Lisbon
@ Adrian Tritschler · Tuesday, Sep 22, 1998 · 6 minute read · Update at Sep 22, 1998 ·

dst. (km)
Today 6.4
Trip 8.3

At some strange time in the morning I was flying over Romania — I think. An hour in Frankfurt and then breakfast on the flight. Somewhere out over the Black Sea there was a magnificent thunderstorm to watch, all the lightning playing around below the plane.

Singapore airport seemed huge, we all had to walk for miles to get from the Qantas flight to the check-in counter, then almost all the way back to get to the departure lounge for the Lufthansa flight. My seat was well back behind the wing, and the engines, and fairly noisy. On the plus side, the seat next to me was broken. After trying to fix it and seat three different passengers there, eventually the cabin staff gave up and left it vacant, leaving only two of us in a block of three — almost roomy for the economy cabin.

As a reminder not to prejudge people into racial stereotypes I’ll only have to think of the first couple I sat next to. Since it’s a German airline, I had thought that the guy sitting next to me looked to be a fairly typical, large, florid-faced German. Then he turned to me and opened his mouth “Gidday, me name’s Bruce, this is my wife Kathleen. How are ya?” — I nearly burst out laughing.

In Singapore we had to go through the metal detectors and security gates again. I placed my pocket knife and bike tools in the tray instead of leaving them inside my bag. One of the guards then spent several minutes looking puzzled while he examined the allen keys and discussed them in great detail with the other guards — maybe worried that I’d start dismantling the aircraft. Eventually he handed them back and sent me on my way.

A couple of minutes later there was an announcement over the PA system calling me over to the desk. I’ve no idea what it was all about, without a word to me they took my boarding pass off me, tore it up, printed out a new one and handed it to me — re-arranging the seating I guess. When I sat back down all the people around me wanted to know what it was all about — shame I didn’t know!

Flying over Saudi Arabia — at least I think that’s where it was — some of the cities and patterns of lights looked amazingly beautiful and peaceful. The air was very clear and the looked like patterns of lace against the ground.

I hadn’t realised that there was an hour or so of sitting around in Frankfurt between my flights — I’ll have to start reading itineraries more carefully in future. There was nowhere much to sit and absolutely everyone in Germany seemed to be smoking. I spent the time watching people; business people travelling, families on holidays, attractive young girls on backpacking trips….

Once I got to Lisbon it took a little while to find my bike, since it was a large item, it was one of the last things off the aircraft. No problems at all, no damage to the bike — and I didn’t even have to show my passport to get out through customs! It was hot, overcast, and very humid so I fiddled about getting changed and setting up my bike, then loaded up the panniers and headed out the door into Lisbon. By the time I left the terminal, the customs people had left, it felt strange just walking past their empty desks, I kept thinking that someone would run out of a back room and demand to see passport or visa.

Straight out of the airport, remember to ride on the right-hand-side of the road, then the roundabout from hell! I’d been warned about it sometime previously, and it lived up to the warnings. Four lanes wide, cobble-stone surface, traffic lights on all six roads, no visible road laws and a set of tram lines through the middle! It was with a mighty grin and a great sense of achievement that I successfully navigated my way around and headed on down towards the city.

Four kilometres down the road and the third remaining burst! Again I thought it was on one of the spoke nipples. Punctures on a loaded touring bike are an order of magnitude more annoyance than on an everyday ride. I sat down under a tree, unpacked everything, changed the rear tube, repacked the bike and rode off, all the while watched by four silent old men who sat on a bench nearby.

I saw only one other bike on the road and I think it too belonged to a tourist, it surprised me since I thought that with the economy and history, there would have been people on bikes everywhere. As it turned out, I saw very few bikes in the whole country.

My first impressions of Lisbon were that the semi-cobbled streets were absolutely packed with tiny European cars, mostly FIATs and SEATs. Four or five story buildings on either side, tiny footpaths, not a sign of anything green or a tree or a park anywhere. The cobblestones are laid in geometric patterns of white limestone and black basalt, sunglasses are a necessity!

Accommodation is at a premium — probably because of the World Expo. — the cheapest I can find is apparently $7000 for a room in a Pensâo! Not quite what the guidebooks had implied, this is almost double what I was expecting. The reality of not being able to speak Portuguese sunk in and I started to feel very vulnerable in my hunting around for a room.

I found a place for $6000, chickening out of speaking Portuguese, I first asked in English and was relieved when I was understood. Spent the rest of the afternoon having an afternoon nap while my body thought about timezones and then headed out about seven for an exploratory walk.

A very hilly place, the cable-car trams run up some of the hills, and the maps are nearly useless. I wandered about Bairro Alto then down to the river — the Rio Tejo — and back through the Baixa district. By then I was so hungry that I had the courage to try for dinner — again the staff spoke English so I managed to avoid Portuguese, but my proposed budget is taking a beating!

