Subways in Lisbon

Lisbon and Spain • March 2016 / #6

Lisbon-metro-mapStart here, with the Lisbon Metro map.  Our hotel was on on the Saldanha stop, where the red and yellow lines intersect, and it was a giant station.  In our few days in Lisbon, I think we came out every one of their several different entrances, always trying to make our way back.  We could access it very easily, but always were confused on the exit.

But the decorative surfaces!  One article, that has a wide range of photographs of the subways, notes that we weren’t supposed to take photos of the subways, but luckily I read that one year later.  We started keying into the decorated subways almost immediately (how can you not?), but really figured out what we were missing after our visit to the tile museum, on our third and final day.  Then it became race to see how many we could visit before we had to leave Lisbon.

This post is picture-heavy, so you may want to use speed-scroll to get through everything.  Believe me when I say I edited down the pictures by two-thirds!

Here are some of the stations we visited:

São Sebastião

Apparently this is designed to represent trees.  All I could see was quilt designs.

Lisbon Metro_São Sebastião-1 Lisbon Metro_São Sebastião-2 Lisbon Metro_São Sebastião-4 Lisbon Metro_São Sebastião-5a Lisbon Metro_São Sebastião-6 Lisbon Metro_São Sebastião-7 Lisbon Metro_São Sebastião-8

Oriente–artists from five different countries contributed to these tiled murals.

Lisbon Metro_Oriente_1a Lisbon Metro_Oriente-1 Lisbon Metro_Oriente-1b Lisbon Metro_Oriente-1c Lisbon Metro_Oriente-2 Lisbon Metro_Oriente-3A blurry shot, but I wanted to show placement of the next two images:Lisbon Metro_Oriente-3a Lisbon Metro_Oriente-3b  Lisbon Metro_Oriente-4a Lisbon Metro_Oriente-4b Lisbon Metro_Oriente-4c Lisbon Metro_Oriente-5 Lisbon Metro_Oriente-5a Lisbon Metro_Oriente-7 Lisbon Metro_Oriente-7a Lisbon Metro_Oriente-7b Lisbon Metro_Oriente-8 Lisbon Metro_Oriente-9I imagined it would be a challenge to create artwork that would be seen mostly in dark, underground passages, but this station was especially dark.  Maybe it was supposed to be moody.

Alvalade--evidently based on a story that I could not locate; however, the illustrations are fanciful.

Lisbon Metro_Alvalade_1 Lisbon Metro_Alvalade_2 Lisbon Metro_Alvalade_3 Lisbon Metro_Alvalade_4 Lisbon Metro_Alvalade_5a Lisbon Metro_Alvalade_6 Lisbon Metro_Alvalade_6a Lisbon Metro_Alvalade_overviewThis last shot was taken as the subway train was taking off.  We saw many stations from the windows of the moving train, not having enough time to get off and on.

Martim Moniz–a station near a plaza dedicated to martyred Christian soldier.  Apparently some of this is plastic on top of tiles, but it felt like tiles to us.

Lisbon Metro_Martim Moniz_1 Lisbon Metro_Martim Moniz_2 Lisbon Metro_Martim Moniz_2aChad was with us this day; this gives you a sense of the scale of these figures.Lisbon Metro_Martim Moniz_3 Lisbon Metro_Martim Moniz_4Loved the eye peeking out from under the helmet.Lisbon Metro_Martim Moniz_5 Lisbon Metro_Martim Moniz_7 Lisbon Metro_Martim Moniz_8 Lisbon Metro_Martim Moniz_8aRestauradores–We used this metro stop to go to dinner the second night, with Chad, near a street that had tons of restaurants, mostly tourist-catered, mostly B-grade.

Lisbon Metro_Restauradores_1They had a magnificent mural titled The Arrival, for when Portugal “discovered” Brazil.

Lisbon Metro_Restauradores_mural detail Lisbon Metro_Restauradores_2 Lisbon Metro_Restauradores_1Saldanha

The “artists Jorge Vieira and Luís Filipe de Abreu worked the theme “The Universal Human Characteristics” in individually distinct tile and stone sculptures,” or so the official webpage declares.  We just thought it was pretty funky.

