Wednesday, 4 March 2015

Portugal - New Airline Services - Summer 2015.

An excellent article this morning, courtesy of Portuguese online daily "Notícias Ao Minuto", summarising all new routes/destinations to be operated from Portugal's Airports over the 2015 Summer Season.

Summary in English:

- Aeroporto Sá Carneiro Airport(OPO) - Porto

New Routes: Stuttgart, Bristol, London – Luton e Manchester (easyjet); L'orient (Ryanair); Istanbul (Turkish Airlines); Dusseldorf (German Wings) e Prague (Czech Airlines).

New Services: Luxemburg, Nantes, Stuttgart (easyJet); Ponta Delgada, L'Orient (Ryanair) e Zurich (Swiss Airlines).

- Aeroporto da Portela Airport (LIS)- Lisbon

New Routes: Ponta Delgada (easyJet and Ryanair); Warsaw (Ryanair and Wizzair).

New Services: Lyon (Transavia) and Budapest (Wizzair).

- Aeroporto Internacional de Faro Airport (FAO) - Faro, Algarve 

New Routes: Barcelona (Vueling); Madrid (Air Nostrum)(Not confirmed on any website?????? Is this being confused with the new Air Nostrum route to Faro do Vigo in Galicia?) and Prague (Travel Service).

New Services: Stockholm (SAS), Dusseldorf (German Wings) e Zurch (Air Berlin).

- Aeroporto da Madeira, Funchal (FNC), Madeira 

New Routes: Edinburgh (easyJet).

New Services: Barcelona (Vueling), Cologne/Koln (Air Berlim), London – Gatwick (British Airways), Madrid (Iberia), Munich(TUI fly) and Manchester (easyJet).

- Aeroporto João Paulo II Airport, Ponta Delgada (PDL), Açores

New Routes: London (Ryanair).

New Services: Lisbon (Ryanair and easyJet) and Porto (Ryanair).

Public Transport from Porto, Portugal to Salamanca, Spain

There are two options for travelling between Porto and Salamanca by public transport as follows:

Rail:

There is a daily train connection between Porto and Salamanca as follows:

Porto-Campanha Dept: 22h00 
Salamance Arr: 04h53 (Spanish Time)
Transit Time: +- 6hrs.
Change trains at Coimbra B

See: www.cp.pt

Bus:

There is currently a Monday to Saturday service operated by intercentro.pt / alsa.es as follows:

Porto Dept: 10:15
Salamanca Arr: 17:30 (Spanish Time)
Transit time: 6hrs15min

On Sundays the service runs as follows:

Porto Dept: 20:30
Salamanca Arr: 03:00 (Spanish Time)
Transit time: 7hrs30min

The bus departs from the InterCentro/InterNorte Bus Station at Metro Casa da Musica in the Boavista area of Porto.

Alfa-Pendular - Stations in Lisbon and Porto

All Alfa-Pendular trains operating the daily Lisbon to Porto route start from Santa Apolonia Station in Lisbon, with the exception of the twice-daily services from Faro in the Algarve to Porto, which calls at Lisbon Gare Oriente Station and Lisbon Entrecampos Station. All Alfa-Pendular services call at Lisbon Gare Oriente Station.
In Porto, Alfa Pendular services only call at Porto Campanha station. 

Full timetables for Alfa-Pendular services in pdf format can be found here: 

http://www.cp.pt/StaticFiles/Passageiros/horarios/horarios/PDF/ap_ic/ap_ic.pdf

Buses between Lisbon Airport (Portela) and Gare Oriente Staion, Lisbon, Portugal

If perchance one doesn't want to use the Metro between Lisbon Airport and Gare Oriente Station in Lisbon, local Carris Bus Route 744 operates this route throughout the day.
First bus is a 05:35 and Last one just after 20:30.
I've used it a couple of times when coming up from Lagos and the Algarve on the RENEX.pt overnight "Redeye" arriving at Oriente at 05:00.
Overnight Carris Night Route 208 also operates the route between Gare Oriente and the Airport.
Bear in mind these buses may not have much space for big bags as they are local buses.

Sunday, 1 March 2015

Porto, Portugal to Santiago da Compostela, Galicia, Spain by Public Transport

There are two public transport options for travelling between Porto and Santiago da Compostela.

Train:

There is a twice daily "Celta" train connecting Porto Campanha Station and Vigo in Galicia. Only the morning train has an onward connection to Santiago da Compostela according to renfe.es, the Spanish Railways website.

Daily Schedule as follows:

Name: TRENCELTA No. 12424 MD
Dept: Porto Campanha 08.15
Arr: Vigo Guixar 11.30
Dept: Vigo Guixar 12:13
Arr: Santiago da Compostela 13:37

Bus/Coach

There is a daily bus service operated by alsa.es(or associates) that departs Porto Casa da Musica Bus station as follows:

Dept: Porto 12:45
Arr: Santiago Compostela 17:45
Transit Time: 4h00 (Note time in Spain is one hour ahead of Portugal.)

This service operates via Porto Airport (15 minutes later), Braga and Vigo.

Lagos, Algarve, Portugal to Fatima, Portugal

A day trip from Lagos to Fatima makes a very long day.

