April 2007


Hotel Mystery

I arrived at my hotel in Lisbon without any problems whatsoever—from plane to hotel could not have been much more than 15 minutes, and a few minutes later I had removed my pants and put on a pair of shorts—much more appropriate for the hottest weather I’ve encountered this year: 26°C, or about 80°F.

The hotel is in a fantastic location, vis-a-vie work, but not so close to the Rio Tejo or the active touristic parts of town. For that I will either have to walk or take the Metro—and the first thing I did yesterday was take the Metro to its last stop, Cais de Sodré, and walk back to the hotel.

The Metro, and indeed the entire city, was packed with what I could only describe as “boy scouts,” or “girl scouts” (since both genders were present—perhaps “Joy Scouts”) of all ages. From what looked like 7 or 8 years old through, presumably the leaders, in their 60s.

Fishing on Rio TejoThe last Metro stop, Cais de Sodré, is also a train station with trains to the west (not too far, mind you) and northern parts of Portugal, right on the Rio Tejo. I took a path to the base area, paying way too much for a Coca-Cola, and not seeing the river at all: it was blocked off due to construction. There was one open space where I could actually get to the water and admire the view. I did so briefly before heading on and walking all the day down Rua Augusta, finding my way to the Rua de Palma and walking all the way back to my hotel, which is, for those of you who care, is a short walk from the Alameda Metro stop.

The neighborhoods I walked through were not the ones advertised by the Portugal Tourism Board—it was the colorful part of town, complete with hookers, drug dealers, and the homeless. I was looking for somewhere to eat, and had I been feeling adventurous, I would have stopped in one of the many inexpensive snack bars at the northern end of the street, but I wasn’t, so such experiences will have to wait until later in the week when I am more acclimated to the area.

Once I got to the hotel, I asked the clerk, and he tried, but his first three recommendations were all closed and I ended up asking him to order pizza, which he did, from Pizza Hut. It tasted exactly like Pizza Hut, although on my mushroom and olive pizza, the olives were not sliced.

I crashed at 10:00, Portuguese time, having had little sleep Saturday night with my trip to the G-Garage in Leipzig.

The hotel I’m staying at is the first hotel I’ve ever been in that has a bidet in the bathroom. I know it’s not for washing feet, but after looking at it, I’m not clear on how one would use it for its intended purpose, so it will remain a decorative item in the bathroom.

Shower SOSThe bidet, however, is not the “hotel mystery” I am referring to, nor is the “SOS” alarm in the shower (something else I cannot recall ever having seen before). What I am most curious about is why this hotel, like so many others, sees fit to store bath towels in the wettest part of the bathroom: in the bath. I would think it would be relatively easy to install a rack somewhere else in the bathroom and store the clean, and dry, towels somewhere where the risk that they will get wet from errant spray is closer to zero.

At the hotels I’ve stayed at there usually is a semi-appropriate storage space, which I quickly move the towels to upon arrival (and each day upon departure of the maid), but this one does not. I have to store the towels on the toilet lid whilst getting myself clean.

5 comments to Hotel Mystery

  • Ed

    Now that your gone it has warmed up here in Indiana. It was 84 yesterday. LOL.

  • I wonder what the towel storage situation will be in South Africa. Perhaps I need to pack a towel for Swaziland? I seem to remember some places need you to bring your towel.

  • Ed: My luck.

    CQ: I would not worry about the towels. I wouldn’t book some place without towels unless it was under duress.

  • disenchanted

    I would make a bidet comment, but you would laugh too hard and spit soda on the keyboard.

    I really am having a blonde day today.

  • I wanna know what you were thinking!