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The Gamble

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We arrived at the Sintra train station 2 ½ hours before our flight to Athens.  The train ride to Lisbon is one hour and a taxi ride from downtown to the airport is another 20 minutes so we had just enough time.  Of course the train was 30 minutes late.  We arrived in Lisbon 1 hour before our flight and hailed a cab.  En route to the airport the driver asked which terminal.  “International,” we responded.  “No, we have 2 terminals and both are international.”  We looked at each other like 2 kids who were just told that Santa wasn’t real.  He explained in broken English that Lisbon had 2 terminals that were “20 minutes apart.”

With 45 minutes until our scheduled departure we were like 2 Vegas gamblers putting all the chips on black when I guessed, “Go to Terminal 2.”  We pulled up and Nug nervously bolted inside to check the departures screens while I chewed my nails outside.  After what seemed like hours she skipped out with her hands triumphantly skyward and we grabbed our packs.  We pleaded with an agent and were ushered ahead of the waiting line.  We dashed to the boarding gate and arrived just as last call was announced.

Acropolis

Early to the ferry

 

 

 

 

 

 

When we left Athens several days later to board our ferry to Santorini we were uncharacteristically early.  Athens and Santorini were like 2 different worlds.  Graffiti, trash, beggars and peddlers are rampant in the capitol while clean white stucco buildings, amazing views, clean walkways and well to do people inhabit the island.  We spent several days enjoying the amazing sunsets and walks along the ancient volcanic rim before continuing our journey west.

Nug

Boat life

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Boom

 

Balcony view

Protests, Palaces and a Princess

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We had 10 hours between our check out from our hostel in San Sebastian until our train ride to Lisbon.  We planned to wander around the town, eat some tapas and buy souvenirs.  Unfortunately, as is often the case in Europe, there was a strike and protest.  Every business was closed for the day and a huge mob was walking in circles with banners and chanting while protesting government austerity measures.  We spent the day dodging the flock and subsisting on stale crackers that I found at the bottom of my bag.

We were too happy to board our train later that evening and were pleasantly surprised to see one of the cleanest train cabins we had ever experienced.  It was also a 2 berth cabin which was a treat after sharing numerous rooms with individuals of various smells.  We arrived in Lisbon the next day to find that the rally had followed us there.  Luckily a few Europeans were willing to work as there were some restaurants and businesses open.

Lisbon

Belem

Estoril

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

After a week of exploring Lisbon and the surrounding areas we jetted off to Sintra to spend our 1 year anniversary.  The town is filled with ancient, fairy tale-esque castles, palaces and villas and is set in the mountains with panoramic views of the countryside and Atlantic Ocean.  Since Nug thinks she is a princess I thought this would be a fitting location.  We spent the next few days exploring the amazing buildings, drinking the local “green” wine and eating some of the tasty local specialties before retiring back to our royal quarters…a double room at the local hostel with shared bathroom.

1 year!!!

only the best for my Nug!

Royal Quarters with a view

 

 

Quinta da Regaleira