After a deep but abbreviated sleep (early bedtime tonight!) I had coffee and then worked out in the hotel’s decent gym. I’ll have to check out the sauna later.
Around 10:30 I went to the well-stocked breakfast buffet and had a brief conversation with Anton, a young Russian guy from Moscow, who told me he would’ve been conscripted but was fortunately living in Lisbon. He has no plans to return. This war has caused hundreds of thousands of well-educated Russians to bail, which will compound the country’s already collapsing economy. As an aside, on Twitter I saw that the massive Kerch Strait bridge was hit on both the rail and road sections, cutting off the Russian Army’s supplies to the Donbas and Kherson fronts. Anyway, Anton is a journalist who is a good friend of the owner of Belcanto, José Avillez, another coincidence!
I met the group before noon and we had lunch before heading out for our three hour e-bike tour of Lisbon, which I arranged based on my great experience three weeks ago. We also met two women from Philadelphia who had graduated from Lafayette College, a peer school of my college, Franklin & Marshall. Despite the steep downhill sections, nobody crashed and they all agreed that it was a great three hours. Our guide, João, and I had interesting conversations about Portugal on the ride.
Before the ride, I was relieved to hear that all of us were greatly disappointed by the poor service and mediocre food at the highly overrated and overpriced Belcanto the night before. My previous post about Belcanto was intentionally neutral, so as not to offend; however, the consensus was that it was an expensive disappointment.