The heat wave returned to Portugal, and the night failed to cool off. Even with the windows in the hostel open, the cloying heat combined with wanting to not miss my train meant a miserable night’s sleep.
Per plan, I packed up and uneventfully cycled to the train station. I arived early enough that the signs didn’t list my platform yet, so I read for a bit until the information showed up. Another elevator not sized for bicycles to get to the platform, but instead of struggling with it I just carried my bike down and back up the stairs. Key note : very valuable ability to be able to carry bicycle.
From the ticket and the advice from yesterday, I knew I and the bicycle went on Car 25. After watching trains roll by for a while, I realized they didn’t all number the cars. As the train pulled in for Lisbon, the first cars weren’t numbered (!) but the last few were, and I located my train and clambered aboard, bicycle in hand. The woman in my seat not only moved, but also confirmed I was on the train for Lisbon, and that I wouldn’t need to change trains. An uneventful ride to Lisbon.
Charlotte told me the hostel, located next the castle, sat on top of a hill, but I’ve been climbing mountains for weeks. After I checked in the cute and quirky Johnie’s Hostel, I hedaed back out to acquire a bicycle box. While the last tour ended with Rick’s Walking Tour of the Bicycle Shops of Dublin, the first place I went remembered my Facebook message, and handed me a box. The perfect box, large enough that all I should have to do is remove the pedals and turn the handlebars sideways.
The guy at the bicycle shop let me know I would need tape to seal the box, and I could get it at a nearby Chinese store. I’d noticed the phenomenon of small hardware-like stores jammed full of things, always run by someone of Chinese descent, but apparently it’s a thing.
With two days to find tape, I decided to make visiting the castle my next priority. São Jorge Castle sits on the same hill as the hostel, on one of the “Seven Hills of Lisbon”. While expensive for what it is, I waited around for the guided tour, and the tour guide was a hoot. Everywhere she pointed out the different ways that the defenders could strike at the attackers.
I’ve heard more people speaking English on the streets of Lisbon than the rest of the time of the trip combined. Very strange. I’ve grown accustomed to filtering out all of the surrounding conversation as background noise, and hearing English voices pings on my consciousness.
I did a good job yesterday managing my calorie intake yesterday wandering in Porto but realized today at the castle I’d missed lunch (and really second breakfast, and probably second lunch), so I found a place to eat and read for a bit before returning to wander the city. Heading back (up) to the hostel I took what I thought would be an ideal alternate path, and instead ended up climbing to the top of the adjacent hill with no direct path to the hostel. While correcting my error I passed a Chinese store and picked up tape.
I spent the evening researching tourist attactions in Lisbon and flagging them on OSMAnd+. Many of them cluster about 6 km away on the shore front on the other side of town. Guess I won’t pack the bicycle away quite yet.