My last European city stop (apart from a transit stop in Iceland next week) is Lisbon in Portugal! Unfortunately it poured with rain most of the week so I don’t have a lot to tell you about!
I did a fun walking tour called Chill Out Free Walking Tours. Our guide Raphael really enjoyed taking us around on this 3.5 hour walk. His passion for the history of the city was infectious and I was particularly fascinated to hear about the earthquake of 1755 and see the areas it affected. I also really enjoyed taking our two minutes silence in Alfama in order to appreciate the calm peaceful environment as there are no cars in these suburbs. This is because the narrow windy roads up hills can’t fit cars. It made me think that this could have been a great way to plan residential areas in towns. It allows people to walk outside easily and some of them cook outside too. It really brings the community together and we could see that the residents all knew each other.
I also visited the museum of money to see the history of Portuguese currency and the museum of communication. This one was really cool cos they had old computers, a telegraph machine, morse code machines, a TV studio and a radio station. I got told off for not having a ticket as I went to leave but when I arrived it was all open plan and the staff let me walk into the rooms without asking me to buy a ticket so that was confusing.
The weather here was apparently 30 degrees last week, sigh!
The next morning I had to head back to London so I checked my boarding pass in my Apple Wallet which said 9:55. I booked a taxi through the hotel for 7am and got downstairs at 6:50am to wait. By 7:15am the taxi still hadn’t arrived and I checked my phone for the time. I notification was sitting there saying ‘Boarding 6:40am’. My stomach sunk. I THOUGHT my flight was meant to be earlier than 9:55am! With great embarrassment I realised I had been looking at my inbound flight to Lisbon I already took four days ago.
Right, what to do then! I had to be back in Mile End, London by 4pm for my leaving drinks so I booked the next earliest flight. Easyjet had one at 11am. Fortunately I managed to download their app and book it while standing outside waiting for the taxi!
With still no sign of the taxi I was grateful that Lisbon have Uber and I got one within five minutes. Even better news was that it was less than half the price I would have paid the taxi. That’s actually the second time that’s happened to me and it’s the third time I’ve had complications over a hotel/hostel booked taxi. So I’m not going to do it again! Each time the staff member has said “they’re my friend and they’re really trusted”. I think what they seem to be doing is literally offering a favour to a friend who is not entirely reliable (and perhaps is not even a taxi driver).
I’m now at the airport and just waiting for the gate announcement.
I feel a bit daunted thinking of my nine upcoming flights that I have to be well onto it for! I added in time to arrive at airport and time of gate closing to my itinerary!
Wish me luck for getting to my drinks!