Saturday, April 04, 2015

Lisbon Trip #1

We went to Lisbon on our winter holiday. It was our first time in Portugal. We stayed at Neya Lisboa because the price was right, breakfast was included in the price, and there's free wifi in the rooms. Besides, it has a decent rank at Tripadvisor and there is a spa in the hotel as well as a Shiatsu massage pillow in each room (though at that time we had no idea what it would feel like to use it).

Here are some photos of the breakfast room, which was used as a restaurant, as well. We had dinner there on the first night because we arrived late and we didn't want to go anywhere else. The food was great, though the price of the food was a bit more pricy. For breakfast, though, we realized it was nicer to go there earlier (at 7 instead of 8 am for example) because then it would be empty he he...

I did consider ordering taxi beforehand (like what we did in Budapest), but people in Tripadvisor suggested hailing a taxi from the airport instead of booking online. Someone even said that going to the departure area to hail a taxi from there would be cheaper. Well, that person was right. It cost us €18 to go to the hotel, but it only cost €13 to go to the airport from the hotel. Both drivers were driving at such a high speed. It felt nice, though, that the hotel wasn't located too far from the airport. Usually the journey from the airport to the hotel took longer than 11-13 minutes.

We flew with TAP Portugal from Helsinki and Finnair from Rovaniemi to Helsinki. On the way to Lisbon, we only had a little over one hour to change the plane, so we were relieved to know that they could transfer our luggage straight to Lisbon from Rovaniemi, so we didn't have to check-in our luggage again in Helsinki airport. I was a bit worried that the luggage wouldn't be transferred in time to the TAP plane, but thankfully our luggage was safe and sound when we arrived at Lisbon airport.

Anyway, on our first full day in Lisbon, we went out to buy the Viva Viagem ticket from the ticket machine at the closest metro station. The card cost €6 and it provided unlimited use on many different kinds of transportation (bus, metro, tram, etc.) for 24 hours. The card was reloadable, so we had to keep it with us. Funny thing was that it was the very first time I had ever used a machine like that. In the past whenever we had to use metro, we bought the tickets from a stall or a ticket seller. So you know what I did? I tried pushing the money inside the machine first, but of course it wouldn't swallow my money because I had to choose first what kind of card I wanted to buy LOLLLLL!!!!

I made a mistake the first time around by choosing to buy 2 reloads at a time (so I paid €0,50 for the card and €12 for the reload instead of €6). I was scared that I was losing money that way, but no...the amount was still available to use the next day after the first reload expired 24 hours later. Phew!

Here's a photo of the metro station near our hotel. Some of the stations have nice decorations.

Our first task that day (other than browsing around and visiting some places) was to find the train station, as we were planning to visit Sintra (the place where we got to visit the colourful palace) by train. Here's the lovely Rossio train station and the big square nearby).

I find this image hilarious. Don't you think that the statue looks pissed of because of the birds? HA HA HA HA...

One of the things I love about Lisbon is that there are so many lovely buildings and colourful ones everywhere. Here are some examples:

Okay, I'll end this here before it gets too long. I'll write more later. Expect many more photos and some videos! :-D

P.S. Oh yes, the Shiatsu massage pillow was very helpful to help reduce the ache from walking around the Lisbon (the city of 7 hills). I could use it on my calves, the soles of my feet, back, and even shoulder. I LOVE it!!!!

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