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Mr. Toad's Wild Cab Ride (in Portuguese)

What is the smallest airport you have flown into?

In 1991, I was living in Munich and flew to Portugal to watch an auto race in Estoril, a few miles west of Lisbon. On the morning of my departure, I was expecting heavy traffic and airport delays, so I gave myself plenty of time to get to the airport.

I walked down to taxi stand, got in the first waiting cab and told the driver "Lisbon airport." We agreed to the price and off we were.

As I expected, almost as soon as we hit the freeway, we got stuck in the morning commuter traffic going into Lisbon. But, when we reached the first exit, the driver took it and the ride began.

The driver clearly knew "the back way" to the airport. We were driving at crazy speeds down back alleys and very narrow roads and around blind corners. There was more a couple close calls, including one scrape with a metro bus, but I saw no apprehension in the driver's face. It was more than a little dangerous, but the adrenaline rush drowned out concerns for my personal safety. The only analogous experience that I can think of is Mr. Toad's Wild Ride at Disneyland.

When we got to the airport, I gave the driver the agreed amount, plus a healthy tip and told him that was the best ride I had ever had. I then sat and waited at the airport for quite some time, because the driver had been a little too fast.

The trip was absolutely fantastic and the cab ride was a nice way to end it. I will always have fond memories of Portugal.




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