Richard booked for my Christmas present a trip to Lisbon for our first wedding anniversary. We were leaving on Friday 12th May from Heathrow terminal 3. Dad was off on sick leave so he managed to pick and drop us off which was good. We went to Leon for a bite to eat before we went through to departures. I had a chicken burger and Rich had a wrap and we got his free side of fries. As there was a slight mix up, the lady actually gave us a brownie as well which was really nice. I felt a bit like I had a cold coming on so I went to get some paracetamol and throat sweets just in case. The flight left on time and we headed off for our Portuguese adventure. When we got to Lisbon we headed for the metro which was within the airport. When at the machine a young girl approached me to give me her top up ticket which was sweet. We added credit to mine and Rich bought one costing €3.40. You could add credit to them, like an oyster card. We got on the one line then left the airport and headed for Sao Sebastian, we then switched trains to head for Parque which was near our hotel. We got to our hotel for about 6.30pm and Rich had booked a restaurant nearby which had good reviews for 8pm. After settling into the room on the 14th floor and with nice views over the park and city, we headed for dinner. It was very fancy and full of tourists. They had little olives and bread on the side which were chargeable of course. They brought out a small salmon pre starter. Rich had read about this and they do this often and charge you for it, nice but cheeky if you don't want to spend the money. Of course you can refuse, but we would never do that!! We both had some king prawns to start, they were 5 massive ones so were really nice! Rich had a pasta with fish for his main with red wine and I had a lemon risotto and battered fish for mine with my standard water. They were both incredibly tasty!! It cost about €60 so not too bad. We were both to full for dessert so we skipped it and headed off. On the way back we found a supermarket and picked up 3 bottles of water and some chocolate and biscuits to bring home.
On Saturday, it was a sunny day but not very warm so I wasn't sure what to wear. I set off in a skirt and top with a cardigan and jacket for extra warmth. Rich thought the safe was locked out so we asked reception. The reception asked if we had tried to reset it as per the instructions, Rich ran off in embarrassment at this mistake J We headed for the train and got a 24 hour pass for €12. We headed for the centre, near the port and then walked up to the castle. It was quite hilly and also had mosaic tiles on the street which made it a tad slippery. We went past the yellow tram line as well. I think there are two around central Lisbon, one you can use with a travel card and one you pay for. The castle was named Castelo de Sao Jorge and was €17 for us to get in. There were little market stalls on the way up to it, people selling selfie sticks! The weather was a bit rubbish and it started to rain a bit not long after going in so we had to seek shelter. Luckily it eased off quickly so we carried on our little tour of the grounds. It was high up and had a great view over Lisbon and over the sea. They had peacocks walking around the grounds and they were beautiful, there were ones with the traditional colours but also ones that were black and white. It was quite a big site and it was lovely so we climbed up into different parts to explore (some parts fairly high up). There was a little building on site with the history as well. After our walking around we headed back down into the town, we wanted to get a bite to eat. We booked the La Senza restaurant for 7.30 (this was a recommendation given by some work colleagues) and after having a little walk around we headed up having a cheat meal of McDonalds so we didn't eat too much!
