Lisbon, Portugal; Day 1

The Adventurers have arrived in Europe! Portugal marks our arrival on the 4th continent of the trip (North America, Asia, Africa are the others) and 6th major region if you count Central America and the Middle East. It’s also our 8th country if you’re keeping track.

We are planning to spend quite a bit of time in Spain to enjoy the country and try to further our Spanish language skills. But first, a quick few days in the beautiful city of Lisbon.

The proximity to Spain and Morocco was a draw and made for a relatively easy travel day, only a 90 minute flight. But as CreeperPuppy pointed out, it’s still two security scans and a longish wait in the immigration line on arrival. His opinion is that it’s not worth traveling internationally for less than a 12 hour flight – the short flights are just not worth the hassle. Hmmm – that’s one way to look at it. We suspect that is only one of the ways we’ve warped the kids’ perspectives by doing this trip.

Our trip was pretty uneventful until we picked up our bags from baggage claim and headed out to find our driver. We’d pre-booked transportation since we are typically too many people/bags for a regular taxi. We’d been texting the driver but hadn’t heard back and then got a call from the company saying he was stuck in traffic and would be there in 20 minutes. Since we were still in line at Immigration when the call came in that was no big deal.

But when we emerged flush with euros from the airport ATM, no sign of the driver. Ugh. We walked over to the pick up door, parked ourselves and waited. And waited. And waited. Still no communication from the driver. Eventually Tiffany wandered back over to the line of sign holding drivers to see if we’d missed him. She came back with no driver…but she did find her sign taped to the railing with a phone number in the corner. Hmmm…that’s not how this usually works. Unfortunately, the name and number were the same ones we’d been trying.

We finally got back in touch with the company who claimed the driver was still stuck in traffic. At this point we’d seen the taxi line out front cycle through a couple times. There were plenty of vehicles big enough to hold us and get our Adventures underway. So when the company asked us to wait another 20 minutes we politely declined, grabbed a cab and left the airport. It was a short pleasant drive to our lodging – and strangely no traffic.

We arrived at our apartment mid afternoon, settled in and then wandered the neighborhood a little bit. We found some cool street art that quickly turned into epic ‘Simon Says’.

We hoped to go to a local traditional market in the neighborhood called the Mercado de Arroios and get some dinner and provisions for the days ahead. The market was closed this late in the day but the restaurants ringing the space were all open. We chose a tapas place for dinner that served REAL HAM which honestly (and perhaps, sadly) we had missed.

Mom and Dad probably enjoyed the meal more than the kids but that’s bound to happen sometimes. There’s always tomorrow.

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