Whilst planning our trip to Portugal, we knew that no matter how virtuous our desire for a nomadic, relaxing existence – we would have to head to the city for a culture fix. It was a toss up between Seville and Lisbon, but in the end we decided to head to Lisbon – we were in Portugal, after all. It was a three hour drive from where we were staying, so one day we packed up early and hopped in the car. The three boys slept almost the whole way there, which we were rather pleased about. We also chose to go on a day that was a little cooler, which turned out to be a very good decision.
With only a few hours in Lisbon, we decided to go for an overall feeling, rather than focussing on getting to specific sights. We managed to park easily, but then it took us half an hour or so, to get our bearings. We couldn’t decide which mode of transport to use – tuk tuk, tram, bus or taxi. Win is a fantastic walker, Ru isn’t (so we brought a little buggy) and O spent the day in the baby carrier. In the end we opted to buy a pass that allowed us to use the trams and the buses.
Lisbon is hilly. It is full of winding streets, beautiful tiles, cobbled streets, drying washing and the most stunning purple flowery trees. We headed to the castle first. It was a beautiful (and steep) walk to the top, but we were rewarded for our efforts with a panoramic view of the orange and white city below. A perfect view of the ’25 de Abril bridge’, the smell of pine trees and plenty of space for the boys to run free. After the castle we ate lunch, then hopped on the tram, which we later swapped for a bus.
After quite an extensive bus ride around the city, we wandered around on foot and ate some obligatory pastries, before heading back to our car. Of course, we couldn’t see everything we wanted to, but this is the way travelling is going to be for the foreseeable future. Yes, it can be frustrating, but children add so much to the experience – they notice things we don’t, ask us questions, give us a chance to really talk about what is different to home, and are so excited by the novelty of everything. It’s magical to watch.We awarded the boys marks out of ten each day as a little holiday joke. On our day in Lisbon we awarded all three boys 10/10, because they really couldn’t have been any better – probably because they were well rested. Even their toilet needs were perfectly timed throughout the day – a miracle! I rated Jared a 10/10 every day, and I’m sorry to get a little cringe here, but he is just the best – he never gets stressed, is always up for anything, is so thoughtful, does all the food shopping and takes on far more parenting than I do when we are away. He just takes over with the boys, and it makes me so happy. I still don’t trust him with the passports and boarding passes though.
I wonder where we’ll go next?
Lisbon – we will be back.