There is no easy train connection as Fatima station is 20km from Fatima with infrequent bus connections. 

There is effectively only two ways to currently make the trip:

By Road:

Viamichelin.pt gives a distance of 381km one way with a transit time of 4hrs 15minutes, so +- 800km return trip by toll motorway.

Based on February 2015 prices, the estimated cost by car would be:

Tolls: One way 31.35 €
Fuel (based on prevailing prices): 43.62 €

By Bus:

By public transport, one would have to use the long distance EVA TRANSPORTES/REDE EXPRESSOS bus service via Lisbon Sete Rios Bus Station.

See the Rede Expressos website: http://www.rede-expressos.pt/

A day return trip only really works on weekdays. If one catches the 05:45 EVA departure (Monday to Friday) from Lagos Bus Station, one arrives in Fatima at 11:30. There is a 60 minute layover in Lisbon.

One can then get the 18:30 departure back from Fatima, arriving Lagos at 00:15. Again there is a layover in Lisbon.

These are both daily services and times are correct as of February 2015.

As far as the writer is aware, there are currently no organised day-trips from Lagos to Fatima.

One can contact the information services at the Sanctuary for more information about the Sanctuary: www.santuario-fatima.pt/portal/index.php

Santuario di Fatima

By Aracuano (Own work) [GFDL or CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Sevilla, Spain - Stores specialising in Flamenco shoes and accoutrements.

The following shops in the central area of Sevilla sell Flamenco shoes and other Sevillana accoutrements:

Roberto Garrudo
C/ Córdoba, 9
41004 Sevilla (España)

http://www.zapatosdebaileflamenco.com/

Candela Solo Flamenco
C/Harinas 34,
41001-Sevilla (España)

http://www.candelasevilla.com/web2010/situacion.php?

Menkes.es
Calle Cuna, 20
41004 Sevilla (España)

http://www.menkes.es/menkes-tiendas/sevilla/

Wednesday, 25 February 2015

Portugal - A real Brain Wave and not a Flight of Fancy!!

Although I don't normally write about IT/Science matters here, a piece on the BBC News website this morning, got me thinking about the future of flight, travel and tourism.

Imagine being on a Ryanair plane in 10-20 years time, taking off from London Stansted (STN), heading for Faro (FAO) for your Algarve holiday, and flown by a pilot sitting in Lisbon who is wearing a skull cap with electrodes to pilot the aircraft!

Sci-Fi? Sounds Far-Fetched?

No! Portuguese IT wizards, (and they are!), at Tekver EMEA have developed and are proving that such a system may be possible, using brain power to fly drones.

See the BBC News Report here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-31584547

and this blog post by Tekver: http://tekevernews.blogspot.pt/2015/02/using-just-your-brain-to-control-drone.html
.
Parabéns! Força Portugal!!

Well done the BBC and SIC Noticias for reporting this!




and on Radio Renascença

Tuesday, 24 February 2015

Cruise Vessel calls in Portimão, Portugal

There is only one quay at Portimão located on a dusty 1km long plot of land bordering the Rio Arade and situated equidistant between Portimão town (1km) and Praia da Rocha (1km) (Think of a mini Benidorm!) albeit with a lovely beach.
If the vessel is bigger than 40,000 tonnes or have a deep draught, one may end up anchoring off-shore and being transported into the Port by tender as the Arade bar and estuary require dredging to accommodate vessels of greater size. 
The Fort of Santa Catarina located at one end of the main street of Praia da Rocha is about 1,5km distant from the main quay. This press article (in Portuguese) about the fort from 2104 reports that it is in a state of degradation: http://bit.ly/1zDRh5L
At present Portimão town becomes more run down by the day, with the local council having the highest municipal debt in the country. 
Depending on how much time one has, a tour to SilvesMonchique or elsewhere in the Algarve would be a better choice than a day in downtown Portimão.
Otherwise, basically walk along the riverside into town, enjoy the seafood in some of the river-side restaurants by the old iron road bridge. One place that might be worth a visit en route is the Portimão Museum. 
You will see from the photo a vessel moored along the quayside about 500m south of the Museum.
More photos and reports on vessels visiting the town can be seen here on this great site portimaocruises.blogspot.pt

Monday, 23 February 2015

Where to shop for Sports and Electronic Goods in Lisbon, Portugal

Since Sportzone closed at Chiado a year ago, there are no large sport shops in down-town Lisbon (Baixa). There is a large FNAC store for electronics, books, cameras etc at Chiado.
For ease of access by pubic transport, I recommend going to either the Centro Colombo shopping mall, Metro Colegio/Luz-Militar on the Metro Linha Azul (Blue Line) direction Amadora Este or the Centro Comercial Vasco da Gama shopping mall at Parque das Nações/Gare Oriente, accessible via the Linha Vermelha (Red Line) direction Aeroporto or by suburban train from Sete Rios, Entrecampos, Areeiro or Sta. Apolonia staions. .
At both these locations, there are large Sportszone.pt sport outlets, as well as worten.pt and fnac.pt outlets which offer electronics, mobile, books, etc etc.
Mediamarkt.pt have an outlet near Centro Colombo and Staples.pt have one near Gare Oriente.