Off to Viseu via MadridOctober 19, 2018 in Portugal
It is always hard to sleep when you have an early flight that you just CANNOT miss, and so it proved last night. By the time we received our wake up call at 3.30am we were well and truly up. We took the 4.06am bus to the airport and were surprised at just how many people were on it. Going through the rigmarole of booking in and going through security was a breeze. The check-in lady was extremely friendly, and thought that as we looked after so many Irish in Australia it was the least she could do to reciprocate!
Our flight left on time and was early in to Madrid where it had rained earlier. Getting out of the airport was easy, but lining up and waiting for a car at the Avis counter was not much fun. Eventually, after quite some time, a young lady tried to sell us a better car, and then better insurance. We declined in each instance, and were issued the relevant paperwork for a Citroen C4 Gspace, quite a large vehicle. We then had to wait for it to be brought over from another terminal. It seems that most times we interact with hire car firms a length of time is involved.
When it arrived we hurriedly loaded up, waited for the GPS to work out where we were, and then it was off to Viseu. The first hour or two of RHS driving is always a bit stressful, but at least this time we managed to get out of town without an accident. I wish I had inspected the car carefully before we headed out because I found a significant scrape when we stopped after a few hours.
Our first stop in Portugal was at Viseu, on our way to Porto. The GPS indicated that it was 679 kms, much more than I had anticipated. However, as that was where our booking for the night was we headed out at great speed. A few hours later, at a very basic petrol stop we saw on a map that things were not as they seemed, and that Viseu was not that far after all. We drove, and drove, and avoiding toll roads arrived in the town around 6pm. Bugger - the GPS had no idea of where we wanted to go. A phone call elicited another street name nearby, to no avail. A second phone call, much stress, and a fair bit of luck, and we found our hotel in the middle of Viseu.
What a surprise it was! Formerly the private residence of a wealthy family, it had been converted into a 12 room hotel, and is owned by an antique dealer with premises underneath. He furnishes it with antiques which are for sale so apparently you never know what you will find.
After settling in we headed out for dinner and ended up in Face Bar Cafe. What an experience that was! Owned by a sort of local we enjoyed local wine and local bread (actually toasties) while watching locals walk by and also chatting to the owner.Read more