Lisbon – back in Europe
Lisbon is looking fantastic. The sun is shining, the sky is blue, the air is crisp and clear. It’s great being in a different European city and appreciating the little things. Like the way the pavements are made from small segments of stone and are shaded by trees, the street cleaning water trucks showering the roads, the fantastic custard tarts. And the weather. It was grey and damp when I flew from England yesterday.
The good news is I get to enjoy an extra day in the city. The bad news is that I’ve got one day less for what was already a committed ride north to Birmingham (which isn’t much like Lisbon, though it does have its own special charm), to arrive on Saturday on the opening day of Motorcycle Live at the National Eexhibition Centre.
The Globetrotting Multistrada Enduro is stuck in Portugese customs. I’d hoped to start riding today, but the bike won’t be released till tomorrow afternoon, and then it needs a service and new tyres before I can begin the 1500-mile romp through Portugal, Spain and France. I’m booked onto the Friday night ferry from St Malo to Portsmouth, so my plan to visit Barcelona en route has been dropped. This is to be a head down push, obeying the satnav instructions to stick to autoroutes.
Reading through the posts of the previous Globetrotter riders (because I’ve got some time on my hands) I’m envious of what appear to be more leisurely schedules through unfamiliar landscapes and unexpected experiences, but there’s an element of stress to all travel and sometimes you’ve just got to cover the ground. I’m sure that the Multistrada will be up for the challenge.
So hopefully the bike clears customs tomorrow, gets a service and then we’re on our way. Before then, another day in Lisbon. And maybe another custard tart.