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Saturday, 1 May 2010

Getting There

What? Getting out of bed at 0600 hours? Yes, an early start today: train to Manchester Airport (straightforward) for flight to Lisbon. Departure was delayed as “engineering” fixed a water system problem on our less than pristine Boeing 737 – cast offs from their older brother and BMIbaby still lose money – with a longer than expected flight.

Lisbon was very sunny, and very warm: the temperature hit 30 Celsius this afternoon. Fortunately the buses were not on strike – one had been threatened – and there was an older but functional bendy bus to take me downtown (no cyclists were killed or even maimed in the process, Bozza take note).

Unfortunately, the trains were on strike – and it was solid – so I backtracked, using the Metro, to the coach station out at Sete Rios, where there was plenty of space on the next coach out to Torres Novas, the journey being unremarkable, right down to a bland movie offering from Disney featuring John Travolta and Robin Williams.

At Torres Novas, the small information office in the stark concrete bus terminal sold me a ticket for the short hop to Entroncamento, the bus dropping me by the railway museum, which, you guessed, was open – unlike almost all the national system. The irony of staying in a town that is a major railway junction, and having to travel by coach and bus, was not lost on me.

How did I figure out my (first choice) rail journey, and then the bus and coach “Plan B”? As with the place I’m staying right now, all is available online. All that was needed was to find a local supermarket and somewhere to eat. It’s that easy.

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