Lisbon 2017

lisbon-1-2We arrived after a week of crappy weather: rain, high winds and bouncy seas on the Freedom of the Seas we pulled into Lisbon with sunny skies and perfect weather for scooting not too hot or too cold.  It was a pretty early arrival and for some strange reason our ship was on Barcelona time not Lisbon time which made it a bit confusing so we were a bit concerned that our scheduled scooter tour might be cut short.

lisbon-2Instead a gentleman walked up to us as we waited at the appointed place saying he’d never had riders on his tour before who brought their own helmets. Winking smile

Bruno introduced himself and led us to where three scooters were parked. Two 125cc  LML Stars and a 110cc Honda Vision. Apparently there was a bit of a mix-up when we registered online and Bruno thought that Steve and I were planning on riding two up while Jamie was riding solo.  He said no problem but it would be over an hour before we could pick up another scooter so in the meantime  he recommended that two people ride on the Honda Vision since it seat was better for two up riding. Jamie started off riding behind Steve but at our first stop getting off/on with the top case was a bit difficult so Bruno suggested she ride with him to the next stop.

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This worked out much better and Jamie was quite happy being a passenger after seeing the cobblestones, trolley tracks and the step roads that we were riding, not to mention traffic at times. Like Rome and many other European cities it sits on a series of hills with centuries old buildings on narrow streets most of which still have their centuries old cobblestones. Bruno told us that there had been an attempt to asphalt over them but the asphalt wouldn’t stay on and made the surface even more treacherous so they gave up on the experiment. Trolleys and their tracks were everywhere.

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lisbon-10Stopped for coffee at the “Time Out Market” which was created when the old farmer’s market was upgraded to include a food hall where the top restaurants in Lisbon (Michelin stars included) were invited to open a stall. The only criteria was that the food had to be “affordable” so very few dishes cost over 10€

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Riding sweep I took a few photos like the one at the left as we were riding down one of the streets in town. Turns out that Lisbon is the second oldest city in Europe after Athens, who knew? lisbon-14

Then again there are also very large busy traffic circles but Lisbon drivers were quite good. Bonus the traffic circles we went through were not cobblestone.

lisbon-2-2Parking was easy, pretty much anyplace you wanted as long as you weren’t blocking pedestrians or vehicle movement. That made it easy to get off and get closer to many of the sites. Our guide was a font of knowledge about the places he took us to see.

 

 


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Without the scooters we’d never have been able to see as much of the city as we did in the relatively short time we had in Lisbon.

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Bruno took us places we’d never have found on our own like the terrace behind a shop a friend of his worked in that gave an outstanding view of the city.  Our time ran out long before our interest so Portugal is one of those places I’ll have to go back and explore more of in the future.

lisbon-15Back on the ship it was time to say farewell to Portugal and look forward to our next stop in Cadiz where we were just going to wander on foot.

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