Lisbon, Portugal, Tuesday December 6, 2015

I hope that by the time your read this, I am on my way back to Phoenix, Arizona. My plane leaves Lisbon at 10:15 am, and I hope to upload this post before I depart. My second chance is to upload it in Newark where I change planes, if my plane from Lisbon arrives on time and I clear immigration, customs, and TSA airport security with no problems. I have the Mobile Passport app on my smart phone, which should get me to the front of the line at immigration and I am TSA pre-screened, which should get me through a super-fast airport security line in Newark. However, my time between scheduled landing and the end of boarding for my Phoenix flight is 1:45, which is not a lot of time if something goes wrong.

My last full day in Lisbon yesterday was just beautiful! There wasn’t a cloud in the sky, and although in the shade it was chilly enough for a long-sleeved shirt, in the sunlight the long sleeves felt too warm. Here’s a photo that will give you an idea of how beautiful the weather was.

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The place shown below looks as if it my be the refuge of a homeless person, but the sign at the back proclaims it to be Santa Claus’s house. I have always assumed that Santa Claus lived in more elegant digs. I assume someone will decorate it and spruce it up a bit before Santa actually moves in. If not, Santa can have my bed in the hostel. I expect to sleep in my own bed in Phoenix tonight.

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Even the water in the “river,” as they call it here, looked inviting yesterday. I know this is only a few miles from where the river empties into the sea, but this looks much more like a bay than a river to me, and I can’t help referring to it as such.

There was a barge pulled alongside the ship that you see to the left of the picture. It appeared that the barge was ferrying the containers out to the ship that were being loaded on deck.

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An artificial Christmas tree has been erected in the main square not too far from the hostel. It wasn’t there the last time I passed that way a few days ago. Because the tree is in the background, it appears smaller than the statue of the mounted horseman, but it is actually much taller.

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The nice thing about this artificial Christmas tree is that you can go inside and view the interior. There are even benches around the perimeter to sit on. I obviously took the following photo inside looking straight up toward the tree’s apex.

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This should be the last post that I write from Portuguese soil on this trip. I will be too tired when I get home this evening to be interested in the Internet, but I hope to write a trip wrap-up sometime tomorrow afternoon.

PS/ I am uploading this using WiFi at the Lisbon Airport. I’ve been through security and can relax. I had no breakfast before I left home, so I thought I’d get a cup of coffee at Starbucks. Five euros! Even more in dollars, of course. Then I found a McDonald’s and bought a cup of coffee and an Egg Muffin for $4.74 US. Hint, have breakfast before you go through security. 🙂

PPS/ I’m now in Newark Airport sitting at the gate waiting for my flight to Phoenix. Mobile Passport and TSA Precheck made immigration and TSA security check a breeze. For anyone traveling abroad, I highly recommend downloading the Mobile Passport app to your cell phone. You bypass all of the long lines at immigration.