Porto:Lisboa to San Sebastian : June 2018

Train travel in Portugal is not as glamorous as say Switzerland or even Italy. Sorry, Portugal! The stations are a little uninspiring.

So we are travelling from Porto to Lisboa and from there we will take the overnight train to San Sebastián.

Armed with some mags and a bottle or 2 of water and we are off. This train takes about 3 hours and was very comfortable although pretty full. When we arrive at the station in Lisboa, we are a little disappointed as their is no wifi, not really info or anyplace to sit and relax. Ok, let me rephrase, yes there is an info desk, its open from 7.30am to 9.30am! Really!

Luckily for us, we had Rogerio, so armed with the name of a restaurant not toooo far away we decide to set off on foot. Why you might ask don’t we just take an Uber? Well partly cos Chris is allergic to taking a cab most times, but also no wifi means no calling Uber. I had already checked directions to the restaurant on the train so we had an idea of the direction we had to head in so off we went.



Remember I said the hills were steep in Porto, well guess again we had to walk up one helluva steep hill to get to our suburb of Graça. But we made it and found a square to have a drink.Parsleyspursuit of the perfect priced drink was not happy. The most expensive drink we had had so far! €4.50! For a beer and glass of wine!


We found the place Rogerio had recommended and decided to sit outside as they had put up a big screen to show Portugal vs Iran match. The service was very very slow but the food was nice when it arrived. I tried the chocos. Essentially bait! It’s 2 squids with the ink sacs still in and grilled on the braai. It was ok. Tasty but tough. Chris stuck to fish but it was delicious.


Then as soon as dinner was over we caught a bus , down the hill! The bus went directly to the station. ( pity we didn’t know for the way up!)

The train we taking is an overnight train leaving at 21h45 and arriving 11h00 the next morning.

I’m visualising the Orient Express….

The train was ready and I’m looking for porters to load the luggage and the butlers to take my first drink order. Chris booked us a sleeper cabin. I mean it’s called Gran clase.

So let me put you out of your misery. It was a tiny cabin with barely enough room for the bunk beds. The toilet shower stall was the size of the camper van facilities. No WiFi, no Aircon, no butler, no dinner car and no pearl-clad ladies sipping cocktails.

not the Orient Express!

So we slept for as long as we could. I was a little motion sick as you couldn’t open the window and there was no air.

Not our best.

But we got to Irun, San Sebastián in Spain and we took a taxi to pick up the camper van. Mano our friend gave us a nearly brand new Globescout with only 3000kms on the clock. So we named it Sc2ter and off we go.

First night is ……

2 thoughts on “The Orient Express —-not!

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