Lisbon Metro_Saldanha_1 Lisbon Lisbon Metro_Saldanha_1a Lisbon Metro_Saldanha_1c Lisbon Metro_Saldanha_1d Lisbon Metro_Saldanha_2 Lisbon Lisbon Metro_Saldanha_2a Lisbon Metro_Saldanha_3 Lisbon Lisbon Metro_Saldanha_3a Lisbon Metro_Saldanha_4 Lisbon Metro_Saldanha_4b Lisbon Metro_Saldanha_5 Lisbon Metro_Saldanha_5aTwo random shots (I have no idea where they were from):

Lisbon Metro_random-1 Lisbon Metro_random-2And now, the final station, Campo Grande.  Again, from the official website: “Campo Grande station opened in 1993. Its walls are covered in painted tiles by Eduardo Nery, whose work  interprets the typical 18th century tile motifs known as figuras de convite or welcoming figures.”  They had an example of his work in the Tile Museum, and in an interview with him in the movie, he said he went over to supervise the installation of the tile in the Metro.  When one of the workers asked him if he was worried that they would install the tile wrong, he replied, “I’m worried that you will install it correctly.”

When you see the installation, you’ll know what he meant:

Lisbon Metro_CampoGrande_4man Lisbon Metro_CampoGrande_3woman

Lisbon Metro_Campo Grande_1 Lisbon Metro_CampoGrande_2 Lisbon Metro_CampoGrande_3 Lisbon Metro_CampoGrande_3a Lisbon Metro_CampoGrande_3b Lisbon Metro_CampoGrande_3c Lisbon Metro_CampoGrande_3d Lisbon Metro_CampoGrande_3e Lisbon Metro_CampoGrande_4 Lisbon Metro_CampoGrande_4a Lisbon Metro_CampoGrande_4b Lisbon Metro_CampoGrande_4c Lisbon Metro_CampoGrande_5 Lisbon Metro_CampoGrande_6 Lisbon Metro_CampoGrande_7 Lisbon Metro_CampoGrande_8 Lisbon Metro_CampoGrande_8a Lisbon Metro_CampoGrande_9 Lisbon Metro_CampoGrande_10 Lisbon Metro_CampoGrande_artist

IG Hands Collage Lisbon

While we loved all the subway tiles and decorations and pictures, and subways can get us places quickly, we missed traveling above ground in the trams, and by walking around.

Hotels in Spain and Lisbon

Lisbon and Spain • March 2016 / 4

How do you write one post and include all the hotels?  I’ll give it a try.  I already did toiletries in their bathrooms, so now it’s just how we slept while on the trip.  There’s more variation in this than one might imagine.

Olissippo hotel_1Hotel Olissippo Saldanha

Av. Praia da Vitória 30, Lisboa, Portugal

The Olissippo, in Lisbon, is normally a $200/night hotel, but since we were off-season, it cost it about half of that (I can’t help but compare our bare-bones hotel in Geneva for that same $200/night to the relative luxury of the Lisbon digs, and the two stays were only one month apart).  This room was spacious, the bed was a perfect mattress with no “roll-you-together” mattress, and the pillows were nice.Olissippo hotel_2We had places for both our suitcases–one up here on the left of the desk and one on shelf in the closet.  And look!  Two chairs!  A true luxury, along with plenty of electrical outlets for the five “devices” that we were carrying: 2 mobile phones, 2 iPads, 1 computer.Olissippo hotel_7View out the window.Olissippo hotel_8 Olissippo hotel_9Cool hallway that lit up when you progressed.Olissippo hotel_10Interesting decor in the lobby, delineating the reception area from the bar area (we never saw anyone sitting in the bar).Olissippo hotel_11Elevator sign.  It reminded us to get used to the 0-floor being our American 1st floor.

