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Lisbon and a Mighty Tour by Foot – Day 14
Sunday 26th July 2009 – Portugal
I had a great little chat with the lady behind the campsite reception as i left this morning. She spoke good English and said how she wanted to move to England, as she was bored with Portugal. Funny, as I’m bored of England and would happily move to somewhere like Portugal. I guess everybody has dreams of living somewhere other than where they are, unless you live in the Caribbean of course.
I went first to the Cathedral in Alcobaca. It was very grand, and there was much to explore, but it was nowhere near the scale of yesterdays exploration. The most breathtaking part was entering into the main hall. The scale of it is immense. There is a story that lies within the Cathedral, and i want to look it up on the net when i get the chance, so there were statues, coffins and tombs that lay within the hall and surrounding rooms. Once i had seen all there was to see, i left and rejoined my car. Together we headed for Lisbon (Lisboa), the capital of Portugal.
The campsite was called Lisboa Camping, situated just outside Lisbon. A great campsite with massive camping grounds, set in a wooded area with plenty of shelter. I was going to go to Sintra today but there wasn’t really enough time. I wanted to spend the whole day there really as i wasn’t sure how much there was to see. Today was going to be a Lisbon day.
After getting the details of the bus into Lisbon city from the campsite reception, i proceeded to walk to the bus stop. I waited there with some Netherlands people for over an hour, before we came to the conclusion we were at the wrong bus stop. And we were right. A few minutes walk down the road, another bus stop, and 30 minutes wait later, we were on the right bus.
I took a chance leaving the bus as i had no idea where i was in relation to what i wanted to see in the city, and a long study of a confusing map confirmed i was way off where i wanted to be. It was another hot day and i contemplated a long walk, but wasn’t going to miss out on seeing the sights, so i walked. Along the way i got my lunch and some much needed water, and sat by the first monument to eat my sandwiches.
While sitting there, a guy from New Zealand (Johnny) approached and recognized me from the campsite. He had driven his van into the city and parked it a little way away. We talked for a while and he told me about how his van had been broken into twice, and how all his equipment, and many clothes had been stolen. I felt a little less happy about having my car with me around Europe. We didn’t continue on together as he was off to the info place to sort his van out. So i carried on alone.
I found it hard to find places of interest, even with a map, and found myself in the wrong part of the city. I felt like a sitting duck and had to backtrack some way. I eventually saw all the places i wanted to see, but it was a lot of walking in the baking heat. I went to the main square, to the bus starting routes and waited there for my bus to take me back. There was a small show going on in the square that was a little strange, and while standing watching, i was aware of other people coming up behind me. Blokes kept coming up to me trying to sell drugs, and they wouldn’t leave me alone. There were other tourists around, but i guess i was an obvious English tourist. I didn’t feel comfortable at all and kept a firm hand on my backpack.
Onto a crowded bus and back to the campsite i went, feeling exhausted. I’d done a lot today and just needed a sleep. Big cities wear me out.
Written by Daniel Stevens,
Founder of Roundtheworldtrip.org.
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