One more trip to Portugal , more so in Lisbon than in the north near Coimbra but nevertheless too short, the opportunity is always there. It has been a year since I last visited this wonderful city and country. So here is again Lisbon, Portugal and to some lesser extend the wine region of Barraida near Coimbra in the north.
I flew straight from Nantes Atlantique airport to Lisbon on last Sunday. After driving about 1h30 from home to the Nantes airport on the N165. I was afraid of having the flight cancelled as was using TAP , and they were on strikes early May, but was fortunate enough the flight was handle by Portugalia regional carrier for TAP and was ok, flawless.
Once landed at Lisbon airport, the hesitation is to take a taxi as last time, but trying to be all places and see all, needed to take the public transport just to try or to be able to said I was here::) airport site here; http://www.ana.pt/en-US/Aeroportos/lisboa/Lisboa/Pages/HomeLisboa.aspx
Landing at Terminal 1 the way out was easy well posted except the metro signs, but I would think is easy, I speak Portuguese too ::) Once on the outside of the terminal, you see the metro entrance even with TV telling you about the incoming and outgoing flights, you go straight to the ticket machine. There was a small line with only four machines! but it move fairly quickly. I got my refill on my previously purchased card from last year, took two trips at 1,40 euros each. Then went on to the red or vermelho line to Saldanha and here took the yellow or amarela line to Cidade Universitaria, got up to street level here and walk on rua afonso coma pinto all around to my hotel on foot ,about 10 minutes. Walking past the University stadium and café , and the hospital Santa Maria. It was hot about 30C so thinking not to do this again, better a taxi. metro site here; http://metro.transporteslisboa.pt/eng/customer-info/diagrams-and-maps/
I got to my hotel the Marriott Lisbon at Avenida dos Combatentes, nice spacious hotel if a bit out of the city center. The Marriott was for a finance conference, and I had the 15th floor with a great view of the city. the shortcomings was far from center and the bar right in the lobby and smallist. The rest was perfect, with great service, spacious rooms and baths, nice outdoor pool with terrace, nice restaurant, and very modern facilities. The hotel site is here; http://www.marriott.com/hotels/travel/lispt-lisbon-marriott-hotel/
First night, it was free time, and as I have been here before and spoke the language , became sort of the tour director of the rest that came from several countries. So we took taxis and went to Restaurante Pinoquio at praça dos Restauradores, website here ; http://restaurantepinoquio.pt/en
To my shocking surprise , others had ,also taken taxis and follow us to this place after hearing me talk about. Well we were 18!!! and no reservations. I got my best negotiating hat on and convince the nice folks there as always to come through and found us 3 tables close by to hold all of us. We had a great time until late at nite almost midnight , the poor folks had to kick us out lol!!! Of course, I have been here several times and know them all, nice folks, great food ,real Portuguese dishes and great prices. After, closing we just took a left turn into the next street Rua do Jardim do Regedor, and hold up a café bar with about 10 of us. Don’t ask me the name because well could not tell…. Just we stayed until about 2am (02h). We had a stew of beans lobster, shrimps, gambas, and potatoes with cold salted side dish of shrimps and local mussels going down with nice local Sagres beer. Got a taxi back to the hotel.
Next full day, we had a dinner as part of the finance conference and they chose the Solar dos Presuntos, a very special famous people restaurant. Located at R. Portas de Santo Antão 150. Before arriving here we were given a bus tour of the main sights such as Belem and the harbor area in Lisbon, a different way of seeing the city as I am always with a car here or metro. Places later as with a tour bus again not my cup of tea , hardly see anything well, but was the organisers who did this. The restaurant was served a chunk of codfish with vinho verde white wine not my favorite there either so those in my table who mostly were the good guys from the night before agree and we kind of switch to beers. The website is this one; http://www.solardospresuntos.com/
After the famous restaurant meeting a group of about 8 decided is time to hit the road and were so delighted with Pinoquio that we went back there for drinks this time. Another round of good times and cheers before heading again by taxi to the hotel Marriott. Next day was half a day and more advisory council meeting of which I am a member. Finally, I was free again to visit other offices of my company in the country.
I check out of the Marriott into the local hotel that I always stayed when in town at Exe Parque Hotel at Rua Largo de Andaluz just behind the praça Marqués de Pombal and heading down to avenida da Libertade. this is a very modern spacious hotel tuck into the old section of Parque metro station and only about 7 minutes from the square Marques de Pombal. The website is here; http://www.exelisboaparque.com/EN/hotel.html
The welcome is very nice multilingual staff, walking distance to the best in Lisbon , right up of Marqués de Pombal is the park or parque Eduardo VII and down you have libertade, then square restauradores, Rossio square and train station, and square comércio. Spacious rooms and bath in a modern contemporary design. Price right too. I walk all over here and has become my home in Lisbon, and the side streets of duque de Loulé and the picturesque Mouzhino de Silveira street.
It was then time to be back at airport and time for my other branch in the north to come and pick me up after having meetings with them and other suppliers in Lisbon, we drove to near Coimbra on the A1 road. Had my usual meetings there ,in the region of Barraida wines, and was taken back to Lisbon at night. Here we met with other country folks and head out to watch the Champions football/soccer match of Real Madrid vs Juventus at the Bairro Alto area and chose a resto with TV’s all over call the Marisqueira M at 100 rua do Norte. No website but tel is 351) 21 346 1027. I had nice company but unfortunately my life team lost this time; well we have won 10 more than any other club by far…..Hala Madrid!
Then, was taken to the airport by car for another journey on next post of my Marco Polo adventure. Nice to be back in Portugal and Lisbon is very nice worth coming back for it ,and I will. Cheers.