Friday, July 20, 2012

Lisbon - Tram 28 and the Mosteiro dos Jeronimos

Today I went to Lisbon. It was a typical Roger trip. First, I stopped at the tourist office in Cascais and purchased a Lisbola Card for 18,50 euros. That paid for the train ride to Lisbon (4,60 round trip) admission to the museum (6 euro) and unlimited use of the Metro, Trams, and buses (a good thing as it turned out.) I went to the "must see" Mosterio dos Jeronimos first. I took the train from Cascais to Lisbon. Then I got on the Metro and discovered it didn't go where I wanted. In fact, where I wanted was a train station on the train I had taken to Lisbon. So I got back on the train, only to find out that the reason that I had not figured it out in the first place was that there were express (rapido) and local trains. Of course it was a local stop and I was on the express train. So after sorting that all out I finally got to the Mosterio dos Jeronimous. I kind of jumped the very long line and showed my Lisbola card. It got me in about 30 minutes before I would have had I stood in the queue. I felt badly - briefly.

The Cathedral at Mosteiro dos Jeronimous
The Mosteiro dos Jeronimos was a disappointment. For a "must see" - only a small section was open to the public. A large part of the rest of the structure was taken over by other museums - all that had admission charges (that would have been covered by my Lisbola card.) Overall it just put me in a bad mood. The actually cathedral is beautiful (and free - only the museum charges. And inside if you want to go into the Chapter House that is extra. Not my kind of place.)

I left the Mosterio and headed back to the train. Taking the train back to Cais de Sodre was easy (after a 19 minute wait, yes, I missed the train by one minute.) With my new found Metro experience it was not problem to find Martim Moniz, the start of the Tram 28 line. Of course finding the right place to stand to get on the tram - well that took a while. It included chasing a Tram 28 that was headed for the yards.

Tram 28
The attraction of Tram 28 is that it heads through the Baixa & Rossio sections of Lisbon. This is the old section with very narrow and steep streets (I am not sure if there are any streets in Lisbon that are not steep.) It is intended as a hop on hop off tram that lets you stop at various tourist stops. This means that the tram can be very crowded or fairly comfortable. Since I had to get back to Cascais to pick up parts for Reboot so I could leave this weekend I decided to ride to the end of the line and back again. It was fun, in many places clearance to the buildings was less than a foot. People stood in doorways to let the tram pass. In places the streets are so narrow the the tram tracks overlap. What I didn't expect was the roughness of the ride. By the time we got back to Martim Moniz my back was really hurting from being bounced around.

I got back on the Metro. This time it was jam packed so I used my New York subway training to get myself on board. As the door closed I found myself looking at the most incredible set of laughing blue eyes set in a gorgeous face. The young lady, and yes she was very young and very pretty, was laughing at my skill in getting on board. I said "New York", she said "California." I guess the Beach Boys were right.

I got back to Caicais in time to pick up the parts. A new dipstick for the transmission: 60 euro. Yup, 60 euro for a dipstick. Reminds me of purchasing parts for my BMW 2002 back in the day. Batten for my main sail jiffy reefer: 90 euro. You may remember it only comes in 6 meter lengths. The joys of cruising.

I am trying to decide if I can afford another couple of nights in the marina (at 55 euro a night) so I can make one more visit to Sintra and one more visit to Lisbon. The weather forecast is about the same either way, 20 to 25 knots along the Atlantic coast turning to nothing as I turn the corner. Stay tuned and you will find out what I decide.

Fair winds and following seas.

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