Friday, 7 May 2010

Running around Lisbon

How do I get to the train station from here? I ask the guy at the reception of my hotel in downtown Lisbon. Where to? he asks back. Tunes, I let him know. OK, then it's Santa Apolonia, he says. And how do I get there? By metro.

In order to make sure, I ask the same question again the next day. This time another guy sits at the reception. He checks the timetable and says the train leaves from Entre Campos, then he says, no, it leaves from Campo Pequeno. Are we talking about the one that leaves at 13.30 hrs and arrives at 16.46 hrs? I inquire. That's the one, he says.

Two hours later, I take the metro to Campo Pequeno. On leaving the metro station I ask a middle-aged woman where the train station is. She answers in English. I usually don't mind when people want to practise their English with me but I'm not very keen on doing it when I have to catch a train. Besides: Although my Portuguese is far from fluent it was still about a hundred times better than the woman's English. Anyway, the woman is really kind and helpful and informs me that there is no train station at Campo Pequeno and that I probably will have a better chance at Jardim Zoologico or at Entre Campos, both very near from here. Where would I have the very best chance for trains to the South? I now ask. Definitely at Santa Apolonia, she says. When I eventually arrive at Santa Apolonia, the guy at the ticket counter tells me: Here's your ticket but the train won't leave from here, it will leave from Oriente. And how do I get there? By train. There is one in five minutes ... I started to run and just made it ...

The first stop after Oriente was at Entre Campos ...

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