Day 0: Heading off to Lisboa

Today is “z day”. The week was busy but in a good way. However, I am a bit tired and could need a weekend. Also, I did not have much training lately because of a combination of traveling and a poor choice of hotels. Hence, I am in a less than perfect shape. Or I am just getting old. However, for the first time on one of these trips my Achilles Heel is ok, the doctor told me, and so is my back, thanks to regular training during winter. Only concern right now: My left wrist is hurting a bit from training in the cold (and age). Let’s see how this unfolds in the coming days.

In the morning it was cold, dark and the rain is poring down. Hard to believe that I won’t need much warm clothes in the coming weeks. I was really tense and nervous. Carolin, my wife and confidant, ran me through my checklist. In theory, it should all work out. At least she was confident. My baggage was surprisingly small though.

This is the first time in my adult life that I head off for three full weeks without a computer. It makes me feel vulnerable and a bit naked even. I will be operating solely from my smartphone for the next 23 days. The business is in full swing. So many things can – and I am sure – will happen, but we have a great team in place and I will have to learn to be hands off. Well, good luck with that.

We were driving to the airport. The cardboard box for my bike is so huge that it won’t fit in my Volvo – that is rare. So, we needed a trailer. I hoped they would accept it as luggage, though.

It turned out to be a non-issue. Checking in a huge box is faster and the service is way friendlier than with regular baggage. Also, several people jumped by to help because I got stuck at the airports’ sliding doors – they were just too narrow 😉

Also, despite all articles of “experts” in the net, getting a drone and batteries through security is disturbingly simple. No questions asked. Piece of cake.

That was a good start for this trip. The flight was uneventful and close to 3 hours. Boy, and I really want to cycle most of this back? After one hour or so we left the clouds behind and flew across the Alps in a clear and sunny blue sky. Nice.

I was really curious if my bike would be in good shape when I collect the box. That is, if there will be a box at all. After some waiting in a remote part of the airport my bike arrived.

The box was ripped open but there was still a bike. However, some parts had fallen out of the box and are now somewhere between Frankfurt and Lisboa. Among them were my power bank and a cover for my phone. I will need to replace this tomorrow.

The next challenge was putting everything back together and avoiding stupid mistakes. Peter, my longtime mechanic, was unreachable or would at least be unable to fix things. So, I should better make it work. Then, I will have to elegantly dispose off my temporary bike shelter. Hopefully, in a legal or at least morally conducive way. Both tasks worked out just fine.

The hotel was just over 10km away from the airport and close to downtown Lisboa. This will be my only regular hotel for this trip, I hope. People looked like I was an alien in my gear and with my bike in the lobby.

Metropolitan areas and bikes usually don’t go well together for me. Cobblestones, tram tracks, traffic lights, busses and scooters make life difficult. I took the time to cycle around a bit in the city to get an impression. With the hills, the old cable cars, the big bridge and the waterfront it reminds me of San Francisco. I came across some beautiful places and some rather ugly ones. But everything was full of sun and people are so relaxed.

The riverside of Tejo looks really cool. Will explore that tomorrow.

Ana, a coach colleague at the Center for Creative Leadership who lives in Lisbon, picked me up for dinner. We ate at a transformed factory nearby. We had a really cool view on “the bridge” and river Tejo. For the first time in my life I had fresh squid. Not as bad as I thought;-)

It was very nice to catch up. She also helped me to buy a new power bank shortly before midnight – which was really great.

Insight of the day: the better I prepare the lesser I seem to need it.

One thought on “Day 0: Heading off to Lisboa

  1. Klasse, dass du gut in Lissabon angekommen bist, samt Rad 😊! Eine Stadt mit wunderschönen Ecken. Hab einen guten Start in deine Tour! Herzliche Grüße vom Bodensee vom zis-Treffen, wir denken an dich! Herzlich, Ruprecht

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