Cheryl Scremin | Flight Centre Independent | Home Based Travel Agent
Flight Centre Associates

Cheryl Scremin

604 290 2895

Cheryl's Blog


Posted on: Thursday July 27, 2017
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Lisbon is a very hilly city made up of many districts.  We stayed in Baixa, close to the Rossi train station, so it was an excellent area from which to explore the city. Lots of great restaurants close by.

In the restaurants, they put Couvert--basically appetizers like olives and cheese--on every table.  You pay for it if you eat it, or else decline.  I'll be honest, not the best place for vegetarian food and we found most food quite salty.  However, food and wine was cheap.  Verde Gaio in Estrella was particularly excellent.

We had a particularly fun night in Bairro Alto, at the Old Pharmacy Wine Inn, and I highly recommend Manteigaria Fábrica de Pastéis de Nata for the best pastiche de nada! (Even better than Pastiche de Belem, which is much more famous.)  

The Carmo Convent overlooking Rossio Square is also an interesting place to visit.

The Lisbon City Card offers free public transport, some free admissions, or else discounts to museums and monuments (usually 10%).  It's really not worth it unless you are taking the metro everywhere, although it does save standing in long lines at the trains and some gates.

Taking a Tuk Tuk is a great way to get a tour of the city.


Belem is n easy 40 minute train from Baixa, Lisbon.  Make sure to check out Jeronimos Monastery & Torre de Belem (both closed on Mondays).  Belem is famous  for the Pasteis de Belem, but as mentioned, we preferred Manteigaria in Lisbon, and the lines are much shorter. 


Getting to Sintra from Lisbon is easy. There are trains at least every 30 minutes on weekdays, every 30 minutes at weekends, from Lisbon's city centre Rossio station. The journey takes 40 minutes and a return (round-trip) ticket is €4.30 (tariff 2016). These are local suburban trains.  During weekday rush hours there are more frequent trains from Rossio station to and from Sintra.

Sintra is made up of an historic old town, plus 3 palaces: Castelo Dos Mouros, Pena Palacio, and Palacio Nacional.  You can take a bus up the hill to the palaces, or if you're up for a hike, it takes a couple of hours.  Either way, it's worth the effort to see these gorgeous edifices and the views from the top. 


The city of Valenicia has a unique feature.  They filled in a riverbed after a flood many years ago and now it's a beautiful park and great for biking.  We took a City bike tour that was excellent, and a great way to see all the important sites.


The ship docks right in the port of Cartagena, you walk off ship and you're in the town.  We enjoyed a relaxing day of wandering the area, including the ruins nearby, and had a wonderful meal at one of the local restaurants.


The view of the ship from Palaccio Zea Salvatierra.


A tour of The Rock is a better option than taking the cable car as you can see a lot more of the sites (the cable car lines were very long and then it broke down and people had to walk down or wait ages for buses).  Our tour guide Francis was just given a Trip Advisor award, it was 30pp Euros for 90 minute tour of 3 different sites.  The famous Barbary apes are made up of 5 families, 228 apes.  They can be aggressive and known to grab bags and jewelry--so hang onto your belongs or leave them in the bus--and they get hyper if given chocolate.  The town officials use peashooters to keep the monkeys out of the town. 

St Michael’s Cave is a stunning venue used for concert and opera performances, with seating for 500 people.


 The Great Seige Tunnels overlook the shortest airport runway. 


Cadis is another gorgeous where we could walk off ship right in the port.  I recommend a visit to Castillo de Santa Catalina, Castillo de San Sebastian and the Teatro Romano.


Barcelona is a great city full of history and architecture.  They have few large taxis and vans compared to other cities though, so be prepared to split up if your party is more than 3 people.  The taxi was 39 Euros airport to cruise port, and 20 Euros from Las Ramblas to the airport.  

There are tons of restaurants and tapas bars to grab a bite and a drink, and people watch.  We had a particularly excellent meal at Melic Del Gotic restaurant. 



Montserrat is monastery about an hour from Barcelona.  It is truly stunning and on a clear day the views of Barcelona are fantastic.  We took the Funicular Sant Joan and then walked around the top of the mountain enjoying the views.  

Sitges is a seaside town about 40 minutes from Barcelona, or an hour from Montserrat.  The best way to see the two of them is a full-day tour that includes both.  They are both spectacularly gorgeous and well worth the trip.

Cheryl Scremin

Surrey, British Columbia

Contact Number:
604 290 2895

Alternate Number:
778 783 4158


About Cheryl:

I run my personal travel business in partnership with a company known throughout Canada for wonderful travel experiences at amazing prices - Flight Centre

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