|Our cruise fellow diners|
After writing the last entry, paying our bill and collecting our passports, we had our last evening dinner in the restaurant of the Monarch, only to find our Spanish fellow diners paid for a cake and a bottle of champagne for all of us, which was a very nice thought. Instead of eight of us on a table for ten as it had been for most of the nights, we were joined by the other couple allocated to our table who had eaten every other night in the buffet. Finally we were a full table, but it was a bit strange that they left it to the last night. Everyone on good form except Jimmy who was really suffering from toothache, he put on a brave face but was clearly in a lot of pain.
|We're dancing alone on the floor for Jackies birthday|
|Us on bord with Partick (who we visited the Panama Canal locks with)|
We docked earlier than expected, waking Jackie up at 04:00am, we headed up to early breakfast mayhem at 06:00 and then gathered in the disco bar where we were to wait in groups before leaving the boat. We were really pleased to see Jimmy and Jean in there waiting to bid us farewell, Jimmy had had almost no sleep with his toothache and was hoping to find a dentist to take it out. The whole process of disembarkation was smooth and well run, we were led off, showed our passes for the last time to be electronically checked out, walked into customs where our baggage was waiting already cleared through and out into the sunshine of lovely Lisbon.
|Waiting for the walking tour at Praca Luis de Camoes|
It was quite a nice hostel, but check in was at 3:00pm and there was no way we were getting in sooner (it was only about 9:30am), so we logged into the internet, caught up with emails, did the last blog entry and sat there spaced out through lack of sleep and too much alcohol the night before. We thought that on this cruise we would be able to avoid jet lag, but it’s funny how we could undo all that by over indulging the night before!
|Lisbon from the Miradourode Sao Pedro de Alcantara. The fort on the hill is not ancient, it was built only 76 years ago by the Portugese facist dictator|
|The Elevador da Gloria|
|The Igreja de Sao Roque, which may look a bit boring on the outside...|
|Our guide explaining why the doorway is low (people used to be shorter!)|
|The Elevador de Santa Justa|
It all worked out and we got back to her house and collected the secondhand car she had found and collected for us. Lots of work for her but we are very appreciative of her efforts. In no time we were back in the groove of things and, already it seems as though we’ve hardly been away. Oh well, let’s start planning the next trip!
|This is actually the entrance to the main railway station|
|Arrivig back at Birmingham airport|
|And finally back to Birmingham and little Sooty cat, who we'll be housesitting for once owner Abi heads off on her holidays|