Arriving in Lisbon at the Start of our Portuguese Adventure with Viking River Cruises
Tuesday, September 29, 2015
This afternoon, I walked through the doors of the Hotel Tivoli Lisboa in Lisbon, Portugal and into the start of my next adventure with Viking River Cruises: a magnificent 10-day journey through the heart of Portugal’s port wine-producing Douro River Valley.
Known as Portugal’s River of Gold, this itinerary actually begins with a welcome two-night stay in Lisbon at the Hotel Tivoli before we transfer on October 1 to the city of Porto, Portugal – the historic home of port wine production and gateway to river cruises through this unique area of the world.
Once we arrive, we’ll embark Viking Torgil in the port of Gaia, located directly across the Douro from Porto. But that is in two days’ time. For now, the Hotel Tivoli and Lisbon will act as our home.
I fancy myself something of an experienced world traveller, but that certainly wasn’t the case today. I accidentally ingested almonds (I’m allergic) that had been sprinkled on my in-flight pasta dish on Air Canada Rouge, and followed that up with the coup de grace of nearly getting hit by a passing car as I stepped out of the taxi in front of the Hotel Tivoli. What can I say? My situational awareness today has been poor.
However, it snapped into focus when I arrived at the reception desk and gave my last name. Instead of pulling up my reservation, there was much typing of the keyboard behind the desk. The kind-but-worried clerk looked down at his concealed monitor and then back up at me. “I’m afraid we don’t have a reservation under that name.”