Sunday, February 13th

We woke to grey skies.  Breakfast, once again, was made to order.  We ate the three-course meal as quickly as we could, packed the car and headed north, hoping to spend the night close to Lisbon after taking short tours of Sintra, Estoril and Cascais…..small towns just outside of Lisbon.

But this was not to be.  

The skies grew increasingly dark…..then the rain started…..then the deluge began.  The car’s wipers couldn’t keep up with the downpour.  Craig slowed the car, keeping pace with the red lights of the car in front of us.  I wanted to get off the highway but there were no exits…..at least none that we could see.

The rains continued with this intensity for 10…..15…..20 minutes……we lost track of time.  Finally, finally…..the torrent slowed.  With walking tours of scenic little towns no longer on today’s agenda, we stopped at our first opportunity and called the Hotel Metropole in Lisbon to see if we could arrive a day early.  Thankfully, we could.  

The skies lightened as we drove into Lisbon…..but confusion reigned.  

We didn’t know if we were in San Francisco or Rio de Janeiro as we drove over the Ponte 25 de Abril (25th of April Bridge)

with the Christ-Rei statue on a hill to our right.  Have the floods rearranged the earth?

We navigated our way to the airport, turned the car in and hired a driver to take us to the hotel (for a few euros more than a taxi, we got a running commentary on the city and life during and after ex-dictator Salazar).  

Twenty minutes and twenty stories later, we were safely delivered to the front of the Hotel Metropole. 

I reserved a room at this hotel for its location in the heart of Lisbon and, equally important, for its elevator.   

We wheeled our suitcases to the door only to be confronted with a flight of stairs…..their elevator (like others in Europe) didn’t start at ground level.  

Stairs…..why does it always have to be stairs?

One slow step after another…..up to the elevator…..

over to the reception area with its art deco ambience…..

and finally to our room.  Whew!  What a day.

And, with all due respect to Led Zeppelin…..                                                           

There’s a lady who’s sure                                                                                                               All that glitters is gold                                                                                                                   And she’s buying a stairway to heaven

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About Languedoc Lady

I'm a newly retired woman from California getting ready to spend a year (or more) with my husband living the good life in Languedoc in the southwest of France.
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