A 3am start to the day must only mean one thing – holiday o’clock!
After little sleep (I’m not sure if it was too much excitement or a bout of anxiety) the four of us dragged our tired selves out of bed and got ready for the 4am taxi call. By the time we got to the airport I was just looking forward to a large coffee and some breakfast, as were the other girls (hanger on an early start should be avoided at all cost) so we hurried through check-in and customs and landed our bums on seats in the first restaurant we saw – Giraffe.
Mmm, the veggie breakfast. I’ve only eaten burgers at Giraffe so I was pleasantly surprised by how tasty the brekkie was, even if it was a teeny bit cold (and my coffee took a little longer than anticipated to land in front of me). It hit the hanger spot and we felt ready for the first leg of the journey, hitting up WH Smiths en route for sweets and reading material of course. First stop – Munich.
BHX -> MUC
Free tea and coffee whilst our flight was delayed was welcomed with open hands. I joked there was something wrong with the left phalange (a Friends reference that I like to pull out when flying), but within 25 minutes the technical hitch was fixed and we made our way to the second plane of the trip. Lisbon, here we come!
MUC -> LIS
The warmth hit us as soon as we stepped off the plane, all 32 degrees C of it. Palm trees, sunshine, heat – our holiday had begun and I couldn’t wait to explore this beautiful city!
I have to give a shout out to Lufthansa airline for making the flight stress-free and comfortable. From the service to the free wine, they made an anxious flyer feel at ease and I look forward to flying with them again.
We stayed in an amazing apartment in Bairro Alto, the central district in the Portuguese capital. The perfect location with walking distance to the shops, metro, and an array of bars and restaurants. The famous number 28 Tram even passes by, a vintage yellow trolley that explores several districts including Baixa, Alfama and Estrela.
After a quick trip to the supermarket for supplies (water, cereal, red wine) we freshened up and took a stroll up and down the nearby streets. Cobbles and colourful tiled buildings galore, it’s easy to find yourself getting lost as you wander along each path you come across.
We were missing one piece of the puzzle up until 6pm, our friend Margje! Taking a different flight and joining us a little later, we welcomed her into our home for the next few nights before heading out in the hunt for food and sangria.
It’s the Lisbon law that all food post-brunch must be washed down with Sangria…or at least a law we made up and went along with. A cool Tapas café only a few yards from where we were staying caught our attention, I can’t quite recall the name of the place but there was free breadsticks and the sangria went down like juice. The tortilla was particularly tasty, dare I say the best I’ve had in a long time, and the quirky decor was a talking point.
We walked down past the Gloria funicular, the system that connects downtown Lisboa to Bairro Alto, in the search of a couple of bars we had seen in our guide books. Noobai café serves food but you are most likely to visit for it’s terrace with a stunning panoramic view of the city and Rio Tejo.
Caipirinha’s + friends + this view = priceless.
Our first views of Lisbon got 10 thumbs up from the five of us. A city break by the coast is the ideal vacation for friends who enjoy a few hours of relaxation but get their kicks from sightseeing, the perfect destination for fidgets like me.
Keep your eyes peeled for the next post, where we visit the magical town of Sintra.