Saturday, May 27, 2017

Europe 17 Day 6

Not too many photos today, so I will slip in these two photos. The first is a cheap box of tissues we bought in Lisbon for less that €1. It seems tissues are not supplied in Portuguese hotels, at least the two we stayed in. Note the cardboard bits at the top to keep the tissues flowing without the leading tissue collapsing into the box. Here in Australia, we have some complicated arrangement on the underside of the box that I have tried twice. The first time it worked. The second time.......well, the box was wrecked. This system in this photo works. The box is in my ensuite and is now almost empty, but still the tissues keep coming.


Both of our hotels in Portugal used this system of dispensing soap and body wash. You press the plastic container against the metal part at the back and out comes the soap. I wondered if they are refilled or replaced. 


Goodbye to our pleasant hotel roof garden. I am not sure what happened to the smokers stand but overnight it was broken. 


Our train to Porto was to depart at noon, so no great rush. We caught the metro to the Santa Apolonia train station, Lisbon's main country and international station. As always, we at the station early. During our travels I saw a number of people in running panics at stations and airports. That is not how we travel. 


It was a bit interesting to look around outside the station. Why is the London Tube roundel up on the wall of this building? Looking at the photo full size, it says so far as I can make out, IRAN-SH-SA.






No, this is not our train. 



This is our train, a high speed tilt train. It was quite comfortable and with phone charging ports and power points. We had a table in front of us with two local people sitting opposite. As I mentioned though, I managed to have us facing backwards on the train. It departed on time and at one point did reach quite a high speed, but 'things' just kept slowing it down. 


An interesting station platform along the way. On the outskirts of Lisbon we saw quite an industrial area and a lot of highrise accommodation. 


Good old Aussie gum trees along the way, sans koalas. 


Oh my goodness, what is Porto like? Don't tell me there are hills............please. Our train arrived in Porto very late but it did not matter too much to us.



Our hotel was some distance from the old part of town, which we drove through on the way in the taxi from the airport to our hotel. If I was a sole traveller, I would rarely use a taxi, but rely more on public transport, but R does not have the patience or stamina. If we have to change trains when dragging suitcases, he does not want a bar of it, and fair enough. As you can see, our hotel room was quite nice. As we checked in, staff asked us for the credit card, an AMEX card, that we had used to make the booking. What? Our travel agent made the booking. Staff did not seem to believe us and repeated, an AMEX card ending in such and such digits. We were perplexed. We had to pay for the room with a credit card, even though we had already paid our travel agent and now after a week of being home, our travel agent has refunded us the money. That was awful. I had to take a photo of receipts using my tablet, which I have never used to take photos. Somehow email them to our travel agent. Our travel agent has a young baby and only works three days a week. We really felt sure we would be double paying for our room.





We went out to buy wine and nibbles at a nearby supermarket. Later we went out for a long evening walk and found a nice enough place for dinner. There were hills, but not too steep. It seems there was not a smoking area within the hotel, even though there was a large and deserted outdoor seating area. However, there were ashtrays outside the front door. At worst count, there were nine people out there smoking as we left the building through a cloud of smoke. It seemed so silly that the outdoor area within the hotel was not utilised. 

16 comments:

  1. I am glad you were reimbursed for the hotel room. That would have done my head in.
    I really liked the 'interesting' train station, those 'soft' blue buildings and the view over water.

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    1. Our travel agent cannot understand it and it has never happened to her before.

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  2. I don't know if there are any hills in Porto, but there could be some porto-loos in Porto! There will be lots of port in Porto, too!

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    1. Lee, hills there were. I can't recall porta-loos but we did imbibe in some local port.

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  3. That would put a sour taste in your mouth at the hotel if you had already paid - not good, but at least you got your money back since home.
    That bridge, wow.

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    1. Margaret, it is a strange business; a bit stressful at the time but sorted out now.

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  4. A smoking area right outside the front door would have me changing hotels immediately. There's no way I'd walk through a cloud of smoke everytime I wanted to go anywhere. Not with my asthma.
    Glad you got that room cost refunded, I wonder why the confusion though? The bridge looks lovely, I do like bridges.

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    1. River, no one aside from the hotel itself seems to know why the payment was a problem. Forever a mystery.

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  5. Hopefully that didn't spoil your enjoying the rest of the holiday Andrew and thank goodness your travel agent organised the refund.. you didn't have any of that bother in Perth 😀😀

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    1. It certainly did not, Grace. Of course we were in Perth at the same time one year ago.

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  6. Your travel adventures are quite exciting to me to read. I enjoy reading about each day and seeing where you stay, how it is, the problems, the enjoyments, keep it up! And thank you! I don't get out much.

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    1. Thanks for the encouragement, Strayer.

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  7. so it was an interesting day wiith travelling by train. Photos are lovely as usual

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    1. Gosia, on the very fast train that went rather slowly.

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  8. P.S. you should send that tissue box photo to Kleenex and tell them to up their game.

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    1. River, perhaps it doesn't look as neat, but the system works.

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