LIsSpainSevilla_1Here’s the front of the hotel on that last morning, as we left to fly to Sevilla.  The location was great–right off a Metro stop, and there were good restaurants all around us.Sevilla Amadeus StreetHotel Amadeus

Calle Farnesio 6 y calle San Jose, 10

Barrio de Santa Cruz, 41004 Seville, Spain

We’d sat down before we left home with an internet site and figured out which hotels we would use mass public transit to get to, and which we would use a taxi.  This one was taxi, but he could only get so far, as the entrance was up a side street and no vehicles could get there.  (I later saw carts of goods arriving to our hotel; it reminded us of Venice, with all the goods arriving by sea. . . and then by cart.)

LIsSpainSevilla_2So he pointed when we arrived, and we schlepped our luggage up to find this lovely welcoming entrance. We stayed in The Amadeus Hotel in the old Jewish ghetto (Santa Cruz) of Sevilla.  There were restaurants everywhere, and the cathedral was only a five-minute walk away.  Great location.

Sevilla Dave waiting in HotelThe room wasn’t quite ready when we arrived.  This is the check-in area.  I waited in the lobby, which was quite ornate, with lots of tiles, which I was completely thrilled about:

Sevilla Amadeus Tile1 Sevilla Amadeus Tile2 Sevilla Amadeus Tile3 Sevilla Amadeus Tile4 Sevilla Amadeus steps Sevilla Amadeus detailSevilla Amadeus lobby Sevilla Amadeus Lobby2Sevilla Amadeus hotel doorOur room was that door up there, but luckily they had an elevator in the corner, so we could get our luggage upstairs.  Yes, it’s a music-themed hotel.  Our room was “Mozart.”Sevilla Amadeus lobby_aboveLooking down from our room (you can see the elevator).

Sevilla Amadeus FloorTile in our room.Sevilla Amadeus Roof ViewAnd…the view from above.  On the top floor was a small eating area for breakfast.  We decided to try it the last day and after waiting for 20 minutes, just to get a place to sit down, we skipped it.

LIsSpainSevilla_13The bed was good, the room was small, there was no place for luggage.  Dave used the bottom shelf of the rounded cupboard in the corner, and I used a small bench.  The room was full of stuff: bench, portable air conditioner, two bedside tables, corner hutch, console on one wall, but it all looked nice even though there was no space.  Plugs: a decent amount, as long as you used the one in the bathroom and the one behind the bedside table.LIsSpainSevilla_9View down and outside our window.LIsSpainSevilla_8View across the way.  The first afternoon, we crashed for a while, but the little boys from the apartments across the way were loud and wild in their game of soccer, so we gave up.  We thought they were probably school-aged, but were surprised to see there were three boys, aged about 5 and 6.   Future opera stars with the way they projected their voices.LIsSpainSevilla_7 Sevilla Amadeus BalconyA/C unit to the right, two wooden doors that folded back, and a tiny 1-foot wide balcony, with windows that folded inward.  All charming.

LIsSpainSevilla_3 We tucked the bathrobes away on the console table just inside the door, as we never used them, but they were a nice touch.

LisSpainCordoba_22Las Casas de la Juderia

C/Tomás Conde, 10, Cordoba, 14004 Spain

Moving on to our next town: Cordoba, and Las Casas de la Juderia.  We took a taxi from the train station to this place, and the driver turned in on the cobblestone streets, as we were in the old town section, not too far from the Mezquita.  The check in went smoothly, with uniformed staff and there was a picture of the King and Queen of Spain on the wall, letting us know we were in a Swanky Place.  No kidding.LisSpainCordoba_21We didn’t get driven around in this, but this hotel did have some excavations going in one part of the hotel, showing its historic importance.  Okay, that’s two things to check off the hotel list: (1) King stayed here and (2) Important Historical Site.LisSpainCordoba_2Oh, but it’s so pretty!

LisSpainCordoba_29 LisSpainCordoba_30There were two courtyards, and our room was off the left one, complete with water feature, fountains, sculpted shrubbery in the gardens and little tables: shades of Southern Spain.LisSpainCordoba_17LisSpainCordoba_27The door to our room.

