Guess who missed her overnight train to Portugal?
Yeah…it was me. Stupidly, I thought the train station would be closer than it really was. For all my other trains, planes and buses I’ve always arrived super early and had a ton of time to spare. I figured last night would be the same so I took my time waiting in my hotel lobby, updating my blog and importing photos.
I ended up missing my train by a few minutes. The lady at the info desk was very nice but the representatives for my bus company were pretty snarky. I was trying to ask them what to do and they threw a new ticket at me and kept yelling, “10am or nothing!” So apparently I was booked on the 10am! What I thought would be an overnight train to Lisbon turned into a daytime bus! Note: it was always supposed to be a bus; I had just read the ticket wrong.
The info desk lady directed me to a city train towards an area where I could find a hotel. I debated just staying at the bus station but that would’ve meant 11 hours on the very uncomfortable metal chairs. I figured out the sketchy train system and managed to find a cheap little hotel room.
Exactly 8 hours after I checked in, I checked back out and headed back to the bus station. I wasn’t taking any chances this time – I arrived at the platform a good 30 minutes before they even released the boarding details.
My bus to Lisbon was pretty empty and the chairs were really comfortable. Oddly enough it was a lot nicer than most of the trains I had been on. I had the entire back row to myself and got to stretch out. The bus to Lisbon took a really long time. Also, it seemed like every second road had a round-about which my car-sick self thoroughly enjoyed. We stopped a lot to pick up new passengers, take bathroom breaks and a lunch stop. Almost 9 hours later we finally pulled into the Lisboa Oriente Bus Station!
I decided to stay at the Holiday Inn Express Lisbon Airport. Since I’m only going to be in Lisbon for about a day and a half, I figured it would be smart to be near the airport and use Holiday Inn’s free shuttle. As well, my original hostel wouldn’t accept guests until 3pm and my original bus was scheduled to arrive before 7am. I needed a place that would take me right away and be close to the bus station; Holiday Inn fit the bill. I cancelled my hostel a few days ago so after my bus schedules changed it was a bit too late. And, I won’t lie; the hotel life is suiting me well. I found TLC with Portuguese subtitles and watched some Say Yes to the Dress before going out for dinner.
I found a little Churassco restaurant near my hotel and got some chicken. Luckily the owner spoke English and offered me an English menu. I literally have no Portuguese language skills, so attempting to take public transit and get around tomorrow should be fun! I’m sure I’ll figure it out. So far it seems like there’s always someone nearby who speaks English.
Tomorrow I think I’ll head to the main part of Lisbon, the old town in Baixa. Or, I might just hit the beach, though I don’t know where the beach is! We’ll see. For now I’m going to finish my dinner and contemplate a nice long bath in my full-sized tub!
Madrid Round Up:
Best Experience: my last day in Madrid with a new friend
Worst Experience: the train ride into Madrid
I wish I had known… how far that bus station was going to be…
What I will miss most about Madrid: the ease of the tour bus and all the beautiful sites
Next time I visit Madrid I want to… do more exploring on foot! It’d be cool to discover different parts of the city.