domingo, 29 de dezembro de 2013

Day trip to Santarém to meet Rita and João

Dear all,


Well, it is the last weekend of the year and it is not freaking cold. So, I've decided to visit my friends Rita and João from Faro. They came for the weekend to Santarem, about 100km north of Lisbon, so it is possible to go by bicycle.

As I live in the West side of Lisbon and I have started the day quite late, I decided to cycle close to the river to the East side of Lisbon and take a urban train to take me north for some kilometers.

Along the way I have stopped many times for some pictures, as my sister has my SD card for the camera, so I had to use the mini Ipad for the pictures.

So, this has became more like a picture trip, rather than many things I could write about, so specially for those of you that are not so familiar with Lisbon, here you are the pictures of the way:

The start of my trip at my door
Peter Lamb still sleepy in the morning
Bike close to Torre de Belém
Padrão dos Descobrimentos! It os gonna rain soooooon!
Peter Lamb and river Tejo
Former Lisbon's power plant, nowadays electricity museum
Peterl Lamb's bike under 25th April bridge
Peter lamb under the bridge
Terreiro do Paço square
Terreiro do Paço Square
Lisbon's Cathedral
The Pantheon behind and main north train station on the right - Santa Apolónia

It was the first time that I have cycled all the way between Algés and Oriente, following the river path, and it was nice see that the cycling path is now complete:

Cycling path between Santa Apolónia and Oriente
What it was a dream some years ago, it is now a reality!

I have to return to Oriente for some more pictures with good weather. This is the new part of Lisbon, where Expo 98 was held:

Cable car and Lisbon's highest building on the background
Lisbon is hilly!!!
Peter lamb's bike
Peter lamb on happy mode
Lisbon's oceanarium
Peter Lamb and Vasco
Peter lamb and Vasco
Peter Lamb and Gil

I had no idea at what time the train was leaving Oriente's station so, despite of the rain I head for the station. Nevertheless I lost the 12h59 train just by a single minute, so I was stranded for 30 minutes which I seized to start writting this post.

Peter lamb's bike and the urban train that would take me North

Although the train's last stop was Azambuja, I've decided to leave it 2 stations before, so my final destination was Vila Nova da Rainha.


Cycling to Azambuja was pretty fast, but the traffic on road N3 was quite intense. The sideways are wide, but the tarmac was wet, so the truck's spray was severe on me!

When I reached Azambuja, I took the first road on the right to reach river Tejo.

Quiet and nice road close to Azambuja
Small river crossing

The landscape in this area is quite enjoyable and easy to cycle as there are no hills. Nevertheless the wind today was a bit strong, so although the pace was quite steady, there were areas where was hard to cycle faster than 15 km/h.


After a few kilometers cycling I have passed near two small airfields:

Taxi for take-off
About 1 meter to touchdown

The journey has continued and sometimes the colours at the fields are quite impressive, considering we are already in the winter season:

Colourful landscape

At this time I realized that there were about 20 km to my destination and I would have at most 75 minutes of sunlight, so I had to stop taking pictures and it was time to cycle a bit harder.

After some time I reached Santarem, my destination of the day!

Peter Lamb and his bike at Santarém

Santarém is a nice city, it is the capital of the gotic style and it is close enough to Lisbon to deserve a day trip, moreover if you rely on the trains to help you out on your journey. A reference though has to be made that most of the city was built over a hill, so the 2 last kilometers are done in a rather steep road!

This region is famous for the bullfights
The Market
Santarem's main church

Finding my friend's house was not difficult, so I have arrived quite on time.

We phoned the train company and there were trains towards Lisbon at 21h08 and 23h08. There was enough time for a lot of chatting, share some stories of the last times and a super nice dinner with their family. It was great to be amoung them and to feel welcome. Thanks a million guys!

Sadly, it was time to leave, but they were super cool to lead my way in their car till the train station! The good news is that mostly was downhill, so I could reach about 57km/h.

Time for some pictures with them at the train station:

What were you doing Rita? Me and João seems scared while you are smilling!
Rita, João and Peter Lamb in normal mode!


At the train, the indication of temperature was 5 degrees, quite chilly, don't you think?


Well train ride was about 35 minutes, almost enough to finish this post.


The original plan was only to cycle from Santa Apolónia (the terminal station) till Cais do Sodré and take a train there till Algés, but it was no wind at all, so I made the 10 extra kilometers till home.


Summary of the day:

  • Distance - 80,95 km
  • Time - 4h33m52s
  • Average Speed - 18,07 km/h
  • Top Speed - 57,21 km/h

So far I have cycled in this bike 2845 kilometers!


Well, that's all for now folks!



Peter Lamb


domingo, 15 de dezembro de 2013

Past travels

Dear all,


This time I am not writting to you to describe a cycling trip, neither the latest trip that lead me to Riga. I must say though that was a great weekend, having the chance to visit once more my friends Marta and Zita. Cheers girls, I am sure we will meet again :)

As most of you know I absolutely love flying and I believe as well that travelling is one of the best experiences you can have on this life. I wrote this phrase already on the blog, but I really like it "World is a book, if you don't travel you read only one page". It does not mean though that it is bad not to travel, sometimes reading only a page is a good thing :) Nevertheless, life is full of choices and I still adore to travel, so I keep doing it.