LisSpainCordoba_10Large bank of closets, with lights that turn on when you open the doors.  It also had a room safe (we’ve come to really depend on these), real glass glasses, art on the walls, and decent lighting.LisSpainCordoba_11LisSpainCordoba_8LisSpainCordoba_16I’ve come to really like room maps, as I get to see what other rooms are like and the layout of the hotel.  It’s true, our window looked out onto a stairwell, so it’s obvious that the room rate we were paying was discount, but this hotel’s priciest room was going for four times what we paid.  But then, we’re not the King and Queen of Spain.LisSpainCordoba_20LisSpainCordoba_19The public rooms were like well-equipped libraries.  With rugs.LisSpainCordoba_18LisSpainCordoba_31LisSpainCordoba_32When we came back to our rooms after dinner, the lighting made the place magical.

Leo Hotel_DoorwayRoom Mate Leo

C/ Mesones, 15 18001 – Granada, Spain

If Cordoba’s hotel was where the King and Queen stayed, Granada’s hotel was were their footmen would have stayed.  We’d put on our request that we get a quiet room with a double bed.  So right off the bat, the guy behind the desk asks us if we’d like to “upgrade” to a quieter room on the interior of the hotel with a double bed.  Eye roll.  It’s like they use you, against you.  So we got keys to both rooms, went and looked and decided that for the extra money we’d put up with it.  Leo Hotel7_streetview

This was the view out the window in the bathroom, down onto the pedestrian street below.  The bathroom had a set of glass doors that opened up onto a wee balcony.  The bedroom’s windows were hard to get to, as they were behind a chair and the curtains didn’t open easily.Leo Hotel6_shampooI have to mention the clever writing on the toiletries in the bathroom.  Check out the hairdryer post for more. Leo Hotel5_viewLooking straight ahead out the bathroom window.  I liked the view.

Leo Hotel3_desk Leo Hotel2_bedsThe two beds were pushed together, so we made do.  They were pretty good mattresses, good pillows, really good towels in the bathroom (interestingly, they got some things absolutely right) and it was clean.  We also had two chairs, a desk, the ubiqitous TV (that we never use) and an array of snacks to purchase.Leo Hotel1_signSign on the front door.

Hotel Victoria_map1Hotel Victoria 4

Calle de la Victoria 4

Puerta del Sol, 28012 Madrid, Spain

And. . . if the hotel in Granada was where the King’s footmen might have stayed, Hotel Victoria was where the people that clean up after the horses might have stayed.  You can see by the map above what I thought about our hotel: useful only for a reference to the fabric shops in Madrid’s center. We arrived at night, but I’d done my homework and navigated us via the Metro system to the hotel.  We had made our reservations over 3 months ago, but when we asked for our double bed, the 20 year-old chick behind the desk looked like we’d shot her.  “I’m so sorry,” she began, but we were insistent.  So she gave us our room key, and it was on the first floor–not the quietest room in Madrid.  We pointed that out to her, and she said, “Oh it will be quieter on Monday.  The weekends are always noisy.”  This did not inspire confidence.  We schlepped our stuff up to the room, and couldn’t get the key to work.  A passing guest — a college-aged student with his girlfriend (this should have been our first clue) gave us tips on how to open the door.  We pushed it open and couldn’t really get our luggage in more than three feet.  The bathroom was off to the left, and in front of us were two twin beds and a double bed.  Right.  We went back down to ask for a better room.

“There are no other rooms,” she said. “We are fully booked.”  Hackles are raised.  We persist.  At that point of her basically telling us to take it or shove leave it, the manager from the restaurant attached to the hotel shows up.  He intervenes, taking two keys with us and showing us two other rooms.  They are basically dorm rooms.  Everyone we see is college-aged.  Tired tourists that we are, we finally put two+two together, realizing that we’ve booked ourselves into a crash pad for traveling students.  It’s two nights.  It’s late.  We’re tired.  We will survive.  The hotel manager helps us rearrange the furniture to get the two twin beds together, and we take the room.

