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Friday, 25 December 2015

Boxing Day in Lisbon.

It's difficult to tell whether it's night or day in our cabin at the moment because the deadlights are still covering the port holes.  They've opened them on Deck 5 above us, but disappointingly we've been left in the dark for now.  I'm hoping they open them soon, it's quite depressing.

But Peter sets his alarm, so we were up around 8.30 and in the Bistro a little later for a relaxed breakfast.  We had a tour in the afternoon, so decided to have a short walk into Lisbon in the morning, relishing the opportunity to stretch our legs and enjoy the spaciousness of the city.   We didn't venture far.  We first walked along the waterside to Commercial Square, enjoying the view of across the river and listening to a busking guitar player before walking across the square to watch skaters on a pop up ice rink (by that, I mean a temporary one.  Most of the skaters were obviously first timers, their antics as they tried to stay upright on the ice made me laugh out loud.  We wandered through the town, checking out a few stalls before eventually made our way back to the ship for lunch.
Looking across the river Tagus from the entrance steps into Commercial Square
Commercial Square Lisbon
Pop up ice rink in Commercial Square, Lisbon
Tuk Tuks
Beautiful old trams
And fountains
Both Peter and I were acting as escorts for  "Lisbon Highlights and Estoril", in the afternoon, so we got a bus each.  It was a pleasant little tour, with quite a few photo stops.  It helped that the sun was out and the air was warm too.
A commerative fountain at the monument at the top of Edward VII Park in Lisbon.  Peter doesn't like it. 
The beach at Estoril.  It seemed like a really nice little tourist area, but the main attraction here is the casino - 2000 slot machines!
Belem Tower
Back on the ship we waited for the last tour bus to return and watched the other ships in port prepare to leave.  Alongside the diminutive Marco Polo were P & O's Ventura and Cunard's Queen Victoria.  Both hold a couple of thousand passengers and both seemed quite massive in comparison to us.  Peter calls them "floating blocks of flats", and to be honest, the Ventura fitted that description very well, although the Queen Vic was a little prettier.

Both ships left before us, the Ventura first.  We watched as she moved away from the dock to make her way down river.  As she did so, her captain blasted the Ventura's very loud horn.  Then he did it again, and again.  The Queen Vic answered with an equal number of very loud blasts, and so the Ventura had another go.  Much to the amusement of everyone on the rear deck of the Marco Polo, it turned into a game of  "My horn's louder than your horn".  I don't know if there is any language in it, but the ships seemed to be sort of out calling each other.  Naturally,  our ship was far too well mannered to join in, (either that or the captain thought the Marco Polo didn't stand a chance against those two).  Instead, her passengers stood on the rear deck and laughed at the antics of the bigger ships.

Back in the cabin, we noticed with disappointment that the port holes were still covered.  We got ready for dinner, which was very nice, as Loverly Jubbly cooked chicken noodles to order for us.  So nice in fact we had to go back for seconds. 

And after dinner we enjoyed the guest act in the show lounge, Al Brown.  He's a comedian and I found him very entertaining, really making me giggle.  Very enjoyable. Ross, the Cruise Director did go on to steal the show at the very end  though.  He came on to make the usual evening announcements about what else was happening on the ship, telling us that we could go and join in the quiz in this lounge, or the cabaret, or listen to .....  and finished with "or you could get up and leave the room whilst I'm still talking to you".   Both Peter and I were in stitches, although I suspect it was wasted on those it was directed at,  oblivious, they just carried on making their way out of the show lounge.

So now it's the end of the day, the ship is moving steadily towards Lanzarote and the sea is relatively calm. Tomorrow is another sea day. Peter has to work of course, but I don't (hee hee), so I'm looking forward to a nice relaxing day.

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