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This morning, we arrived at our final port stop, Lisbon in Portugal.

All-aboard tome was 12:30pm, so we didn’t have a great deal of time to do anything too ambitious. To top it all, when we arrived at around 8m, it was raining hard outside which wasn’t very encouraging. Nevertheless, after a leisurely breakfast, we donned our waterproofs and headed outside for a short walk.

Soon after disembarking via a damp and slightly slippy gangway, the rain stopped, and our waterproofs came off and went into the backpack. With the absence of any wind to speak of, the air was actually quite warm and muggy.

Parked behind the Columbus was only one other ship, The ‘Celebrity Reflection’; a mountainous monstrosity that looks like a hideous floating block of flats and makes even the Columbus look small.

We walked from the cruise terminal towards Commercial Square, and along the pedestrianised Rua Aurea, to Dom Pedro IV Square, with its fountains and statue of ol’ Pedro himself. Along the way, we passed the Santa Justa elevator, which is an intriguing metal-build structure with a viewing platform on top, that we’ve seen lots of times on tour, but never had a chance to investigate at close quarters. We might have paid money to take the trip to the top if it wasn’t for the massive queue around its base to do just that. Time simply wasn’t on our side (maybe next time).

By the time we reached Dom Pedro Square, the rain was starting to return, and time was getting on, so after taking a few photographs we started to head back towards the ship.

As I’ve mentioned previously, Tracey and I have been logging our walking activities with a mobile step-counting app, and couldn’t figure out why, between the two of us, I seem to be accruing a noticeably higher step count. Having experimented with different apps, and different circumstances, we’ve come to the conclusion that part of the reason for this is down to the phones themselves, but to put the matter to rest once and for all, we also decided to run a final experiment as we walked back to the ship. We started walking at the same time, from the same point, and counted to one hundred steps ourselves, only to discover, upon reaching one hundred that Tracey finished quite a distance ahead of me. So it’s official… I’m just a short a***se.

After lunch, I held my final class, which felt slightly weird, with having two more sea days to go, but that’s just the way things have worked out; the craft room slots have been shared out amongst three tutors, each getting five sessions, which means I’m going to have the final two sea days totally free to do with as I wish… not sure what I’m going to do with them, though…

In the evening, we went to watch Steve Deveraux, who is a singer with an impressive musicals CV as long as your arm (and including TV’s ‘The Voice’) who had boarded the ship at the same time as us way back in Tilbury. He’s a big guy with a big, deep voice, yet to me it sounded like a lifetime of smoking might have taken its toll…

Peter Woolley

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