The chick at the front desk will not even look at us after that.

Hotel Victoria1_viewView from our window onto the small street behind the hotel.HotelVictoria_roomWe’re above the Paella sign.

Hotel Victoria_laundryThis is the only picture I have of our room, with the bags from the laundry slung onto the bed. Round-up: minimal plugs (we were able to get a three-plug adapter from the front desk), okay beds (my head slanted slightly downward), feeble pillows, one chair, one skinny desk, a round table that floated somewhere near the door, and because we’d moved the beds (I need to be able to roll over my snoring husband in the night), I turned off the lights every time I put my pillow up to sit up in bed.  Luckily we weren’t there much.  In the middle of the night, I heard a party going up the hall, then down the hall, and we could see hordes of youth throughout the hotel’s public areas.  The good?  It’s very clean and the location is great.

Hotel Praktik Bakery_16Hotel Praktik Bakery

Provenca, 279, 08037 Barcelona, Spain

Dave, a major lover of breads if there ever was one (having to go gluten-free is his nightmare), found us this last hotel: a charming little hotel over the top of Baluard Bakery in the L’Eixample neighborhood of Barcelona.  It was a perfect place to wrap our our trip to Lisbon and Spain.Hotel Praktik Bakery_2I keep saying little, because it was snug quarters all around, but the fact that it exuded charm made up for its small space.  The door you see above is the entrance to the room.  Hotel Praktik Bakery_5We go through the bathroom to get to the bed, but what fabulous tile, right?  Lots of shelf space for our toiletries, not so much for our suitcases.  Dave put his on the shoe rack in the bathroom, and I used my end table (switched with the ceramic round corner table) for mine. Hotel Praktik Bakery_1 Hotel Praktik Bakery_6Since we arrived at night, I opened the window beyond the bed to see this street scene.  We are down the block from La Pedrerara and not too far from La Sagrada Familia.Hotel Praktik Bakery_26The view out the window in the morning.  Wrap-up: good bed, good towels and pillows, cramped space (but who cares, here?), decent amount of plugs, very clean, double bed (double happinesses), new construction (built in 2104) so everything was in good repair.Hotel Praktik Bakery_22

Since we are over a bakery, the bread theme is throughout the hotel, in the signs for the rooms (above) by the elevator, and in sayings written in the hallway when we step out onto our floor.  Hotel Praktik Bakery_24

I don’t really know what it says, but my impression is that it’s giving a giant rah-rah! for bread.

It is interesting to think about our trip in terms of where we stayed and how each place reflected part of the character of that city in some way. But as always, there’s no place like home, where we can stow our suitcases in the closet until the next trip.

Airplane Travel 2016

Lisbon and Spain • March 2016 / 3


All trips start with a trip to our major airport: Los Angeles International, an adventure in itself.  This trip was easy: because our departure time was in the afternoon, we only had to leave 3 1/2 hours early as there was no traffic.  Park, shuttle, clear security and we found ourselves in the new Tom Bradley terminal, a huge upgrade from the last time we were here.  It’s in the same place, but everything’s fancy, including the treats you can buy.  Dave, my husband, is carrying my travel bag for me, and his travel bag is a backpack.  This worked out pretty well for us.LisSpainAirTravel_3 LisSpainAirTravel_4

Until the time they wanted to board us.  We were on one of those jumbo jets with two levels, and unbelievably there was a Southwest-style boarding style, where you line up behind the uniformed gate agent holding a sign for your section.  All the people down to the blue overhead sign were getting on our flight, including a high school band (in the green shirts).  One sat next to us, and at the end of the trip, he stuffed the airline’s blanket into his backpack and said “Now I’ve got a souvenir for my sister.”  Okey-dokey.  LisSpainAirTravel_5I’m reading Deep Thoughts.  It may not be the best thing to read about dying just before you get in a silver tube and hurtle yourself across nine time zones.LisSpainAirTravel_6

