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“Google Maps lies,” said reception as I peeled off my Tortuga backpack in the colorful lobby of my Lisbon hostel. I fanned myself with my hands, back drenched, bare faced and recovering from a curse-inducing, hamstring-burning trudge up the Ascensor da Glória. It’s only a 10 minute walk from Restauradores to The Independente, it said. Easy.

Not so. With a month’s worth of added pounds on my back, the trek up one of Lisbon’s most Instagram-worthy hills seemed to stretch on. At that moment, the cute trolley (or funicular, as they say) that will ease you to the top as you spill out onto the Miradouro de São Pedro de Alcântara was not so quaint and dreamy.

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