Back Roads Of Iberia: Spanish Paradores and Portuguese Pousadas

Day 02 - Saturday, March 25, 2017 - Flight to Lisbon, Portugal; Orientation Walk; Welcome Meeting; Welcome Dinner

Gate A45 was packed with travelers anxious to get on board our AirBus A330 for the 9 and a half hour flight to Munich. Several groups of high school students loaded down with pillows, stuffed animals, and backpacks reminded us of our own days chaperoning groups to Mexico and Europe.

The flight was called a few minutes after 4:30 pm and by 5:05 we backed away from the jet way. The skies were clear and blue, so different from the previous night of blizzard conditions.

We made ourselves comfortable and settled in for the overnight flight across the Midwest, northern United States, Hudson Bay in Canada, the southern tip of Greenland, and the North Atlantic Ocean. The individual inflight screens were very accurate and gave specific information and the Google maps kept us aware of our location during the night.

The morning smells of coffee and omelets woke us up at 8:00 Munich time. The cabin crew was busy getting everyone served in the two hours before landing in Germany.

The flight staff guided us safely into the Franz Josef Strauss Airport at 9:50 am. After going through the brief customs and immigration procedures we found our gate for the next flight to Lisbon. Politics aside, our relationship with the European Union makes traveling in Europe very easy for Americans.

Leaving almost 40 minutes late at 12:15 pm, we followed the Alps south and west arriving in Lisbon at 3:00 pm. We made up a little time and although we were in the air for almost 2.5 hours, there was another time change.

Rikardo, our O.A.T. Tour Leader, greeted us after we had collected our luggage. We were whisked off through the Saturday city traffic to our hotel, our home for the next three nights.

Rikardo gave us some time to get organized and then suggested that we could go on a brief walk to get to know the neighborhood. At 5:00 we met for our first get-together and began to learn the names and faces of our companions for the next two weeks.

Overseas Adventure Travel does a fantastic job of helping people receive pre-trip information but the Welcome Orientation meeting gave everyone a chance to learn specific details about the itinerary.

At 6:00 we met again for a walk to Rossi Square and learned more about the famous landmarks of the city center. Our hotel is in an ideal location and it was easy to walk to see many of the historical sites.

We rode the famous Ascensor da Goria, a funicular that has been in operation since 1885, to the top of the city for a panoramic view at São Pedro de Alcântara Gardens. At dusk we could see the twinkling lights of the city below and a rainbow was glowing over the city from the last of the sun’s rays.

We walked a few blocks to dinner at a nearby restaurant, Sophia’s. We had a delicious menu of fresh olives, tempura fried green beans, pork loin with mashed potatoes, and octopus with new potatoes roasted in rosemary and olive oil. An orange pudding cake was our dessert.

Remembering that we are in Europe where people eat late dinners, we made an effort to stay awake and appreciate the company of our new friends. This was the first opportunity to get to talk to the members of our group so we enjoyed our time together.

We got back from dinner at 9:00 and completed our GarciaTrips routine. We finished the journal and went through hundreds of photos from the day. It was well past our regular bedtime when we posted the journal from Day 2 and then we changed our watches and clocks one more time as Europe goes on Daylight Savings Time during the night.

We learned so much about Lisbon today. Tomorrow will be another full day exploring the city and surrounding area.

Think back to your studies of World History and recall this important fact about Portugal:

In 1494, the Papal Treaty of Tordesillas was signed between Spain and Portugal, which gave Portugal the eastern half of the "World", including Brazil, Africa, and Asia. The Portuguese Empire was actually the first global empire in history.

Accommodations: Turim Av Liberdade Hotel - - - Meal: D

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Mr. Victor Garcia Customer #673062

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Back Roads Of Iberia: Spanish Paradores and Portuguese Pousadas
Rikardo López Elduayen

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Wonderful pictures! What were you eating? Looks delish.

Dee Sloan   March 25, 2017 - 4:50pm
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