Cute snack crackers, though.  I should really start photographing the meals we are served.LisSpainAirTravel_7I was fascinated with these udder-like squirt tubes on the condiments in the Frankfurt airport for their brats and pretzels.  Actually a clever way to dispense the stuff, but I felt pretty silly while doing it.LisSpainAirTravel_8Translated signs in airports are always entertaining.LisSpainAirTravel_9Looking out the window of our TAP Portugal airplane towards another of their planes, with Lufthansa’s planes in the background.LisSpainAirTravel_10What I did a lot of, while traveling.  There’s not much room on airplanes for anything, but I was able to get this organized.  I only lost a spool of thread once, coming home, and Dave located and retrieved it for me.  LisSpainAirTravel_11This was the view from our bus in the Sevilla airport.  The airline was so excited that we were there early, but that meant that we had no gate to go to as there was a plane in it, so they off-loaded us onto giant people mover busses and take us to the gate.  WE arrive there about the same time, even a little later, but for their airplane “on-time records,” THEY are early.LisSpainAirTravel_12Is this the best thing we can export?LisSpainAirTravel_13I’m pretty sure this was in the Lisbon airport.  Building design in foreign countries can be so radically different from what we’re used to, and when it’s discovered after a time shift in a sleep-deprived state, it feels positively transcendent.

LisSpainAirTravel_15Lisbon’s check-in stations, enroute to Sevilla.  We found a contraband table and chairs (why is it that all the tables and chairs in these foreign places belong to some restaurant nearby) and gulped down our breakfast that the hotel had packed up for us: two white-bread sandwiches, apples, and two bottles of juice (which we couldn’t take past security).Lisbon Airport waiting at gateWaiting at the gate. Always a challenge to figure out what to do when all the announcements are in a language you don’t understand.  Finally, when everyone stood up, we did too and we all boarded in a glob of travelers.LisSpainAirTravel_16 LisSpainAirTravel_17As I gazed down on the snow-covered mountains, headed to Frankfurt, I thought more than once of that flight out of Barcelona last year, where the pilot deliberately flew the airplane into the Alps.  There’s always a slight apprehension with air travel, as we remember that one that didn’t make it and forget the other millions of trips that are just fine.  There’s also a vague worry about our luggage, and will we make our connection and will we get home to Los Angeles, all things I can do nothing about as I power through the air at 30,000 feet.LisSpainAirTravel_18 LisSpainAirTravel_19 LisSpainAirTravel_20

Our Easter treat on the Lufthansa flight home.  We saved ours, as it would be the only Easter treat we’d have.LisSpainAirTravel_21

Okay, here’s a photo of an airline meal.  And believe it or not, it was pretty good.  The salad wasn’t too rubbery, the chicken, polenta and sweet potato (carrots?) went down easily, and I was thrilled beyond measure that I got a desert that was something other than the hated tiramasu.  And look! Real silverware.LisSpainAirTravel_22

LAX is just starting to string up interesting designs overhead as we walk toward customs.  I don’t know why we are always in such a hurry at this point, but we are, so this is taken on the run.LisSpainAirTravel_23

I didn’t weep or anything, but this is a nice sight.  The hideous lines were not fun, as two jumbo jets had landed at the same time and we don’t have Global Traveler, but we made it through that crush, got our car, paid the parking, navigated the crowded freeways and arrived home again to our lovely house.LisSpainAirTravel_24Home, sweet, home.

Hairdryers and Toiletries

Lisbon and Spain • March 2016 / 2

I’ve decided to organize this trip by topic, as I’m bored with the chronology approach, and also because I realized that often, when I scan others’ blogs for info about locations, I want the dish on the details.  So, since I’m a woman, and I’m writing this blog, the first post is around the creature comforts that make me happy: a good hairdryer and good toiletries.  Why?

