From Paris to Lisbon

Sept 12
We woke up about 8:00 and drove towards Paris. It was sunny and cloudy throughout the day. The drive was easy until we got to the Paris area and then was pretty intense. Lots of traffic and some pretty wild drivers. We decided to forgo our planned route and stop at the Palace of Versailles. We found the place easily and parked to find out there was an hour wait to buy tickets and then another 2-3 hour line up to get into the place.

 

imageWe decided skip he palace, took a few pictures from he outside and got back on to one of the many high ways hoping we would see signs pointing us in the direction of GDG Airport where our Ibis hotel was located. We had no internet so no maps to guess. When we saw the Eiffel Tower we now had a reference point and easily got on the correct road heading in he right direction. That was the good news. The bad news was some group were demonstrating by putting 4 trucks across the high way and driving at 2-3 km/hr. It’s about 14 kilometres from Versailles and it took us over 2 hours. We drove around for a frustrating hour trying to return our rental car at one of the many terminals at CDG. Dinner that night was at our hotel. The place was pretty expensive and quite fancy. I ordered a vegetarian lasagne that was a very small portion of micro waved pasta. Kim’s dinner wasn’t much better. Tomorrow our flight to Lisbon.

Sept 13
Up at 6:00, showered and off to the shuttle train with our luggage in tow. Paris was overcast, rainy and cold. We took an Easy Jet flight for two and a half hours to Lisbon. A driver was waiting for us at the airport, it was beautiful, sunny and warm. Ahhhhhh vacationland! We arrived quickly to the hotel, put our bags in the hotel and went exploring in he city. What a beautiful place, friendly people and so much to see. We walked around until we were pooped then went back to the hotel for a shower and a nap. We had seen a pasta place and went there for dinner. I had a pasta bolognese and Kim a seafood pasta. What a difference from last night. Tasty, fresh and delicious! Tomorrow our I Hate Tours tour

Sept 14
We grabbed a taxi at 8:00am and met Michael and Ronda at a plaza in Lisbon which was where the tour company started the tour. Our guide Tiago waited until all 8 of the group showed up and we were on our way. There were a young couple from Zagrev Croatia, a girl from Florence and a lady from Tel Aviv. We went first to Sintra, and saw a couple of castles, and did a walk about the town. Lots of tourists come here so everything was expensive around here.

imageOur next stop was the palace at Monserrate. This was built by Francais Cook in the 1800’s for his family. He was a rich textile merchant. Lots of rich people come to this area to live. The most recent was Madonna who purchased an old castle she is fixing up to live in. Everyone seems to know about it, but no one (including the tour guides) know where it is. Our next stop was lands end which is the most western point in Europe. It was very misty and foggy there so we didn’t stay too long.

 

imageFinally we went to Cascais, which is the rich beach area. This place was the sanctuary for the rich being persecuted by the Nazis during WWII. As well as the world’s rich living here many artists have come here for “inspiration because of the beauty of the area.” Our tour guide explained that phrase really meant the artists were there looking for a rich benefactor who would support them while they created their artwork. We completed the tour back in Lisbon about 4:30. Ronda and Michael headed back to emir hotel as did Kim and I. We decided to try our luck on the subway. After a few minutes messing around with the ticket machine, a very kind Australian fellow showed us how it worked and we were Metro bound for our hotel. The map was very easy to read and the cost was far less and much faster than the taxi ride that morning. For dinner we ate at the hotel. Once again the food was amazing. We both had the grilled chicken with eggplant, zuchini and potatoes. Just delicious! We also drank a bottle of Portuguese Cab Sav. Meia Pipi. Yummy! Not sure if the wine made us tipsy or if we were exhausted from all of the walking, but Kim and I giggled throughout the entire dinner! Good times!

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