After dinner I walked around the Castle and Castelo district, then down through the twisty lanes of Alfama before heading back again through Baixa and home to bed at eleven.

Where

Lisboa

Adrian Tritschler's stuff
My website, an agglomerative mess, probably half-eaten by a gru

1960s 2016 2017 2018 2019 2020 250cc 30daysofbiking 3pbs 3rrr 403 404 4wd 9-11 a1000 a4000 aaac aabill aac abbotsford act additives adsl adventure advertising afl agf agl airline airport ajft alley amazon ambulance amiga amiga1000 amiga4000 amys-ride angkor-wat anniversary antelope anzac apollo apple aps archicentre architecture armour aroundtuit art artwork ascension-records asus atbiad atomic attic au audax aus auspost australia australia-post autoconfiguration autumn avatar avebury baboon baby backup ballarat balloon bank barbecue bath bbq beach beer beijing benchmark bialetti bicycle bicycle-lane bigpond bigride bike-touring bikelane bikepath bikevic bingo bionicle bird birding birdingathome birds birthday bitcoin bite blackout blade blog blogmax blogx blondie blossom blosxom bluestone bluetooth bmw bnsw boardgame boat boobs book bookmark books bouncy-castle bp breakdown breakfast brewery bridge bridge-road briefcase bright broadband brolga bromeliad brothel bsd buddy bugger-grips builder bulky bullant bund bungendore bureaucracy bus bus-lane bushwalking butterfly buzzword bv cactus cafe cake calculator callistemon cambodia camera cameron camping cannondale canon cappuccino cappucino car carnegie casio cat caterpiller cbx cbx750 cbx750f cd cemetery censorship centro cereal chadstone challenge change chef childhood chilli china chn chocolate christening christmas church cicada cider cigarettebutts civet clayton cm cms cockatoo coco coffee coffeemug coffeeneuring coffeeneuring2020 coffeepot cold collision colnago comedy comet commonwealth-games commute commuting computer concrete confusion connex coral corn couch court coworker crab crawl cremorne crime critical-mass crossstitch crumpler css ctc ctw2850s curry custard customer-service cycle-path cycle-touring cycling cycliq cyclist cyclops dalek dandenongs date death debian demo demo-scene demolition dentist derailment desk developer development dial-up dig digitisation digitise dinner disaster disgusting disk disqus distributed dizzy djerring-trail djerringtrail docbook dog dogs door dooring dorset dragon dragster dream driving drumming dtt duck dungeon durrell dvd dvico e-text e18 easyshare echidna edge edge305 edge705 egret electronics elephant elevenses emacs email endomondo engagement england english engrish environment eric-newby error erskine-river esp estuary evening excom exif exiftool f3jr f3jv facebook fafnir fail2ban failure falcon family fancy fancy-dress fault feet fence festival fiat fiat-500 fiat500 fidel filter fire firefox firmware fish fishandchips fitbit fitzroy fixie flex flickr float flood floriade flower fly12 foaf fog food footy for-sale fotothing fountain fra fragile france freebsd friday friendship frog frogmouth frost froty fruit fruittoast fungi gadabunud gang-gang gansu garbage garden gardening garfish gariwerd garmin gas gbr geelong genres geocache geocaching geography geotagged getoffmylawn gibberish gig gippsland giraffe girlfriend glass glen-waverley gmail gnome gnuplot goanna goat goatbeer golang goodreads goofey google gor gorse government gplus gps gpx grammar gravelroad grddl greatsouthernrailtrail grenda gru gsrt gsx1000z gtd guinness guns gunzel gvbr gyroscope h1n1 habit hail hardware harvest hat hdtv heatwave helicopter heraldsun hfbv hide hiking hippo history holiday honda honeymoon hope hospital hot hotel hrb hsfff huffy hug hughesdale hugo hume-highway humour huntingdale hyundai ibis ibm icon identity idiot ikea imagemagick incentivise incompetence indieweb inferno injury ink inktob2020 inktober inktober2020 insect instagram intel interest internode intrepidtravel invitation iot iphone ipod iptc ipv6 iso8601 issue itch itsp itunes ixus ixus300 ixus700 jaywalker jekyll jersey jey journal jrb june justice justjoey kangaroo katana kawasaki kay-and-burton kde kellybrook kings-couriers kneejerk knitting kodak kookaburra kubernetes kudu ladder lake laneway laptop lastfm lawyer leather lego lemon lemons leslie-charteris lifelogging light lighthouse lilo limar limes linkrot linux lion litter lizard location lockdown lorne lroty lufthansa lunch lunchbreak lvm lxra lysterfield macciato machine_tags machinery magazine maglev magnolia magpie map mapping marksense markup matches mathjax mathml mattress maze mbtc mc6809 mc6809e meerkat