It’s amazing how time flies and already another year’s gone by! It’s Simon’s birthday this month and for a birthday treat I decided to take him away to Lisbon 🙂
We’d never been to Lisbon before so I thought it’d be great to try somewhere new and different and Lisbon happened to be perfect for a little weekend getaway!
We started our journey from London Heathrow Terminal 5 and were flying with British Airways in their Club Europe cabin. We had already checked in to the flight with our mobile apps, so we dropped our luggage off and then headed over to the BA Galleries Lounge for a cup of tea and a quick bite to eat, as it was an early 7.30am flight out of Heathrow.
Even at the early hour we were at the airport, Simon – who is a complete workaholic – was already tapping away on his laptop – much to my annoyance (stop working – it’s your birthday!) It didn’t end when we got on the plane either! Argh! Good thing they’re not allowed to be on when taking off so he had to put it away! 🙂
Henry, my Minion, settled in nicely to the flight and soon the attendants were coming round with hot towels and orders for first drinks. Naturally, I ordered champagne! However, Simon was too knackered and fell asleep – so I had one for him! 😉 lol!
The flight was just over 2 hours and I kept myself preoccupied with my IPad whilst Simon slept. Soon enough we were landing in Lisbon and we got a cab from the airport to the hotel, which was the Hilton Doubletree Lisbon – Fontana Park.
The hotel was brand new and it was a design-led style of hotel, very pleasing on the eye! We checked in and drop our bags off and got settled in. Simon liked sitting in the corner of the room on what looked like a the padded bench – strange boy! Like a cat who finds the funniest of places to sit. It was quite comfy to be fair 🙂
We then ventured out to explore Lisbon 🙂
We didn’t have far to go to the nearest Metro station, Picoas, and Lisbon is pretty is easy to navigate around with its 4 main metro lines. We took the Metro to Baixa-Chiado and had a wonder down to the public square, Praça do Comércio. The weather was lovely and sunny and it was blissful to wonder through the square and to the water’s edge and look out across the Rio (river) Tejo to the Almada and their version of Rio’s “Christ The Redeemer” – Christ The King, or Cristo-Rei known locally.
We wondered back into the square and went to have a late lunch and soak up the atmosphere and do some people watching. One of the restaurants we walked past had some amazing steel sculptures of a matador and a bull, which caught our eye!
After our leisurely late lunch, we sauntered back to our hotel to relax and have a look at a map to decide what to do over the next couple of days. Simon had a nap, and then we went out in the evening to explore where to eat and where to go for the next night. We came across a hill which was the start to the Barrio Alto with a funicular, which we later found out was called The Glória Funicular. We didn’t ride the tram that night but we did attempt the hill the tram went up – which was quite the effort to get to the top!
We actually couldn’t decide on what to eat as we were being so indecisive, so took the easy option and headed back to the hotel restaurant and ended up eating there!
Morning comes and it’s Simon’s birthday! HAPPY BIRTHDAY BUBBA!
We go downstairs to the restaurant in the hotel and find that the staff are serving bubbles for breakfast. As it was Simon’s birthday, what better way to kick start his birthday but with a glass of bubbles with a cooked breakfast – fabulous!
After breakfast, we headed back to the hill in Barrio Alto with The Glória Funicular and decided to ascend the hill to take a look at the view from the top, now that we were back in daylight. Obviously, we had to stop to take a photo with the infamous tram!
The view from the top was quite special! Lisbon is known as the city of hills, so the views were quite a sight, with a cute garden that ran along the ridge to the rooftops.
The heavens began to open up so we made our way back down to the Metro and went back to Baixa-Chiado, where we went to the Tourist Information office to buy tickets for the city tour buses, which went all over the city. They were a really good investment, as it meant that we could hop on and hop off and the buses covered pretty much all parts of the city.
As it was still raining, so Simon had read about an aquarium which we could reach on one of the city tour buses, so we ended up doing that for the rest of the afternoon whilst it continued to rain.
I found Dory and Nemo! lol!
By the time we had finished at the aquarium, the sun had came back out and was glorious again! So we waited for the city bus and then returned back to the public square, Praça do Comércio, where we sat in the sun and had a lovely late lunch, drinking wine whilst enjoying watching people passing by, who were also enjoying the warm sunshine we were having.
We headed back to the hotel, where we decided to check out the hotel bar and it’s pretty courtyard and decided on having another drink. We were fortunate enough to have been given drinks on the house, so we took a seat on these unusual bamboo chairs (which were surprisingly comfortable!), and enjoyed our drinks.
We headed out to dinner and went back up to Barrio Alto, where the view of the hills were lit up in lights and the garden was all illuminated. It did look very pretty.
We found this cute little restaurant, called The Decadence, in an old boutique hotel. The food was lovely and seemed to be a hit with the locals, as the restaurant was packed!
We stumbled our way back to the hotel after consuming enough wine for the night and made our way to bed!
It was our final day in Lisbon. We went down for breakfast in the hotel restaurant, as we had done the day before, and then came back up to the room and looked at the map to decide what we were going to do next. The weather looked promising and we had not yet been to see the castle in the middle of the city, so we decided that we were going to venture out and see it.
We took a walk from the hotel up to Miradouro do Parque Eduardo VII, which is an expansive park that has an amazing view down towards the river.
We took the Metro back to Baixa-Chiado where we took one of the trams from the square to the foot of the São Jorge Castle and began our walk up towards the castle itself, which had some beautiful views across the rooftops and across the river.
We began our ascent and the views just became more and more breathtaking. As we made our way up to the main castle you could see across the whole town and across all the rooftops out to sea. As we continued our walk, we went past a café that overlooked the town and came across the first set of cannon guns that would line the sides of the castle.
We found ourselves at the moat to the entrance to the castle, and to our surprise, we saw a lone peacock perched on top of a wall next to the moat, which was getting a lot of attention from other tourists.
We entered the castle and began to climb the steep staircases as we explored. The views were amazing with the clear blue sky and sunshine around us. The views were particularly quaint through the spade shaped openings in the walls and doorframes, that would frame the view of the rooftops of the buildings below or the walkways around the castle.
After we had finished walking around the castle, we noticed that there were more peacocks roaming the grounds. One of them was being a particularly show off to the group of tourists nearby!
We headed back to the Baixa-Chiado square for one final lunch in the sunshine, before we headed back to the hotel to pick up our things and take the Metro to the airport, where we got our flight back to London and to home. Lisbon was fabulous and definitely worth a return trip….soon! 😉