Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Portugal: Our Trip Begins

As usual in my world of travel, nothing ever goes smoothly. We were flying to Lisbon from Hartford, Conn. via Philadelphia. While I hadn’t allowed a long layover in Philly, it wasn’t too tight either.  It wasn’t until our flight into Hartford was delayed. It had mechanical problems in Minneapolis and was at least a half hour behind schedule. 

Not to worry the desk crew assured everyone, the earliest connection was a 8:20 p.m.and we still had time. Our connection was 8:25 p.m. We sat there listening for updates which arrived regularly. We became friends with the other stranded passengers.

The fight ended up 35 minutes delayed, we made it to Philadelphia but of course, our gate was on another concourse three concourses away. It was a very long walk to get there. We did get onto the plane in plenty of time. Flying these days is such an adventure. Do you want to watch the movie? 

If you didn’t bring your own headphones it will be $5 to buy them. Want a beer or wine on an International flight, $7. Was there enough room in the overhead bins, barely and almost everyone was carrying on everything. The good news is that we didn’t have to pay to check our bags for an International flight.

Another piece of good news. The meal was actually quite good. Choice of pasta with white sauce and spinach or BBQ chicken with potatoes. Very good actually, this is the first time I can remember actually eating my meal in years. The salad came with a cream pepper dressing again very tasty, a rye roll, real butter and a little piece of carrot cake, how yummy is that?

We arrive at Lisbon at just about 8 a.m. in the morning. The lines were immense and we spent about 45 minutes getting through customs before we could go to baggage claim. Of course by that time our flight was no longer listed so we had to find someone who spoke English to help us find out what had become of our luggage. Good news again, it was all lines up next to one of the carousels. We headed out to find a taxi to our hotel.

Just a note, in Lisbon most people we met especially our cab drivers don’t speak more than a word or two of English, hotel employees on the other hand do speak impeccable English.

 Lisbon airport is only 4 miles outside the city, Depending on where your hotel is, this is going to be an inexpensive trip in. For 4 of us and all our luggage to Graca where our hotel is located was with tip 20 euros. It was fast, easy and safe.

View of Lisbon
We booked our hotel months in advance. They were waiting for us when we arrived. There had been a bit of a computer glitch. They were renovating and the person in charge of putting in the number of rooms available to let had not taken into account the ones being renovated. There was no room for us tonight.

The good news, they had gotten us a room at a 5-star hotel across town and they were going to pay the taxi to take us there. They were going to give us the room at this hotel for the same rate were paying at the Mundial and then they would pay for us to come back tomorrow.

Since we had no alternative plan we said okay Well I wish we could have spent our whole vacation at the Corinthia Hotel. It is gorgeous. The rooms are sleek and modern, the bed was very comfortable , we were allowed in our room by 11am so we got to rest before beginning to make the rounds. 

Wonderful staff and I have to say a gorgeous hotel. Only one day into our adventures in Lisbon and already the excitement has started.

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