Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Day 116 - Lisbon, Portugal

Tuesday, May 6

How can this possibly be our last port?

I was up early (6:20) to watch the three Queens sail in but could not find a good location to see both of the other two so I gave up and came back and took a snooze on the sofa.  Woke up about 8:45 to see us dock.

My tour (Lisbon by Land and River) did not start until noon so I wasn't sure if I wanted to attempt to get into the downtown area and back before noon.  I finally decided to do so ( I still had Euros to spend) but when I got to the shuttle bus we were told that the traffic was so bad that you could walk it in 15 minutes (for me 30-45).  [Note to Carnival Corp. - Is it really a good idea to put five of your ships (1 HAL, 1 Princess, and 3 Cunard) in port on the same day?  P&O Arcadia was supposed to be in port as well but I never saw her.]

Since the bus was going to be so slow I set out walking hoping I would find some shops before going to far.  About halfway to the main square I did find a shop and had no trouble spending most of my money.  Walked back to the ship and had a late breakfast.

At noon I walked through the terminal (which I had not had to go through on my earlier walk) and joined my tour group.  We started with a bus tour around the city hearing its history and seeing some of the beautifully painted or tiled buildings and the mosaic walkways.

Next we joined a River boat with two other tour groups.  We sailed past the three Cunard Queens and then back under the 25 de Abril Bridge.  We saw the Belem Tower, Monument to the Discoveries, the monument to Christ the King (looks like the one in Rio but smaller), among others.

We were given a snack of a ham and cheese roll, a meringue and one of the Belem Custard Tarts which are a specialty of the area.

The traffic in Lisbon was so bad that it took us over an hour to get back to the ship.  This was once when I was very glad that I was on a ship excursion.  If you are late, they will wait for you.  We finally made it back at 4:30 and all aboard was at 5:00.  I was out on deck 9 aft at 5:00.  There were British flags being passed out, Nexus was playing and the place was packed.

The Captain made an announcement that I could not hear but eventually word passed down we would be late sailing.  At 5:50 we saw why.  Four bus loads of people on excursions arrived back to QM2.  She finally set sail around 6:10, then we left and finally QV.  There was lots of flag waving and patriotic British songs being played once Nexus finished.  I finally left my last sail-away for the World Voyage around 7:15.

Joanne, Allison, Lynn and I ate dinner together although I thought I would be eating alone for the first few minutes.  Decided against the show and used up some of my internet minutes instead.

Views of Lisbon

the international railway station

one of the beautifully tiled building with wrought iron balconies

street art

one of the mosaic sidewalks (all set by hand and all different)

interesting paint job

more street art

Church of Santa Engracia

Edward VII Park

one of the Electicos - the old electric trams

the Coat of Arms of Lisbon

Smooth sailing until next time!

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