Well, I was wondering which airports I have been on my travels. Here is the list:

  • Portugal - Lisboa, Faro, Funchal, Ponta Delgada, Horta and Terceira
  • Spain - Madrid, Barcelona and Majorca
  • France - Paris (Charles de Gaule and Orly)
  • Italy - Rome and Milan
  • Czech Republic - Prague
  • Poland - Krakow and Warsaw
  • Latvia - Riga
  • Finland - Helsinki
  • Sweden - Stockholm and Gothemburgh
  • Denmark - Copenhagen
  • Germany - Frankfurt, Munich, Hamburg, Dusseldorf and Stuttgart
  • The Netherlands - Amsterdam and Roterdam
  • Belgium - Brussels
  • Switzerland - Geneva and Zurich
  • Austria - Viena
  • England - London (Heathrow, Gatwick, Stansted and Luton) and Bristol
  • Scotland - Edimburgh
  • Algeria - Alger
  • Angola - Luanda
  • United Emirates - Dubai
  • Saudi Arabia - Riyadh and Jeddah

If I am not mistaken, those were the 43 airports I have been so far. I hope that this list will continue to grow more and more :) There are so so so so many places I wanna go!


Airlines that I have flown:

  • Tap
  • Portugalia
  • Sata international
  • Sata Azores
  • Austrian Airlines
  • British Airways
  • Lufthansa
  • Finnair
  • Iberia
  • Air France
  • KLM
  • LOT Polish Airlines
  • Swissair
  • Swiss
  • Sabena
  • Brussels Airlines
  • Air Algerie
  • Emirates Airline
  • Transavia
  • Easyjet
  • Germanwings
  • Go Airline
  • Monarch Airlines
  • Smartwings
  • VLM
  • Air Berlin
  • Niki


Besides the countries that were on the list above I have also visited the following countries:

  • Slovakia
  • Luxemburg
  • Monaco
  • Norway (trip by car with Erasmus mates back in 2006, remember about it Andre?)
  • Lithuania (cycling trip)
  • Estonia (cycling trip)

I must not forget as well a great trip I have made woth my parents in our motorhome that lead us through Spain, south France, Italy (visiting Pisa, Florence and Venice), Austria (Viena, Salzburg and Insbruck), Switzerland and the back to Portugal. Trip lasted between 3 to 4 weeks but was great!!


Well, that's all for now folks! Keep on travelling!





domingo, 1 de dezembro de 2013

Day trip with Luis Basch - Cycling from Azambuja to Montijo

Dear all,


Besides it has been a great weekend with my couchsurfers, Sunday was a day to get back to the road and have a day trip.

It was really cold in the morning so the outfit is totally different from the summer trip.

I have made a stopover at the bakery to have some supplies for the day. Nothing beats the fragnancy of warm pastry in the morning!

I left Alges towards Alcantara around 8h30, trying to catch the 9h06 train to Azambuja at Alcântara Terra.

Mosteiro dos Jerónimos
The best place for breakfast was still closed!

Buying the ticket and boarding the train was easy and it is nice to see that they have an assigned area for bicycles on the trains. However there is still no racks or similar to have the bikes standing alone without falling.

My bike taking a ride

This day trip was planned to be a weekend tour to Porto Covo to meet João and Rita, my friends from Faro, however their plans to go ther have changed, so I stayed in Lisbon. So plans were ajusted and due to better weather on Sunday, the original idea of cycling on Saturday was ajusted as well.

This time I am not cycling alone, as Luis decided to join me!

Luis is a 19 year old guy, planning his trip around Europe starting on March. I met him on Couchsurfing weekly meeting and invited him to go cycling with me, to share some of my experience and just enjoy a day riding :)

Luis and our 2 bikes

Due to work, I wanted to pass near Vale da Pedra and Valada in order to have a look at the water treatment system, that collects water from Tejo's river and after a treatmemt system supplies the water into Lisbon.

Our bikes just before the cycling starts

Although we were way into the autumn season, it was a very sunny day and the colours were great.

Autumn season has arrived

After Valada, there is a very nice bridge to cross the river:

Bridge close to Valada and Muge

The cycling had to start on a more steady pace, cause we would be cycling around 100km

Me and Luis cycling in an almost desert road
This road is totally straight for 15 looooong kilometers!

It was nice to be back to this roads after some months, this time in good company. Last time I have cycled this roads again, on the hottest day of the year. I got here around 43 degress, and to be quite frankly, I do not miss it that much! :)

During the way weass near some Air Force field, where, at the entrance, you may see the old Fiats from Portuguese air force:

Former military planes from Portuguese air force

On Sundays, there are not many boats connecting Montijo and Lisboa, so we cycled hard to get ourselves on the 17h boat, otherwise we needed to wait there for 1h30.

End of the day, sorry for low quality picture!

We nearly missed it but we could manage it just on time!

At the end, it was a long day cycling, but a quite pleasent small trip!

Summary of the day:

  • Distance: 101,30 km
  • Time: 6h04m29s
  • Average speed: 16,91 km/h
  • Top speed: 39,29km/h

And that's all for now folks!


See you at the next trip!



Peter Lamb