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Wednesday, 18 April 2012

Lisboa e Figueira da Foz

Hi all, packed up the happy bus and drove to the capital city of Lisbon for our first city-based site and the promise of people, culture and sights to be seen. Ok my ability to enjoy heights is compromised at the best of times but I found myself trying to control my breathing and leaning away from the huge drop into the watery abyss as we crossed the bridge over the River Tagus into Lisbon. I fully understand how the passenger seat is affectionately known as the suicide seat by some fellow RV'rs. Mr H enjoys the panoramic views and changing landscapes on our travels while I try to ignore the paper thin barriers or road edge between me and the depths. Serves me right for encouraging others on many occassions to feel the fear and do it anyway!  
Great site for a short city break; plenty of trees, good access, hardstanding and services but lots of showers (of the rainy variety).  

We were determined to explore Lisbon so we donned winter gear, grabbed the camera and set off anyway. Caught the bus outside the camp gates into city centre. In parts the journey was so bumpy we were lifted out of our seats more than once. Mr H and I took a firm grip of the seats in front of us and enjoyed the white-knuckle ride without the extortionate ticket price!  So armed with a 48 hour pass that covered us for tours around the city as well as public transport our explorations began. 

Plenty to see, around every corner a suprise, sculptures, stunning old and new buildings, palaces, fountains and even imaginative  graffiti.

Of the 260 photos we took I have selected just a few to give a flavour of this vibrant city.  

As we sat undercover in a pavement cafe the umbrella man paced up and down the entrance to the metro. He showed little regard for anyone who may trip over his wares or the white stick he prodded every surface with. At one point he walked out onto the road and straight into a stationary bus, with a shrug he negotiated his way around this obstacle to begin selling his umbrellas dangerously close to a fellow umbrella salesman at the next metro entrance.

Now this greying mutt stole my heart instantly, it was the way she sat quietly on the pavement among the throng of commuters, tourists and locals. Her protruding teeth just added to her appeal, Mr H said she reminded him of Spit the dog...

Really nice to get a proper shopping fix, didn't dare go in the mega-posh designer shops so just admired the window displays from the safety of the top deck of our tourist bus. Best purchase of my mad city jaunt?  Tea lights from Ikea! Oh how I have missed my scented candles. I have learned a girl can go without many things during our adventures but I refuse to travel without scented candles, Molton Brown products, Clinique cosmetics, hair colour and crystals (other products are available I'm told).  High maintenance? Not me!   

We then travelled North to the Orbitur Gala site near Figueira da Foz for 2 nights

Nice tidy site, near the beach but Mr H spent most of the first night helping to dig a French motorhome out of a sandy pitch and it rained for most of the next day with more rain forecast. Same weather picture further North so we've decided to head East back to Spain! 

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