  
Old Sep 26th, 2007, 09:39 PM
  #74  
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 3,171
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I too think this was a great report. Thanks for the time & trouble I know it is hard to do this as you have done with such care.

Artlover you are welcome. If you ever get to see the tape (I saw it on public TV) of Cigala you will enjoy that even more. He is something to watch as well as hear.
Some of those songs like "Na te Pido" are old time classic made famous in the 40s & 50s.
amsdon is offline  
Old Sep 27th, 2007, 06:11 AM
  #75  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 1,154
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
artlover, amsdon, I bow to your accolades. Thanks for the appreciation. It makes it worth the trouble to write it.
indiancouple is offline  
Old Sep 27th, 2007, 02:47 PM
  #76  
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 45
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Indiancouple, thanks to your descriptions, I have added Cabo da Roca to the "have to go there" list. We'll visit many of the museums that you described, take the famous Tram 28 ride and spend a lot of time meandering our way through the streets of Lisbon.

Your food descriptions are great. Do you have any suggestions of food items that we should make sure to purchase while in Lisbon? A favorite venture of ours while travelling is to go into the local supermarkets and pick up interesting items to bring home. We'll be certain to look for a jar of the tremocos that you so enjoyed!

Oh--I love the way you described Seville "...it has to be romanced gently.." How beautiful!

Thanks again for the super trip report.
sognodfn is offline  
Old Sep 27th, 2007, 07:32 PM
  #77  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 1,154
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Sognodfn, what is the duration of your Lisbon trip, and which other cities are you planning to cover ? Are you also going to Seville ? While in Lisbon, in addition to Cabo da Roca, I hope you are planning to cover Sintra and Cascais. There are many other interesting places nearby that we did not get a chance to visit.
As for picking up food items, in Spain we did pick up a packet of cous cous to bring home, as it is not available in India. And of course lots of olives and olive oil. Many people bring back Manchego cheese (which is a local delicacy, made of goat's milk), which we didn't like too much. And you must bring back several bottles of the famed port wines.
I am not sure what the weather will be like at end of December, but wish you and your family an excellent trip. If you have any other questions regarding the places we visited, please feel free to ask.
indiancouple is offline  
Old Sep 27th, 2007, 11:09 PM
  #78  
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 1,314
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
In Spain there is cheese from goat's milk, but the Manchego brand is from manchega sheep's only. There are other manchego-type made from a blend of sheep's and cow's.
josele is offline  
Old Sep 28th, 2007, 04:47 AM
  #79  
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 3,171
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Don't forget that you really cannot bring food products like cheese into certain countries anyway.

Take it from personal experience, at least returning to USA, no cheese or ham allowed.
The little dog in the airport always nabs me...

Not sure about the UK or others?

ams
amsdon is offline  
Old Sep 28th, 2007, 09:34 AM
  #80  
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 57,091
Received 5 Likes on 3 Posts
hi, amsdon,

there are regulation in the UK eg no potatoes from outside the EC, but they'd have to find them first. no-one is going to check that ham roll at the bottom of your rucksack.

Overall, we don't care, unless it's dictinctly dodgy like "herbal tea" from the carribean or definitely illegal.

regards, ann
annhig is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Manage Preferences Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Your Privacy Choices -