LisSpainAirTravel_1Because we travel very light.  This is it: a smaller-sized Rick Steves travel bag and a handmade type-writer-fabric carry-on for: the computer, last week’s newspapers I always plan to read, the iPad, chargers, empty water bottle, gorp, pashmina, pillow-that-blows-up-and-goes-around-my-head-for-sleeping, and for this trip, my pouch of embroidery.  So, no room or weight for a hairdryer and only the skimpiest of toiletry supplies.  I know I’m not going to outer Mongolia, so I can expect some comforts when I arrive.

Olissippo hotel_3 First stop was Lisbon, and the Hotel Olissippo Saldanha Hotel was great, with a great hairdryer and high-quality toiletries, as well as marble, marble, marble everywhere.  The hairdryer was on a shelf, not attached to the wall, so I had a longer cord to dry my medium-length hair.  I’ll be writing general info on the hotels in another post (have to rate those beds!) so look for more details later.  I also post on Trip Advisor quite regularly, with more photos and details there. Olissippo hotel_6Olissippo hotel_4Body wash and shampoo were combined into one, but we also had bar soap, shower cap, comb and nice bathrobes which remained mummified in the corner the whole time we were there.  It was really nice that they didn’t have the whole counter taken up with coffee maker, and gee-gaws holding all the toiletries like the American hotels (what is up with that?).

LIsSpainSevilla_4New town and new hotel: Hotel Amadeus in Sevilla and the bathroom hairdryer is one of those things on the wall, with a curly cord which works okay.  Not great, just okay.LIsSpainSevilla_10 LIsSpainSevilla_11This is it for the toiletries: packets of gel, weensy bars of soap, that when I open fall to pieces in my hand.  The tiny shelf is loaded with their stuff and apparently I can purchase the shell soap dish, according to the price list on top of the a/c  unit in the bedroom.  There’s lots of stuff for sale here: shell dish, accent pillows, pictures.

LisSpainCordoba_4The hotel in the next town, Cordoba, was a pretty snazzy place, as apparently the Queen and King of Spain had stayed at the Las Casas de la JuderiaLisSpainCordoba_4aThey had a nice hairdryer, mounted on the wall, and it beat all the hairdryers in terms of output: heat and blower strength.  Just thought you want to know how I grade these things.  They also had the arrangement that it only works if you are holding the button down, something I’d seen on our last trip, which flummoxed me at that time.  I’m used to the button being a “cool-down” button, but no. . . it has to be held down to get the hair dryer to work.

LisSpainCordoba_5aThis is to show you the floating shower floor, a unique feature.  No drain at all, but just a slab of marble with about a 1/2″ clearance all around, so the water flowed over the edge and out of sight.LisSpainCordoba_15Comb, shower cap, body wash, lotion, bar of hard soap for washing hands at the sink.

LisSpainGranada_1Now we are at Granada’s Hotel Leo, and we are roughing it: no marble anywhere.
(I’m kidding, of course, about roughing it.)LisSpainGranada_2But what they lacked in fancy stuff, Hotel Leo made up for in Capitol-C Clever.  I wanted to swipe the shampoo, but I knew the packaging wouldn’t make it.  But that shower cap came home with me.LisSpainGranada_3Yeah. I can see the drain.

Moving on: We were so un-impressed with our hotel in Madrid that I can’t find ANY photos of it anywhere in my stuff.  Good thing because on the first day the hair dryer quit after 35 seconds–it overheated and the automatic shut-off switch kicked into gear–and so they had to bring me up one from the front desk: an old-style wall-mount hair dryer which I perched precariously on the edge of the sink while I used it.  The rest of our stuff had to be put in the well of the bidet, as there were no other places anywhere.  It was basically a hotel for students, but the location was great.  And the last place. . .

Hotel Praktik Bakery_2

. . . was Barcelona.  This is the bathroom in Hotel Praktik Bakery, a walk-through affair with the shower and toilet in separate stalls to the right, hairdryer on the wall to the left of the sink, and it was a pretty good hairdryer.Hotel Praktik Bakery_7This place is compact, but comfortable, and it was a place that gave us plenty of room for our toiletry bags and what-nots in the bathroom.Hotel Praktik Bakery_8Best lotion of the trip–I brought home all the bottles they’d give me, cramming them into my one-quart toiletries bag.  When I use this, I think of our perfect trip to Lisbon and Spain and it makes me smile.

