Lisbon, Madrid, Leicester

My flight from San Francisco to London Heathrow was only $115 and there was the option of having a layover of up to 5 days in Portugal. So of course I stopped off on my way home. I wasn’t really ready to go home.


I took a real liking to Lisbon. I loved the fact that the North African influence on the city and the language was evident. Lisbon reminded me so much of Tunis in Tunisia.

An amazing building that was used for concerts. I loved the roof top.
Belem Tower
I was the only person in the the transport museum which was a bit eerie. I was shown into a massive building with loads of buses and trams and then the door was closed behind me. I only went to visit the museum because I had been given free entry when I bought a train ticket.

It was interesting to learn a bit about the Portuguese Empire from a different perspective. Whilst travelling I had been told that Portugal had been the first European country to colonise some of the countries that I had visited. I remember being told that they just got lazy and complacent and so the French, British, Dutch and Spanish came along and took over. So whilst in Lisbon, I learnt that Portugal started to lose its hold on its colonies when the King of Spain seized the Portuguese Crown. The other interesting fact that I learnt is that Portuguese is the language spoken by most people in the southern hemisphere.

After 5 days in Lisbon I decided to catch a bus to Madrid, because I still didn’t want to go home. So I spent 5 days sight seeing in Madrid.


The Oldest Barber in Madrid, apparently they struggled back in the 60’s when the Beatles were popular and long hair was in fashion.


I arrived in Leicester on 14th February 2020 and I am so grateful that I got back when I did. For the past two years I’d been joking that I was going to get home in May 2020 in time for my 50th, get all of my presents, cycle tour with my friends from Total Women Awesome Tours and then go off on another adventure.

I got the chance to meet up with a few friends
I got to eat food that I hadn’t eaten in quite sometime

About five weeks after arriving in the UK the country went into lockdown due to Covid-19 and all of the streets became really quiet and my plans to cycle tour with my friends in Scotland to celebrate my 50th had to be shelved.

So, I had a virtual 50th birthday party with my cycling pals.
I even had my own cake to scoff during the party.

By Susan Doram

I am passionate about cycling and enjoy encouraging others to ride their bicycles. I am a cycle coach and founder member and chair for Leicester Women's Velo and Founder member and club secretary for Ride on Sistas. I love to encourage others to get active. I am an award wining personal trainer and one of Cycling UK's 100 Women in Cycling 2019. I've been on numerous cycle tours and have encouraged others to join me. Part of my cycle touring experience has included cycling around the world for just over 2 1/2 years.

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