Travel

Porto and Lisbon bound

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I’m heading off to Porto and Lisbon today. I’m attending an academic conference in Porto, where I will be presenting a paper, and will then spend a few days in Lisbon. Flying directly into Porto proved problematic, as there were a number of connections involved. I am flying into Lisbon instead, then taking a three-hour train to Porto, then back to Lisbon. I have only one connection in Toronto going and returning, which is very reasonable.

This will be my first visit to Portugal. As usual, I’ve made a list of museums that I would like to visit while I’m there. Lisbon has a large number of museums, while Porto appears to have fewer, but it looks like a lovely place to walk. I’ll try to get to see as much of the city as I can while I’m attending the conference. I’ve rented AirBnB flats in both cities. I normally stay in the conference hotel, but the venue this time is on a university campus, so a flat is more convenient. I will try to maintain a travelogue while I’m there, as I find it’s helpful to remind me of the places and attractions that I visit.

I had a bit of a tech crisis, as the keyboard of my Chromebook became suddenly possessed by some evil spirit; it froze completely three days before I was scheduled to leave. I did not relish the prospect of flying with my laptop, as it’s heavier and larger. Fortunately, there is a computer repair shop in my neighbourhood. They fixed the computer for $35. I had to scramble to get it back in time for my flight, especially as they had transferred it to one of their other shops in the city, but the manager drove it to my location in the nick of time.

Because my flight to Toronto doesn’t leave until the early evening, I decided to take public transit to the airport, rather than rent a car. You can’t beat the $1 cost (I have a monthly transit pass. You must pay an additional $1 since the bus goes outside the transit zone). I arrived at the arrived three hours early, which is normal for me. I hate leaving anything to chance when it comes to flying; I have to wait anyway, so I might as well do it in the airport.

The airport Starbucks was eerily empty; normally, there is a long queue. I wonder whether this is due to Canadians boycotting U.S. companies as part of the “tariff war” between our two countries?