Itinerary for Portugal and Spain 2016

Lisbon and Spain • March 2016 / 1

Mar. 11, 2016 • Friday
Leave Los Angeles at 3:10 p.m. on Lufthansa

March 12, 2016 • Saturday
Arrive Frankfurt, Germany at 11:05 a.m. the next morning
Change Planes. Connect time in Frankfurt, DE (FRA) is 2 hours 15 minutes.
Lv. Frankfurt at 1:20 p.m. on TAP Portugal
Arrive in Lisbon, Portugal at 3:25 p.m
Total Travel Time: 16 hr 15 mins.

LisSpainAirTravel_13March 13-16 • Sat, Sun, Mon, Tue, Wed (a.m) • Lisbon, Portugal
Hotel Olissippo Saldanha
Av. Praia da Vitória 30, Lisboa, Portugal

March 16, Wednesday • Travel to Seville
Leave Lisbon at 8:10 a.m. on TAP Portugal
Arrive Seville, Spain at 10:20 a.m.
Flight time: 1 hr. 10 mn.

SevillaMarch 16- 18 Wed p.m., Thurs, Fri am • Seville
Hotel Amadeus
Calle Farnesio 6 y calle San Jose, 10
Barrio de Santa Cruz, 41004 Seville, Spain

March 18 Fri p.m. Travel to Cordoba
Leave Sevilla (Santa Justica Train Station) at 12:50 p.m.
Arrive Cordoba train station 1:35 p.m.

CordobaMarch 18 Fri • Cordoba
Las Casas de la Juderia
C/Tomás Conde, 10, Cordoba, 14004 Spain

March 19 Sat a.m. Travel to Granada
Leave Cordoba at 11:27 a.m.
Arrive at Antequera-Santa Ana Train Station at 11:55 a.m. (in the middle of nowhere)
Leave Antequera-Santa Ana Train Station at 12:15
Arrive Granada 1:30 p.m.
Overall travel is 2 h. 3 min. (1 hour of it is bus)

GranadaGranada Saturday March 19 afternoon-Sunday afternoon March 20
Hotel: Room Mate Leo
C/ Mesones, 15 18001 – Granada, Spain

March 20, Sunday—Visit to Alhambra Nasrid Reservation @ 9:30 a.m.

MadridMarch 20, Sunday Travel to Madrid
Leave Granada “train” station at 2:45 p.m
Arrive Antequera-Santa Ana Train Station at 4:00 p.m.
Change from bus to train in Antequera-Santa Ana Train Station
Leave Antq S.Ana 4:23
Arrive in Madrid 6:40 at Madrid Puerta de Atocha [Madrid P.A.]
Metro to El Sol station near our hotel

March 20-22 Sunday-Monday • Madrid
Hotel Victoria 4
Calle de la Victoria 4
Puerta del Sol, 28012 Madrid, Spain

BarcelonaMarch 22, Tuesday • Travel to Barcelona
Leave Madrid (Madrid P.A.) at 5:30 p.m.
Arrive in Barcelona (Sants) 8:40 p.m.
Take Metro to hotel

March 22-25, Tuesday to Saturday am • Barcelona,
Hotel Praktik Bakery
Provenca, 279, 08037 Barcelona, Spain

March 26, 2015, Saturday
Leave Barcelona, Spain at 6:00 a.m. on Lufthansa
Arrive Frankfurt, Germany at 8:20 a.m.
Change Planes. Connect time in Frankfurt, Germany (FRA) is 1 hr. 50 min
Lv. Frankfurt at 10:10 am on Lufthansa
Arrive Los Angeles, CA at 1:50 p.m. and try to remember where car is
Total Travel Time is 15 hr. 50 mins.