Day 1: LIS airport to downtown Lisbon (9km)

It couldn’t have gone more smoothly, except for the sleep deprivation due to our jet lag!
Landed in Lisbon around 8am local time and breezed through Customs and Immigration. Because we had a one-way ticket, we were a little concerned they may demand proof of onward travel out of the Schengen visa zone, so we “rented” a return ticket on, but we never were asked to show it. Nice to have for the piece of mind, but unnecessary.

It was our first time putting our bikes together after 5 amazing lessons from a generous bicycle mechanic friend. We found a quiet corner near the parking garage and started unboxing the bikes. Aside from a glance from a few security guards, no one gave us any trouble. One woman asked us about our trip and was very excited to hear about it. It took us about 3 hours to do both bikes. We asked someone at the lost & found luggage department where to leave the empty boxes, and he said he’d take care of them for us, great!

The ride into town was a bit tricky as we got used to the way the bike paths are laid out; they seem to appear and disappear at random, either dumping you off on the sidewalk or at a crosswalk. I’m glad we mapped the route ahead of time on the GPS. Pedestrians were courteous but seemed surprised to see us in the bike lanes, where they walked by default, though we weren’t the only bikes. Auto traffic was much more friendly than we expected after repeated warnings by friends about the horrible Portuguese drivers; I think riding in Boston is scarier! The scenery riding through town was fantastic, and we couldn’t have asked for better weather, slightly overcast and 24°C.

We spent the remaining evening having late lunch at an over-priced tourist trap restaurant next to our pensão and wandered around town sipping as much espresso as we could to keep from falling asleep when we sat down.

Enjoyed our first of many pastel de nata; they are as delicious and crispy as everyone told us, OMG! Found a great food court (Time Out) so we could eat a few appetizers in lieu of dinner, since we planned to be in bed by 8, when all the restaurants open.

Stumbled onto a very friendly bicycle shop who replaced Steve’s water bottle cage that broke in San Diego and hooked us up with some spare nipples for our wheels, the one spare parts item we’d not had time to get before our trip.

My biggest anxiety was about getting our bicycles to Lisbon in one piece, so from here on, it should be smooth sailing!

We are going to explore Lisbon a few more days, and then Saturday we ride inland towards Evora, and we are starting to look up camping options along the way. Stay tuned!

7 Replies to “Day 1: LIS airport to downtown Lisbon (9km)”

  1. More stories please. You will both be experts in building bikes! A bit annoyed because I will have to keep pulling up my Celsius to Fahrenheit calculator, so much work.

  2. So happy to hear all went smooth with the receipt and assembly of the bikes. All the best boys and continued glorious days! Cheers.

  3. So good to hear from you and see the photos also. You are in our thoughts and prayers often every day. Love you both!

    Mom and Dad

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