One of the hardest parts about taking night trains is that you have to check out of a hostel and wander a city for many hours before you can board your train. After checking out of our hostel we headed to the train station to store our luggage. It was already extremely hot and there was no way we could carry those bags around with us for 12 hours. We essentially wandered through the city. We searched for a flea market in the Alfama district but never found it. We stopped at H&M to get some clothes we decided we needed (and to cool off in the ac). We then found various parks, coffee shops, and cafes to kill time at until we made our way back to the train station. We each brought one book on the trip, assuming that it would get us through the three weeks however my book (Life of Pi) was almost done by the time we boarded the train to leave Lisbon.
View of the water
A little about night trains. They can be pricey (although not too bad with a rail pass) but you have to be willing to meet new people. Most cabins have fours beds which means with the three of us traveling together we were placed with a fourth person. On this train it was a nice girl from Canada who was backingpacking around Europe for two months with her boyfriend. Listening to her story made me very happy with the planning we put into our trip. They didn't have any real plans so they had spent most of the previous four days riding buses and trains trying to find a city that had a room for them to stay in which was apparently not going well for them.