Travel. The word can bring forth thoughts, memories, feelings. Yet, it is just a word. A six-letter word. Looking up definitions for such a word, I found many variations. As a verb, travel was defined as early as the 1300’s:
c.1375, “to journey,” from travailen (1300) “to make a journey,” originally “to toil, labor” (see travail). The semantic development may have been via the notion of “go on a difficult journey,” but it may also reflect the difficulty of going anywhere in the Middle Ages. Replaced O.E. faran. Travels “accounts of journeys” is recorded from 1591. Traveled “experienced in travel” is from 1413. Traveling salesman is attested from 1885.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2001 Douglas Harper
Sometimes the romantic travel of our lives seems just like this definition – travail. Finding a soul-mate seems even harder than finding comfort in economy/coach class airline seats.
The good thing is that airline travel is a temporary thing, whereas the saga of finding a soul-mate seems to last a lifetime. Given the difficult journey of finding someone to enjoy spending time with, maybe one would be better off standing in the TSA line for the rest of their lives.
A few years back we started discussing the retirement options. We decided I should take social security at 62 while Mike continued to work. After he reached 66, we began to revisit the questions again. Since most of his work is performed as a contractor (i.e., not FTE) in 6 to 60 month gigs, it is easy to put off the retirement decision each time a contract expires and a new one starts. Continue reading “Retirement leads to more questions than answers”
When we went to Sintra, not long after our arrival in Portugal, we wandered the village, looking at the houses, homes, Airbnb and shops near the train station. I was not as on top of my game as I would have liked in order to be able to enjoy the town. But I was hungry and thirsty. We had a late start on the day as well. Continue reading “Sabot Lucky Burgers – an afternoon in Sintra”
The city was actively engaged in preparations for the big festival on June 12th. We could feel it in the air, in the streets and in the shops and restaurants.
Continue reading “Festival Night – June 12”
At the top of my bucket list for this trip was a visit to Cascais. It is fairly simple to get to, but we took the long way to the train station (on foot via the cobblestone sidewalks – a tough one for my sense of balance). We got sort of lost a couple of times. The easy way was to go to the Rossio subway station and take the green line to Cais do Sodre where we switch to the train to Cascais. But we walked. Eventually we reached the western waterfront of downtown. Google and the GPS said we were there, but we could not seem to find it.
Continue reading “Cascais – a day trip”
This whole time of our vacation, all the festivities seem to be leading up to the 12th of June – St. Anthony’s day of honor. I have been reading up on this since we came here not knowing about it. St. Anthony of Padua (12 th Century) is the patron saint of Lisbon. He was originally from Portugal but spent most of his life in Italy. However, the Portuguese are proud of his heritage.
Continue reading “Lisbon’s Sardine Festival- June 12-13”
We decided to stay in town and eat at our favorite Tapas restaurant. The festival would go on until the wee hours of Sunday morning though it would not bother us. We could hear it and feel the thump of the music in our apartment, but when we close our windows they are very tight against sound.
Continue reading “A weekend in Lisboa”
Saturday we queued up for Remodelado Tram #28 at Martim Moniz to Campo Ourique (Prazeres). The route goes through Graca and Alfama, as well as connects Baixa to the Estrela District. We took it both ways. Fortunately there are trams every 15 minutes and sometimes more frequently. Seating will accommodate about 30 people, but there are people constantly getting on and off, so at times the tram probably held twice that many people standing as well as sitting. We timed our entry into a tram to be one of the first 12 people on so we got great seats.
Continue reading “Tram #28, the Lisboa experience”
Every day is a learning experience, as it should be. Visiting a city like Lisboa will kick one right out of one’s rut. Certainly it has mine. More tips are offered to help make your transition as painless as possible.
- Weather: June is a great time to be here. the temperature rarely gets to the mid-70s. Nights are cool, days are comfortable. A light rain jacket is all you will need to stay dry (an occasional rain shower here and there). In checking the weather, Accuweather wanted me to pay for the privilege of learning the day’s weather, but the BBC weather was always there for me. It even has a radar screen to watch the day’s weather. It is nice to be prepared for the day with clothing. Yesterday was sunny, warm (low 70s) but the breeze was rather cool. Being prepared equals comfort.
- I found a free app (Android) for translation of words from Portuguese to English. It is called All Language Translator. It has hundreds of languages. Rated 4.5 with 53,657 reviews. It also has a voice translation so you can learn how to say words.
I have learned a lot in just a few days. Well, actually over several weeks as we grew closer to the event and our planning of the trip. We really left the lodging arrangements to within 2 weeks of light off. We had also decided to travel with only carry-ons for 2 weeks. This one is a mixed bag, so to speak. It was really good because we did not book through a consolidator or agency. We booked Norwegian Air from Seattle to London Gatwick. Then we booked TAP (Air Portugal) from London to Lisbon. Not having to pickup bags and clear any official lines made our transition between airlines at Gatwick easier. (There is a whole other story about that later.) The down side is a backpack and a 21 inch spinner can be a lot of weight to maneuver, especially if you have to go up or down rickety stairs to and from the plane. (We had to several times.)
Continue reading “11 Tips for travel to Portugal (in particular, Lisbon)”