How not to spend the first leg of holiday searching for hours on end for hotel gone missing.

Day one of Miss Kid and Grocery Gal’s long anticipated overseas sojourn was a far cry from merrily frolicking on the beach, squishing sand between their toes and splashing in the turquoise hued waters of the Atlantic.  Non.  Instead, the duo was subjected to a comedy of errors, enduring setback after setback, as they struggled to navigate the now pitch-black cobblestone avenues in search of their Lisbon hotel. 

Where is the beach??

It was well past the witching hour and vagrants and other highly questionable characters were the only creatures out and about, lurking dangerously about the darkened passageways, on the lookout for unsuspecting victims of the confused and clueless kind.  So, it was with a dreaded sense of trepidation that Le Niece and pal placed one hesitant step in front of the other, on a now desperate quest to locate their perhaps non-existent accommodations.  Perhaps they should have paid a bit more attention to reading the fine print when hastily booking their digs, as it had clearly stated that the hotel was a tad challenging to find, tucked discretely on a side street away from the main drag.  The signage itself was somewhat sketchy and completely undecipherable in the dead of night, which was not so much of an issue in broad daylight, but quite the daunting task when searching with only the starry eyed heavens to guide you.  Yikes!!

Yikes!!  It's pitch black!!  Where is the road??

On the verge of tears and a zillion miles away from home, Miss Kid lamented her luckless fate, stranded in the middle of nowhere on a deserted street, with not even a signpost to guide her way, clue-less as what to do next.  Her slightly older best pal was now bawling hysterically alongside the curb, an undignified mess spilling a tsunami of lakes and puddles, in the throws of a crying fit of the century.  Gulping and gasping for air, her only words a gibbering mishmash of the completely undecipherable kind. 

Perhaps it was the echo of wailing loud enough to wake the dead, startling even those residing across the Atlantic or perhaps it was the onslaught of complaints from disgruntled locals rudely awakened from their slumber, that had garnered the curious attention of a cruising police vehicle; nonetheless, salvation had miraculously arrived in the form of ever so helpful officers of the law abiding kind.

The kinder than kind knights in shining armour took pity upon the dishevelled gals and escorted them, as if royalty, to their Lisbon hotel, which incidentally, was just around the corner.  Somehow, the duo had ended up traipsing endlessly in circles, with their hotel located just a convenient hop, skip and a jump away.  Who knew??  Not les clued-out Gals, obviously.  One, incidentally, can get quite disoriented whilst meandering along age-old passageways without a map in the dead of night, in a foreign locale, an especially problematic task when jet-lagged and bleary-eyed.

Pleased as punch that their meltdown of the hopelessly lost kind had resulted in the unexpected outcome of being chauffeured, movie-star style, in a pretend limo of the blaring lights and screeching siren kind, Miss Niece and best pal were beside themselves with glee at the vision of snuggly snoozing in their beds, or so, they foolishly dreamt.

It’s too bad though, that their trials and tribulations were far from over, for you see, just because the gals were safely deposited at their hotel, didn’t quite mean that they were actually inside their hotel. 

And you actually thought that this story was over? 

Come trudge along the cobblestone rues and avenues with Miss Niece and Grocery Gal on a holy-grail quest of the century, on a mission to locate their now missing hotel.  Hotel eventually located, but the gals’ tribulations are far from over.  Like, seriously?  There’s more?  Does it ever end?  Yep, stay tuned for the wrap up of Day One of Miss Kid’s miss-adventures in Portugal.

Next post – in two weeks!!  Wednesday, December 10th.  Stay tuned!!

Day One of Miss Kid's Portugal adventure: Luggage lost. Hopelessly lost. Hotel gone missing.

You know that you’re in a bit of a conundrum when your respective airline sends your bags packing on an adventure of their own to explore yet another part of the globe without you.  You, meanwhile, are stuck with just the clothes on your back, in the midst of a torrential downpour that has no intention of letting up anytime soon.  Needless to say, your umbrella is buried at the bottom of your suitcase, and is merrily jetting around the globe, soaking up the sights and sounds of more exotic locales.  To make matters even worse, you are now hopelessly lost amongst a maze of cobblestone rues and avenues, a zillion miles away from home, with your “conveniently” situated hotel nowhere to be located.  Welcome to Day One of Miss Kid and Grocery Gal’s long anticipated overseas sojourn on what can only be described as the vacation from hell.

Umbrella off on an adventure of its own

Lost amongst the cobblestones somewhere 

And, to think, it had all started out so swimmingly well.  Their last minute booking was that rare combination of dirt-cheap price (Clue #01) for a four star hotel (Clue #02) at peak high season (Clue #03).  So what if their across the pond holiday included 3 layovers over a 24 hour time frame?  Why go the direct route when you can instead save a couple of bucks and languish in foreign airports for hours on end waiting for a connecting flight?  After all, when one is 18, young and carefree, time is on your side and jetting there is just half the fun, stumbling across an avalanche of roadblocks and diversions along the way.  Just for fun, of course.  Yeah.  Right.  Whatever.

Which layover was this one??????

And so, a mere 24 hours later, Miss Niece and best friend found themselves sans luggage in Lisbon, map-less and clue-less as how to high-tail it to their economy priced luxury accommodation, all without getting drenched, in a mad-dash across town.  It’s quite unfortunate that their decision to forgo a five minute cab ride so as to conserve a couple of Euros and opt instead to hop on the metro on the night of the World Cup was not the wisest move of all, with the train jammed to capacity with the rowdy of the rowdiest bunch of revellers out to paint the town red. 

Not one to be easily spooked, World Traveller Kid Extraordinaire felt a slight tinge of apprehension as she boarded the over-crowded train, the hooting and hollering of young lads and lecherous old geezers adding a sense of unease to the journey ahead.  The fair-haired duo were perhaps in the wrong place at the wrong time, caught in a frenzy of over-zealous sports fanatics celebrating the victory of a century.

Bull-dozed with non-stop catcall after catcall of hollering gone wild and up to their eye-balls with the lewd and crude antics of partygoers gone mad, Le Niece and pal cleverly executed one of the wisest moves of the century by electing to hop off the train at the next station, several stops earlier than their scheduled exit.  Better safe than sorry, the motto goes, even though the trek across town would now get them to their digs even later than originally anticipated.  Yikes!!  Another sleepless night involving trekking for hours on end but heck, look at the bright side, there’s no miserable schlepping of luggage this time round!!

As darkness had descended some hours on in and with the witching hour drawing near, a sense of unease permeated the creepiness of the shadows lurking about, unhinging even the most resilient of globe-trotters, let alone two lost and forlorn teenage girls.

Yikes, it's dark!!  Where are we????????

And then the clock struck twelve.

Come jet around the globe with Miss Kid, on a journey like none other, where luggage is lost, maps are undecipherable and hotels are nowhere to be found.  Come stumble along on a quest to somewhere or anywhere, far away across the pond, frantically searching for your home away from home.

Next blog – Wednesday November 26th (in two weeks, every other Wednesday)   

Do the gals eventually end up at their hotel or are there a few roadblocks tripping them up along the way?  Stay tuned for the continuation of the adventures of Miss Kid and Grocery Gal’s mis-adventures in Lisbon!!