Jon Graham’s Travel Journal : Lisbon, Portugal
“Channel 1 Networks Jon Graham has moved from Boulder to Florida and now Portugal. Jon will be sending dispatches from Portugal, Europe about his travels and impressions of European life compared to American Life.”

10 miles equals about 16 kilometers / 10 kilometers equals about 6.2 miles

60 miles per hour equals 97 kilometers per hour

100 kilometers per hour equals 62 miles per hour / 50 kilometers per hour equals 31 miles per hour

Today, 100 USD is about 88.9 euros. 100 euros is about 112.32 USD. So 10 euros equals about 11.23 US dollars right now, but the rate varies from day to day.

I think this is the least favorable exchange rate for us I have seen so far since we arrived almost one month ago. It was 10 euros equals about 12.50 USD then.

There is also a high rate surcharge conversion fee charged at banks and also an expensive access fee at ATMs. We found a bank named Millenium Bank that does not charge conversion fees and access fees at ATMs.

It was somewhat difficult but we opened a Millenium checking account here. We had to have a Portuguese tax ID number and an original fully signed rental contract with our address on it before we could obtain a banking account.

Bureaucratic paperwork and processes made getting these things somewhat difficult to obtain. There is not much free enterprise here and many businesses seem to be run by the Portuguese government. Each person usually takes a ticket with a number and waits for their turn.

17 degrees Celsius, less commonly called Centigrade here, is about 63 degrees Fahrenheit.
19 degrees Celsius is about 66 degrees Fahrenheit
25 degrees Celsius is about 77 degrees Fahrenheit
30 degrees Celsius is about 86 degrees Fahrenheit

This week’s temperature range in the daytime has been about 78 to 83 degrees F. (or 25 to 28 degrees C). It is humid here but much less so than Florida. It becomes cold at night sometimes, but the temperature fluctuates a lot. It can be hot for thirty minutes, then cold.

Milk, with the brand name Mimosa, is sold in one liter wax paper containers. It is stored at room temperature and does not spoil easily. It has a different taste and I think something is added to it to keep it from spoiling. The ingredients are listed in Portuguese so I cannot tell. See

At the market plastic bags are sold for a small fee. They are not free so it’s better to bring your own used ones.

Meat has a different flavor. It is not aged as it often is in the US. Eggs are brown and the yolks are a darker yellow with a more hearty taste. Most food is not salted as much.

Most of the fruits and vegetables available in the markets are grown in Portugal and are more ripe more before they are picked. Apples are coated with a thin layer of wax. We have also found mangos, avocados, oranges, apples, cherries, potatoes, lemons, strawberries, and lots of fresh fish in the small markets downtown.

There is much dried, salted cod fish available in the small fish markets but it has to be soaked several days in water before it is boiled, not fried. People here make a fish stew with it by adding cabbage, carrots, leeks, onions, and other vegetables. It is not a convenience food at all. Fresh fish is fried.

We drink purified water sold in seven liter plastic bottles for about 1.50 euros each because city water from the faucet gave us the runs and other symptoms.

A liter is slightly more than a quart. One gallon is 3.78 liters. Petrol is maybe 50% more expensive here than gasoline is in the U.S. Many cars are small to conserve gasoline. There are more smart cars, motorcycles and tuk-tuks. Most vehicle brand names are different.

Restrooms are called WCs for water closets. There are few of them for the public and often you have to be a customer in a cafe or restaurant to use one. There are usually none in shops and government buildings.

I haven’t seen any drywall here. The walls are solid, like they are made with concrete. Some are covered with tile.

There is a large statue of Christ the Redeemer on a hill overlooking the city of Lisbon. Brazil was a colony of Portugal and there is a larger version of this statue in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. There is also a similar version of this statue in Paris. See