Leaving Lisbon

train-from-Lisbon

The very, very long train I rode last night — the end cannot be seen in this picture.

Yesterday was a strange mix of a day! It began with a very bumpy and exciting downhill ride in what’s called a “tuk-tuk.” These are small, open, 3-wheel vehicles a lot like a golf cart. I made arrangements the day before for a tuk tuk driver to meet me when it was time to leave my rental and take me to the train station. Truth is, what I really needed was help with luggage. The idea of climbing up the 111 steps with my bags didn’t appeal! So, with me in the backseat with open air all around, we first went to the top of the highest hill in town, then zoomed down and around curves until in about ten minutes we were at the station at the waterfront. It really was kind of fun!

tuktuk-in-Lisbon

This picture of a tuk tuk is borrowed from visitportual.com. I hope no one minds.

Then my day became really boring because I had to wait in the station for more than ten hours for the train. It was an overnight train from Lisbon to Madrid. Before leaving home I had booked a berth in a 4-females room. Without realizing it I’d arranged for an upper berth – one that I really didn’t think I could manage.

My roommates were a mother and her young adult daughter from Brazil who were touring Portugal and Spain for two weeks with two humongous suitcases, and a young woman from Switzerland who had been studying in Lisbon for six months. She was kind and switched bunks with me so I didn’t have to figure out how I could get out of a top bunk in a very small, very crowded space.

train-compartment

Here are my deluxe accommodations on the train — shared with three other women.

This was a very long train. It rattled and shook all night – I thought rails must be missing here and there. It felt a lot like being on the Star Clipper, the sailing ship I sold cruises on, though the ship was usually much smoother and very much quieter. Periodically the train stopped for a few minutes – presumably to let another train have the right of way though I never heard one pass up during those stops. Around 7:00 I woke up but everyone else was still sleeping so I lay there in the dark, keeping quiet, until the porter knocked on the door just before 8:00 and let us know it was time to get up. There was no way I could move in that room! The train arrived in Madrid at 8:40 and that’s where I am now!

Madrid is a beautiful city. I’ll be here only a short time and I’ll tell you about it tomorrow.

Libbie

About Libbie Griffin

For several months recently I've been traveling around Europe. Write to me at in.my.suitcase.too@gmail.com if you would like to receive a very short email each time I post new words and pictures here. I would love for you to tell your friends who love to travel about this blog. And I would be very happy to read about your experiences, your suggestions and your questions in the comments section. Let's make this blog a conversation! Thanks! Libbie Griffin
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2 Responses to Leaving Lisbon

  1. Carter Ann says:

    Hi Libbie, This is Carter Ann from New Bern. I have really been enjoying your posts. Lisbon is one of my favorite cities in Europe. I remember a linen shop that was “the oldest linen shop ” in Lisbon…that 3 generations in my family have visited it.Looking forward to hearing about your next adventure!

    Like

    • Hi Carter Ann,
      It’s nice to hear from you! Lisbon was very interesting. Such a mix of ancient money, more recent poverty, and its great history. I didn’t notice “the oldest linen shop” but that doesn’t mean its not there. I hope you’ll stay tuned for the weeks ahead. I’m going to some fun places!
      Libbie

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