WIth a nod to former math lessons on the order of operations, the above formula pretty much sums up our latest travel adventure: Twice the patience plus tenacity multiplied by flexibility and divided by covid and British Airways resulted in an overall happy landing in one of our all-time favorite places, Portugal. (An aside on British Airways: a challenge from start to finish. Poor communication, abysmal website, lethargic service providers, and the repeated excuse of “something is wrong in the computer” when everyone knows that SOMEONE put that something in there in the first place. Even the fact that our flights were relatively empty was countered by finding out that the armrests in our cabin were fixed, meaning you could not lift them up to avail yourself to more comfortable seating. Enough complaining…really…we were happy with travel overall and we got where we wanted to be safely.)
After almost 24 hours of wearing an N95 face mask, a seamless connection through Heathrow to Lisbon (Heads up: the Posh Cheese and Pickle sandwich from Pret A Manger in the airport lounge was a real culinary find: fresh whole grain baguette, sharp cheddar, pickle relish, red onions, lettuce), a productive transaction with our rental car folks at the Lisbon airport and a 30-minute drive to our flat we tumbled into bed and awoke the next morning to beautiful views and comfortable outdoor temperatures.
On this visit we once again chose to stay outside of Lisbon: last time we were in the charming town of Seixal, a ferry ride across the Tagus from the city; this time we stayed in Cascais just up the coast, in an area billed as “The Riviera of Portugal”.
We took a day trip north to check out both Ericeira, with its surfing beaches, and Caldas da Rainha, known for its glazed ceramic pottery. On another day it was a 40-minute train ride into Lisbon city center for a walk along the river and late lunch.
As we made the transition from Lisbon/Cascais to Porto we stopped to visit the medieval walled city of Òbidos. It has a rich history that includes the Romans, the Moors and the Portuguese. It was presented to Queen Urrana on her wedding day. What a gift!