Back to Lisbon

October 12, 2017 - Lisbon, Portugal



Yesterday we were reminded that we haven't posted our later days of the Portugal Tour, although we have been putting together our journal. It is about time we put that right. You may get a hefty dose of Portugal over the next few days.

Hotel Urgeiriça put on a good spread for breakfast but we settled for a lighter breakfast today. Coffee was from an urn but reasonable and I needed two cups before I felt ready for the day. I was a bit under the weather but blamed the amount of beer and wine we drank the night before.

All into the bus and off to Bussaco where there is a luxuriant forest and the royal hunting lodge, now a fancy hotel, surrounded by gardens and forest walks. Fancy a meal in the dining room – mmm, maybe not as the pit bull on the door asks if he may be of assistance but reminds you that this isn't for the tourists with his 'down the nose' look and tone. Several of the group were turned away from the front door but some walked in through the back and then used the toilets there and were ushered out through the front, presumably for their gawping about.

Our tour then went on to Tomar and up to the Templar Castle at the top of the hill. We were led through rapidly by John who seemed anxious to get this out of the way and leave us in the old town to find lunch for 2.5 hours. His little group just got slower and slower as we wandered through the castle. John kept trying to lead us on as this was a one-way trip, in one side and out the other to be met by the bus. I guess he was still very worried about losing people.

After the castle tour we parked near the old town and Margaret and I had lunch at Estrelas de Tomar, a pastry shop that served us toasted ham and cheese sandwiches and coffee plus a double ice cream cone for Margaret and an extra coffee for Max. It was a very pleasant place to sit and relax outside in the shade of the buildings and watch the pedestrians pass by. We occasionally saw some members of our tour wander past. Danny and Robyn took a table nearby for a while before wandering off again to explore.

A walk around town proved to be more rewarding than we had been led to believe, with many old buildings with tiled facades, the old Church of St John the Baptist, the parks and gardens along the river and the even older Chapel of St Iria with the keystone of the entry marked 1526.

We were collected at 3.30pm and headed back to Lisbon. A long drive ahead of us so most of us settled down for a sleep. We were roused again at a Service Centre where we stopped for a comfort break. I think our driver was the only one to get out.

As we headed for Lisbon we exchanged email addresses with Danny and Robyn. They were asking about Iceland as Robyn may be going there in May with Danny's sister. Our old journal may be of some help in planning what to do so I will put it on Drop Box and send them a link when we get back home.

We rolled in to Lisbon at 5.30pm and our first stop was the Olissippo Oriente Hotel and all eight that are on the Ten Day Tour were dropped off to Check-In. The rest remained on the bus so we said quick good-byes as we filed down the aisle and off the bus. Also had to say good-bye to our intrepid guide. Good-bye John and thanks for all your knowledge. I know you did your utmost.

Once we were established in the room that would be ours for two nights we did a bit of hand washing and strung our travel line around the bathroom in the hope we could get things dry before we leave.

We then went out for a walk to look for places to eat. There was a shopping centre nearby but it was really on 'Food Court' type food so we ended up back at the hotel dining room. A very good salad for Margaret with a half bottle of Dão Valley Wine and Grilled Salmon with potatoes and spinach with a beer for me.



Bussaco Palace Hotel
Crusader Castle near Tomar
Crusader Castle near Tomar
Inside the chapel at Tomar castle

1 Comment

December 4, 2017
Hmmm that’s funny. Someone else must have mentioned it to ;-)
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