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Portugal, Day Three: Passport to Lisbon

Read Part One | Read Part Two

After getting home around 2:00am, we fell asleep knowing that the next day we had to pack up and make our way to the train station in Porto.

Brian was flying out that afternoon, headed to Germany to finish this latest European adventure. His flight left at noon and he offered to drive our car to Porto, taking us to the train station where we were to leave it with Avis.

We got up early, not entirely happy about leaving or cutting our sleep short, and headed to the café for our morning espressos and a mista - a ham and cheese sandwich on a sweet glazed croissant. Following breakfast, our car was loaded up and we set off for Porto - four of us and all of our suitcases in the tiny Yaris.

The directions I had printed from Google Maps prior to the trip turned out to actually be helpful. We were kind of unsure at time whether we were going the right way, but we eventually found the really cool Campahna train station. The car was left in the Avis lot under the station and the keys dropped into the hands of a young man wearing a red jacket in the tiny office next to the platforms.

Jon, Jessica and I said goodbye to Brian and he caught a last minute Metro to the airport, cutting his spare time pretty close. Our tickets to Lisbon (or Lisboa if you're into Portuguese) were pretty cheap, €18 or so a piece. Tickets in hand, we made our way to the platform and boarded our train to Lisbon.

The car was actually pretty interesting. There were a bunch of younger teenagers and early twenty-somethings headed to Lisbon, or perhaps a stop along the way. We pulled out of the station and began to cross the bridge, to see this:

[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="500"]Porto, Portugal Porto, Portugal[/caption]

The ride was long. And I was tired. Three hours of looking at the Portuguese countryside was interesting for a while, but got old quickly. When we finally pulled into the Oriente train station in Lisbon, I was caught off guard. It was shabby, dirty, run-down and generally disconcerting. Porto seemed so clean, at least relatively speaking. The graffiti and worn-out equipment at Oriente was the antithesis.

After finding the restrooms and giving a strung-out looking homeless guy a Euro, we descended the escalator and got into a taxi headed for the Holiday Inn Lisbon. Never has a Holiday Inn looked so good. And it was cheap. Their going rate was €180 a room, and the three of us split one for €74.

[gallery ids="7460,7450"]

Our bags made it to our room and we set out to find a place to eat. After wandering around and not finding what we were looking for, we settled on a restaurant called Mexicana. I think it was supposed to be a Mexican restaurant, but not sure how. I find it really interesting to go to Mexican restaurants in countries that are so far from Mexico. There was not a Mexican working at Mexicana and the food was...

Well, Jon got a cheeseburger and Jessica and I got really weird club sandwiches with some kind of sauce and a boiled egg on top. It was okay. Jess demolished hers... she was really hungry on this trip apparently.

So we headed back to the hotel, looked through all of the photos, got showers and went to bed. We had an early flight to Dublin the next day.