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Showing posts from October, 2011

Welcome to Sevilla!

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A pretty picture to start the blog.
Ah, Sevilla! We made it, bright and early on what day...oh yes, Saturday. On vacation all days tend to blur together. Spending the night on a bus doesn't really help with that.

As I said, we arrived in Sevilla at 5 a.m. at a bus station, so I can't say my first impressions were anything memorable. It was very dark. A little chilly. We were outside and the restroom was very sketchy. As we were trying to get ourselves situated and refreshed, Lea realized she had left her iPad on the bus, which had just recently pulled away. Well, crap. Fortunately, despite the somewhat deserted nature of the bus station, there was a security guard around who informed Lea that the bus would go to the next station in Sevilla. Lea, Amit, and Alan grabbed a taxi and off they went to rescue the missing iPad!

The rest of us hung out at the bus station for about an hour. What did we do? Gosh...I don't remember. Stared into the darkness? Wondered why approximate…

The Bus Ride

Yes, we took an overnight bus from Lisbon to Sevilla. No, I would never do this again.

Getting from Lisbon, Portugal to Sevilla, Spain is not as easy as you may think. I suppose we could have flown, but I don't think it really occurred to us. There is no train from Lisbon to Sevilla, and renting a car to cross into another country was problematic and pricey.

So the bus it would be. An overnight bus seemed like a good option. It was a seven hour bus ride and it just seemed to make more sense to spend that seven hours traveling over night than during the day. One less night at a hotel or apartment to pay for AND we wouldn't waste precious sightseeing time.

I should back up a little bit here. We returned from Sintra and while we walked back from the bus station to our apartment, we passed the Metro Station where we would catch the train to the Oriente Rios bus station where you can catch international trains and buses. David asked me if I wanted to head down there and check out h…

Friday Friday!

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 Me, a door, and some graffiti. My Lisbon glamour shot.
 Just a pretty picture for you to enjoy.
Ah, Friday! Another day to enjoy some cornflakes and the Lisbon sunshine! Except today we were headed to Sintra, a favorite summer retreat of the Portuguese royal family for centuries. Now a Unesco World Heritage site and a short train ride from Lisbon. If you can find the train - which we did after a bit of searching.

My new Portuguese sunglasses! 
I should say, David was not feeling well this day. He looked quite green on the train and many times I thought maybe we'd be better off just getting off the train and heading back to Lisbon. I'm not sure if it was the cod or the firewater. Our party was also short one as one of the late night revelers decided to stay in Lisbon.

Well, hello! Care to join us for a little castle hopping?
The main attraction in Sintra is the Palacio Nacional de Pena. It boasts the first shower in Portugal, as well as sort of a candy-confection of a castle wit…

Day Three...also known as Thursday!

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Finally, I get to our first full day of vacation. A normal day of waking up, eating breakfast, and then walking all over a city I've never been in before. Okay, maybe not so normal. But no airplanes, no boarding passes, no trying to sleep in an upright position.

Here is what I wrote in my sole travel journal entry from the entire trip. I wrote this early Thursday morning: "Without a doubt, the hardest bed I have ever slept on in my entire life. I am up - the sun is up - I have no idea what time it is. Maybe 8:30?" That's it. I never wrote another word. I sat on the terrace for a bit, ate my cornflakes, and then we got going on a very full day.

First stop: The Praca do Comercio, right along the River Tagus. As you can see, it was an absolutely beautiful day in Lisbon. I don't have a picture, but in the square is a statue of Dom Jose I, who was king at the time of Lisbon's great earthquake. The arch behind me is the Arco Triunfal which marks the entrance to the…

The trip continues!

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Lisbon. A lovely city.
Picking up with Day 2 - after the nightmare at the Amsterdam airport, I was happy to buy my souvenir "I AMsterdam" magnet and get out of there. David and I weren't able to sit together on the plane, but I was directly in front of him, so we were able to touch hands over the top of the seat. So romantic.

The flight was a nice one for sleeping - the kind or sleep where every few minutes your head falls forward and wakes you up and you realize you are drooling all over yourself. Lovely.

Before I knew it, we were landing in Lisbon. Yippee! Now, there were six of our group on our flight: me and David; Kim and Kyle; and Alan and Erin. Lea and Amit were on a separate flight. They were scheduled to arrive in Lisbon first and Kelly would arrive from Texas shortly thereafter. I think the plan was that they would go to the apartment first and perhaps have wine and cheese waiting for us.

I was eager to get a Portugal stamp for my passport, and was upset when I…