Thursday, 16 April 2015

Lisbon Airport Terminal 2

One cannot walk to Lisbon Airport T2.
Directly contrary to the spirit of the EU's policy on freedom of movement, the only way to get to T2 is by car, taxi or the shuttle from outside the entry to Departures at Terminal 1. (T1)

Warning, Will Robertson! - TAP-Air Portugal - Pilot's Strike - 1 May - 10 May 2015

Despite the fact the Portuguese Government is barred by EU rules from pumping more funds(even if this money was available,which it is not) into the State owned airline TAP-Air Portugal (www.flytap.com), the main national pilot's union decided last night to call a TEN (yes, ten day) strike from 1st May until 10th May 2015.
See(in portuguese): http://bit.ly/1yxzPFs
The Portuguese Govt. has been trying to privatise the airline, but forced by the air-crew unions, it has put so many restrictions on potential buyers, that yesterday the Spanish Globalia Group, owners of Air Europa, pulled their bid saying it would be impossible to run a privatised TAP with all the restrictions.
See (in Portuguese): http://bit.ly/1yuQKbT
It seems like the TAP-Air Portugal unions are hell bent on taking the airline down the same road as Olympic, Alitalia and Malev. The airline needs capital to develop and the EU will not allow more subsidies.
So BIG warning, it looks like we are in for a possible summer of discontent with TAP Air-Portugal. The Portuguese Govt. may use rarely-utilized legal powers citing "national interest" to stop the strike but I have a feeling the next few months are going to be difficult for the airline.
So, unfortunately, one may wish to avoid flying TAP-Air Portugal for the time being.

Monday, 13 April 2015

Supermarkets near the HF Fenix Lisboa Hotel

If one is staying at the Hotel HF Fénix Lisboa, on Marques de Pombal, the closest supermarket is probably the:
Pingo Doce
Calçada Bento da Rocha Cabral, 16 - 1250-047 Lisboa
1250- Lisboa
Lisboa
Open: 8:30 / 21:00

Lagos,Algarve,Portugal - Frente Riberinha Car Park - Tariffs - April 2015

As requested, a photo of the current car parking charges for the underground car park "Frente Riberinha" on the Avenida dos Descobrimentos, Lagos, Algarve, Portugal.


Note: época alta = High Season | época baixa = Low Season

Saturday, 11 April 2015

Travel from Rome,Italy to Faro,Portugal

There are currently no direct airline routes between Rome and Faro.

Most airlines, with the exception of TAP, Lufthansa, and a couple of Scandanavian operators, are low-cost and therefore, one would have to buy two one sector tickets via a hub and hope the flights connect.

Vueling.com, (a Catalunyan low-cost ), begins seasonal flights between Barcelona and Faro from 20 Junee 2016. They also operate Rome to Barcelona. Unusually for a low-cost they allow multi-sector bookings. I have used them in the past to travel Sevilla to Napoli via their Barcelona base...all on a single ticket.

There is a flight available on 20 June as follows:

Roma (FCO): 09:55

Barcelona: 11:45

Barcelona: 13:55

Faro (FAO): 14:50 (-1)

Another option, but not lowcost, is with IAG's Iberia Group via Madrid Barajas. Iberia operates the sector Roma to Madrid Barajas and its subsidiary Air Nostrum will be operating three flights per week in the high season between Madrid Barajas and Faro.

On 1st June, 2015 when flight start there is availability on the route as follows:

07:45h - Roma Fiumicino (FCO) Terminal 3

10:20h - Madrid Adolfo Suarez Barajas (MAD) - Terminal 4

Duración: 2h 35m

11:35h - Madrid Adolfo Suarez Barajas (MAD) - Terminal 4

11:50h - Faro (-1)

Duración: 1h 15m.

Current price is around 250€ at time of checking. See: http://www.airnostrum.es/

The final option would be by TAP Air Portugal. See http://www.flytap.com/

At present there appear to be three to four connections per day via Lisbon in early June for prices around € 175.00 at the time of writing.

However, I would issue a major warning about booking with TAP so far ahead. The company is currently in the final phase of yet another attempt at privatization. The Pilot and Aircrew unions are all making mutterings about new strikes in common months as things come to a head.

Unaccompanied minors travelling in the EU

Within the European Union, unaccompanied minors under the age of 18 MAY require some authorisation when travelling between countries.

As regards minors entering Portugal see this pdf document from the website of the Embassy of Portugal in Washington, D.C.

http://portugal.usembassy.gov/uploads/Xl/ep/XlepckUL1UNRC_CaspnJZA/minors_exiting_entering.pdf

If flying, one should also check with the airline to be used as they may have additional requirements.

Wi-fi Internet Access on board Long-Distance buses between Lisbon and the Algarve

Most Rede Expressos, Renex and EVA buses on service between Lisbon and the Algarve now come equipped with on-board wifi internet access. However, one never knows beforehand if the bus in question will be wifi equipped.

Signal quality en-route varies, especially on the stretch between Almodovar and Messines as the signal comes from the 3G/4G mobile network and depends on "line of sight"! Also if everyone on board is using their wifi-enable devices, the routers can become overloaded.

Friday, 10 April 2015

Train from Seville to Faro

My reply to a really stupid question on the TripAdvisor Seville Forum which has be previously answered hundreds of times.......

"Obviously, you have not searched Google or these forums as you would have found a myriad of posts on this subject going back at least 9 years!
There are and never has been a direct train line from Seville to Faro.
Perhaps you are using a printed 1980's travel guide? At that time, there was a local train, (since discontinued) from Huelva to Ayamonte on the Guadiana. From there, there was a ferry to Vila Real Sta. Antonio, and then another local train to Faro. The line between Huelva and Ayamonte was taken up over 20 years ago!!!!! Hence, it is an "ex-Railway"!!!
So if you insist on wanting to go by train from Seville to Faro, be prepared to take AVE from Seville to Madrid, the overnight Lusitano Express to Lisbon and then an Alfa-Pendular/Intercidades from Lisbon to Faro.
To repeat, once again for future generations (or at least the next 2 generations), THERE IS NO DIRECT (or easy indirect) RAIL SERVICE BETWEEN Seville and Faro.
Now if you want to travel between Seville and Faro by public transport, go to this page on Cubsur's excellent website, which for the past 9 years has been the main source for information on this topic!!!
http://algarvebus.info/001.htm"

Thursday, 9 April 2015

CNN - Excellent Article on Portugal's Central Region

CNN has today published an excellent article on the tourist offering of Portugal's Central Region.

See: http://bit.ly/portugalcentralregion

This certainly echoes my thoughts in recent years that there is tremendous Tourism potential in the area between Lisbon and Porto. With low-cost operators such as Ryanair.com, Easyjet.com, Wizzair.com, Vueling.com, Germanwings.com and Transavia.com expanding their routes to and from Lisbon and Porto Airports, this has got to be good news.

I note that the article makes no mention of the delightful town of Tomar with its Templar castle! A great omission.

A Very Recent Photo of the Castle in Tomar

Monday, 30 March 2015

Peneda-Gerês,

10 of Europe's best national parks - UK Guardian … that you've probably never heard of  http://gu.com/p/47v28