Arriving in Lisbon

Arriving in Lisbon airport I was immediately struck by the laid-back atmosphere. I’d passed through Mumbai and Munich in the sixteen hours before arriving. Although Lisbon was much smaller than either, there was a cafe near the belt where you could wait until your baggage arrived. Mine came very soon.

The Family was to catapult in within an hour. Why we’d taken different flights is a tale full of sound and fury which I might post about later. I wheeled my bag over to the airport station and got two Viva Viagem cards out of a machine. These rechargeable cards cost you a non-refundable 50 cents, and you can use it on all transport in the city, including the train to Sintra.

It was still forty minutes till The Family’s flight touched down. There was a cafe right outside the customs exit. Lisbon in full of these convenient laid-back options. I got myself an espresso and a queque, billed as a Portuguese muffin, found a comfortable chair, and settled in for a wait. The photo of the cafe in the foreground, and the exit gate in the back ground, which you see above, was the view from my table.

My host had warned me to take a taxi from the departure level since there’s a good chance that the arrival level taxis will try to cheat you. When the family arrived we asked the tourism office about taxis. They said that it might take about 12 Euros to our hotel and a prepaid taxi costs about 24 Euros! we took the bags up to the departure level and got into the first taxi which we saw. It is a short ride to town: about 15 minutes on Sunday afternoon. It cost us less than 10 Euros.