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Monday July 17, 2017

After a wonderful breakfast at the Mundial Hotel, we meandered around the nearby shops until it was time to leave for the airport.  We were at the airport in plenty of time and we proceeded to get our tickets and go through the security check.

To make the return trip a little more interesting, Kathy didn’t make it through the security check.   One of the items she had purchased, had a metal point and they would not let her go on the plane with it.  However, they gave her the option to mail it to herself, which required her to go back through the security check to a postage station down the hall from security check.   The security officers and airport staff helped Pete and Kathy with mailing the item and then they both successfully made it through the security check a second time, 30 minutes later.

We had no other issues until it was almost time to board the plane and we were told there was a delay because there was a shortage of cleaning staff and it would take longer than normal to get the plane ready.   As it turned out, it was only a 30 minute delay, however, some of the passengers were a little agitated because they left us standing in the hot buses on the tarmac while they finished cleaning the plane, but there were no more issues once we started boarding.

We finally left Lisbon at 7:20 pm and the pilot was able to get us into Toronto, 10 minutes after our scheduled arrival time of 10 pm.  From the time the plane landed, it took us only 40 minutes to clear customs, get our bags and have the Skypark shuttle deliver us to my car.   By 12:30 am we were at my house.   Pete and Kathy left my house at 8 am and arrived safely at home shortly after 12 pm.

Day 21 – Lisbon, Portugal

Sunday July 16,2017

It was 18 C ( 65 F ), in the morning but it became hot with a temperature of 33 C ( 91 F ) by mid afternoon.

We had breakfast at a local cafe and spent most of the day wandering around the city.

Lisbon is one of the oldest cities in the world, with a population of 550,000 in the city and 2.8 million in the metropolitan area and it has very interesting architecture in the downtown area.  The city is built on rolling hills, where the Tagus river empties into the Atlantic Ocean.  They still use electric street cars and there are many beautiful views of the city.  When you are at one of the high points in the city, it is similar to the streets of San Francisco and you can sometimes get a view of the Tagus river at the end of the street.

There is an elevator in town and for 5.15 Euros you can ride it up to a viewing platform above most of the city buildings.

Several of the buildings are very ornate including the outside of the railway station in downtown Lisbon.

There are are some unique streets, because the city was built more than 1000 years ago, when cars didn’t exist.

What I found most interesting is that Lisbon has been hit by numerous earthquakes, several in the 1900’s, but none as devastating as the one in 1755.  It only lasted about 5 minutes  but it caused fissures ( cracks ), 5 meters ( 16 ft ) wide in the city center and resulted in 3 tsunami waves, as well as a firestorm in the city.  It was one of the deadliest earthquakes in history.  Some of the surviving buildings still show signs of the damage.

The food in Portugal and Spain has been excellent and we have enjoyed a lot of the seafood.  I have had prawns, sea bass , hake, sardines, as well as a fish I didn’t recognize and for today’s main course,  I had a very tasty meal of squid.

We experienced a lot in the last three weeks and I couldn’t possibly document everything, but I have tried to capture some moments that will help us remember our time here.

And….as always, some things that happened on this trip, will remain on the trip!