Monday, July 13, 2015

Recap of arrival in Portugal

Hello, everyone.

When we arrived in Portugal, at 8:20 or so in the morning, we found our way to the Metro station and discovered their system for payment. (No, the metro driver doesn't come around and collect money from you. No, you don't pay as you board. It's Modern and Cool instead.)

The Lisbon Metro has pay in advance cards. You buy the fare holder, a cardboard card with apparently an RFID chip in it, and at the same time as you buy the holder, you buy fare. We bought 2 days of the by-the-day fare for each of us, which covered until we left town. The vending machine tallies up everything, the half a euro card fee and all the fares you're paying in advance, and gives you a total to pay. You can insert paper euro notes into the machine. Then, when you board the Metro, you lay your cute little card (don't leave it in a pocket where it will get folded!) on the reader device and the little gate opens and you board the metro for that trip. The by-the-day fares are by clock reading: if you pay at 10 am, that's theoretically when it expires the next day. There are lots of conveniently located Metro stations, and color coded maps for the 4 different lines. (The Metro is in addition to the buses, though you can use the by-the-day card on the buses, and in addition to the actual trains, which are a separate system altogether.)

Statue of a Portuguese king in Praza Commercio.
As mentioned in the first post on Lisbon, weeks ago, we rumbled around downtown Lisbon for a while because check-in time for the pension was around noon.

We went to the shrine of St. Anthony ("of Padua") who was born in Lisbon and is very popular there. His big fiesta was coming on, and the night before we left we got to take in some of the fiesta happiness in the old neighborhood of Lisbon.

It was nice--very much like parish summer picnics in Illinois and parish jamaicas in Texas. With wine and fried goodies and beer.