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Clare
Clare

Day 9: Lisbon to Madrid

Our flight to Madrid wasn't until 17.15 this afternoon, so we had some free time to spend in Lisbon this morning. We decided to use the time to visit an attraction we hadn't seen yet: Parque Eduardo VII. The park is not far from the centre of Lisbon, and the guidebook said that it had some great views out over the city.

We took a metro from the Baixa Chiado station near our apartment to the aptly named station Parque. This turned out to be the most unusual metro station we'd visited in Lisbon, with all sorts of pictures and engravings on the walls.  This one seemed to be something to do with exploration of South America.

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When we came out of the station it wasn't immediately obvious where the park was. The first indication we got was when we caught sigh of this pavillion.

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From there we climbed up some steps and we were in the park.

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We'd come for the views, but the first thing which caught our attention was this very odd fountain!

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Once we turned away from that though, we found the views we'd been expecting :)  We could see all the way down the park towards Lisbon and the river estuary.

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As you would expect of a park in Lisbon, this one is on quite a steep slope. Fortunately, for once we were actually walking downhill, back towards the town.

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When you get to the end of the park, there is a huge statue of the Marquis of Pombal.

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The Marquis of Pombal was the Portuguese prime minister during the eighteenth century and is remembered today for his strong leadership after the 1755 earthquake that destroyed Lisbon.

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From his statue, we began to walk down Avenida da Liberdade, which is a long boulevard, lined with greenery and statues. We found the monument to the Portuguese fallen in WW1...

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...and elaborate water features like this one.

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Soon we were back in the centre of town.

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There was just time for one last lunch in Portugal before it was time to start our journey towards the airport. There is a metro line which runs straight to the airport, so the journey was quite easy (although a bit crowded) and excellent value at only €1.65 each for a ticket.

We arrived at the airport just after 3pm and everything seemed very straightforward with dropping our bags and security. Unfortunately, once we got through security we realised that our flight was delayed for about 20 minutes.  It ended up being delayed by at least half an hour and there wasn't really any explanation, which was a bit frustrating. Boarding the plane seemed to take forever, but eventually we were on our way and we had some really clear views of the Portuguese and Spanish countryside as we flew towards Madrid. Both landscapes looked very mountainous, and some of the Spanish countryside in particular looked very arid.

We landed in a sunny Madrid at around 8pm (having lost an hour due to the time difference between Portugal and Spain). It's tempting to complain about the delay, but on the other hand we did only pay €20 each for our flight with TAP, plus another €20 each for the luggage, so it's probably the cheapest flight we've taken in a long time. And we got a free biscuit :D

One thing that was really nice about flying between two Schengen countries was that we didn't have to go through passport control on either side. So there were no long queues once we arrived in Madrid, just a bit of a wait for our luggage to come off the carousel. Madrid's airport is also linked to the city centre via a metro, although the tickets for this one are a bit more expensive (€4.50 each). As luck would have it, the apartment I had booked was not far from where the metro line from the airport terminates, so we were able to get straight onto one train, sit on it for 20 minutes and then arrive in the vicinity of where we were staying. 

It took a bit of time to find the apartment once we got off the metro... and then when we found the correct building, we had to ring the owners because there was no indication as to which of the multiple flats in the building it might be... but eventually we found it and it seems fine.

Tomorrow we're looking forward to seeing some of Madrid, a city which we really loved when we first visited here in 2014, and catching up with some friends :) 




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