Work (and play) took us to Lisbon recently. I mostly worked, guy #2 and the pug (Mops in German) mostly played. We had never been to Portugal and quickly found that it’s not quite as dog friendly as Germany. The early signs were there when it was a challenge to find a suitable hotel that would accept a small dog, whereas it’s really not a problem finding dog-friendly lodging in Munich, Berlin or even Vienna.

We rented a car at the airport and drove out to Cascais on the first night, a charming former fishing village with a lovely sunset on the Estoril Coast. On the next day, we drove out to nearby Sintra – where the entire region is a UNESCO World Heritage site.

Enzo with new admirers in Cascais

After walking Sintra a bit with Enzo, we bought bus tickets to ride up the mountain to see the Pena National Palace and Castelo dos Mouros. The bus driver would only grudgingly let us on with Enzo. Then at the Palace, we were unable to even enter the grounds. (At Schloss Linderhof in Germany, no problems entering the grounds and carrying Enzo through this small home of King Ludwig II.) Seeing that there was plenty of parking, we decided to head down and just drive up and leave Enzo in the car for an hour. Taking the bus down caused the new driver to balk at the dog until we convinced him we came up on the bus with Enzo. We drive up, park, see the palace, start back to the hotel and the GPS dies because the power outlet in the car wasn’t working and it ran out of battery. Streets in Lisbon are crazy even with a GPS so we decide to head straight to the airport to drop the car rather than do it the next day.Pena Palace at Sintra

Return the car; now we go to the taxi line. The first car shakes his head no and the nearby police officer explains that the dog needs to be in a box. To get any taxi, the dog needs to be in a box – and his carrier is at the hotel. So we’re standing there for a few minutes deciding if one of us needs to go to the hotel to get the box to get another taxi … Really?!? Then a taxi driver who had seen this exchange pulls out of line. I point to the dog; he motions to get in. He goes about 100 meters, pulls over and turns around to say, “I LOVE THIS DOG!”

On the way to the hotel he tells us how much he loves pugs but his wife has two cats so he probably won’t get to have one any time soon. With any other dog, we’d have been SOL but, we were saved by the Mops.

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