Day 2: BD Number One Lounge at Heathrow and LHR-LIS on TAP Portugal – 29 Dec 2009
Upon landing at Heathrow, I picked up my connecting boarding pass at the transit desk and proceeded over to the British Midland “Number One” Lounge. I already had a feel for it from Fozz’s photos, but I was blown away by the comfort, amenities, and decor of the lounge. It could easily have passed for a First Class lounge.
After a quick shower and a small snack, I realized that I only had about twenty minutes before my flight to Lisbon was scheduled to depart. It was a long walk over to the TAP gate, but I made it with ten minutes to spare.
The overhead bin space was gone in Business Class and an older English guy sitting next to me told me that the Economy passengers had poached the bin space. I was able to squeeze in one of my bags and placed the other in the front closet. The flight crew offered drinks prior to takeoff.
In the air, drinks and a bag of trail mix were distributed with a small tri-fold menu. There were two choices, chicken or veal for lunch. I ordered the veal, which tasted more like pot roast. Not too bad. One of my pet peeves is serving meals with plastic coverings over the food and the crew, while good overall, did not offer the polished service that characterizes carriers like Swiss Air.
We landed in heavy rains in Lisbon and I cleared passport control in a matter of minutes. I caught a bus into town and thankfully had no trouble finding my hostel for the evening.
For those who are familiar with my trip reports, you know that I hate spending a lot of money on hotel rooms and will generally stay in hostels if I am traveling alone. Yes! Hostel in Lisbon was about $28/night for a room with six bunks, but each bed had two electrical outlets and a lamp—a nice touch. Usually you have to fight for electrical outlets at youth hostels. I could have stayed at a more off-beat location for half the price, but I am glad I stayed where I did. Free wi-fi and breakfast as well.
After dropping my bags off I walked around the neighborhood for a couple hours. The rain had abated and the streets were still festively decorated for Christmas. After my walk up Avenida da Liberdade and back, I selected a small pizzeria for a late dinner, and then turned in for the evening. No jet lag!