mekong melbourne melburn melburn-roobaix meme memolane memories metadata microformats microk8s microsoft miniadventure minutae mist mlp mobile-phone modem monash monash-city-council monash-university monday monitoring monument moon mooramong mortality motionbased motorbike motorcycle motorcycling motorist motorola movie movies mozilla mrtg msi mtb mug mural murder murrumbeena muse muse-mode mushrooming music mycommute mysql names nanoadventure national-trust nbn neighbour nest netbook netbsd netware network newspaper nigeria nightworks nocleanfeed nofilter noise nomnomnom noneshallpass norco norky-bike north-road nostalgia notebook novell nsw nvidia nye nzl oakleigh obesity obituary obp obstruction oes2 oldcar ominous onenet open-tabs openbsd openid openindiana openphoto opensolaris opml oranges org-mode ostrich otter otways outage outpost owl oww oxford p100 palm-pilot panda paperwork parenting park parking parrot pasta pbs pc pc3000 pc3121 pc3166 pc3232 pc3800 pentium pentium-iv peregrine perentie perl pesos pet petrol peugeot philosophy phone photo photograph photography photos php picasa picnic piggies pii piii piv pixelfed pizza plan9 plu podargus podargus-strigoides poem police politics pollution portugal possum postcard postnuke pothole power prawn probe problem proofreading prt pub pubs puck pumpkin pun punchcards puncture pyblosxom qantas qdos qfl qnx qotd r-class r707 radius raido rail-trail railtrail railway rain rainbow rainfall ramones random rant rc17 rdf rdup reading reading-books-rdf real-estate realestate recipe redevelopment renovation rent renting repair repairs reptile restaurant retrocomputing review rhino richmond ride2work ridetoworkday ring ringtail rip ritual river road-rage roadrage robot rocket rockpool rockshox rodent rose roundabout rowing rrd rrdtool rrr rss rta rtabigride rtfm rtwd rubbish ruby ruins russian-women samba samsonite sbs scam scanning scent schmap scribble script sculpture seabird seaslug security self-reference sensationalism sgml shakespeare shark shimano shoes shopping shopping-trolley sign signwriting silverbirch singing singlespeed sink site site-news site-stuff skateboard skink skink-link skip skyrail slashdot sleep sles sles10 slippery smarthome smidsy smog smoke smoker sneakernet snow snow-train social-media software solstice soup souvenir spain spam spelling spider spiegeltent spotify spotty-bike spring springer ssh stagecoach station-trail steam-engine storage storm storm-trooper storytlr strava stupidity submarine suburbia summer sunrise sunset supergirl support surveillance survey suzuki svg switzerland t-shirt tag tagging taikoz tandem tax taxi tdf teac teamrc17 technicomps technology teeth telemarketing telephone television telstra tent terrorism the-saint the-slog theftbyfinding theme throw thunderstorm thursday ti ti99a tomato touring tourism towel toys tradesman traffic trailgator train-spotter tram trap travel trek trek-t50 tritschler trivia trovebox tunnel tv tvix twat-o-tron twitter typo ubuntu ugliness ui uk uluru unprecedented update upgrade uptime usb vandalism vcr vegemite vhs vic vicroads victoria video vietnam virus vista visualisation vitriol vline vlocity vmware walking warranty wasp water water-meter waterfall wearegoingawol weather web webcam webfinger wedding wellbeing wemo wfh whatcouldpossiblygowrong wideopenroad wifi wig wildebeeste wildoz win2000 wind window windows windows7 windy wine winery winxp wired wisp witness wor wordplay workflow www wyvern xemacs xml xp xrd xsl xslt yak yellow yumcha zaf zebra zfs zoo zorse

© 1984 - 2020 Adrian Tritschler

Powered by Hugo with theme Dream.

About

ajft looking stylish and black

…The Owner

There’s not much more I can add to who I am.

…The Site

I experiment. I play. I write and I take pictures. Some of the site is organised around topics, other parts are organized by date, then there’s always the cross-references between them.

Long ago it started as a learning experiment with a few static HTML pages, then I added a bit of server-side includes and some very ugly PHP. A hand-built journal/blog on top of that PHP, then a few experiments in moving to various static publishing systems. I’ve never wanted a database-based blogging engine, so over the years I’ve tried php, nanoblogger, emacs-muse, silkpage and docbook before settling on emacs org-mode for writing and jekyll for publishing. But the itch remained… I never really liked jekyll and the ruby underneath always seemed so much black magic. So now the latest incarnation is org-mode and hugo.

…The ISP

…The Grue