We decided to head for a bus to Belem and check this out. We ended up waiting for a good 20 mins or so for the bus. When we got on it was really busy, and a woman tapped some seated people and pointed at me to get them to move (a very nice gesture) as they were just ignoring like most people do. At 6 months pregnant it was nice to have a seat. When we got to Belem it started to rain again L we took refuge under some shelter and then in a museum. We then headed for the most famous place called the Pasteis de Belem for a Portuguese tart, I believe this was where they originated from. The queue was not too bad and moved quite fast but we had heard the queue could be really long. I think the rain had deterred some people. We went and placed our order and they were €2.20. The woman then pointed at me and they gave the order directly to us. Normally you paid at one till and picked up at another counter, they said as I was pregnant we don't have to queue. The Portuguese loved looking after the pregnant woman, it was great! We took our tarts a few doors down and headed for Starbucks to have with a hot drink. I had a tea and Rich had a latte. After we finished up we headed for the massive Jerónimos Monastery which cost €20 and then went into the church for a look around which was magnificent. I sat and said a little prayer before we headed upstairs which overlooked the congregation. We then headed inwards which had some open space which was gorgeous and we walked around with some rooms with information in. One had like a history map going around it which was interesting but went up to about 2011. We got a few bumps pictures here as well and one together that a man took for us. After we finished we headed for the ship looking building across the road which was called Padrão dos Descobrimentos and sat by the side of the water for a while. We thought this was the tower of Belem and almost bought a pass to do both but decided not to. This actually wasn't the tower and this was further down the road. It shut at 5 so we wouldn't have made it so just as well we didn't buy the pass. After we finished in Belem we headed for the bus and luckily just made one and headed back into the centre to catch a train back to the hotel. It was a pretty knackering day but we did see lots of interesting sites!! Later on we headed back out to go La Senza and the Parque was shut as there was a football final on so they were directing the people traffic down certain roads. We then walked to Sao Sebastian which was further up the hill. We made our booking 5 mins late and it was packed and people queueing so just as well we booked. I had some mushrooms with Rich. Rich had octopus and I had steak although had to ask for it well done. When it came out slightly pink she sent it back as had asked for it to be well done. The bill came to €45 which was not bad and was very tasty. We headed back to the hotel and the party was in full swing as Benfica had won the league. There was a loud concert taking place which we could hear clearly from our hotel but the atmosphere was pretty cool. The party went on until 3/4am. On my Fibit I had clocked up 27,000 steps and 19km walking with a couple of hours exercise, not bad for 25 weeks pregnant.
On Sunday it was our first wedding anniversary. We decided to visit Sintra for the day. We headed on a train to Restadores, there was a train leaving within 10 mins but unfortunately the queue was massive so we missed this and it was an hour wait for the next one, which was a tad annoying to be honest. The train ticket cost €10 which covered the journey to Sintra and also a single train journey back to the hotel and we got on it early and it was just as well as it was rammed. The journey only took about 40 mins and when we got there we joined the queue near the station for a bus ticket. Luckily not long after a man spotted me and pulled me from the queue to join the front as I was pregnant, result!! It was a hop on/off loop bus with a few stops for €11. We got off the first stop which was the town centre (location of the National Palace) and then the bus climbs into the hills for the Pena Palace and the Moors castle, before returning back to the train station. We had a walk around and it was pretty small, restaurants and a few shops but had beautiful views. We picked up a chicken sandwich and custard tart which were about €12. We re-joined the bus queue and moved near the front to try get the priority seating, cheeky I know but who wouldn't do this?! When the bus driver pulled up it was the earlier guy and he pointed at me and said you first, he then asked if Rich was my husband when we boarded. He asked for a seat to the crowd and a woman moved for me which was great. It was a steep old hill with some great views of the town. You could also see the colourful palace in the distance. We then got off at the castle, this was €16 to go into. It was a little walk up the track in the woods and when we got in, we had our chicken sandwiches. It was a beautiful grounds but admittedly I was exhausted so struggled to walk all the way to the top of the ruins so only managed half way. The previous day of intense walking had done me in a bit. We thought this would be a good place to take a picture with our chalkboard to show our first year of marriage. The weather was changing a bit so we decided to continue on our journey. The next stop was the palace but we decided not to get off and headed back down to the train station and head back to the hotel to relax.
After a little refresh and chill out later we headed back for the train. We spent €4.35 x 2 train cards for 3 trips which would cover us heading out for the evening and then back to the airport. We got off at the Baixa chiado train station and headed to 'Gandhi palace Italian Indian'. It was going to be an interesting combination but we were pleasantly surprised. The food was plentiful and we both opted for curries which were good. Our meal cost €45. Afterwards we went for a wander and found a shop to get a magnet for €1. We saw a big tower with a lift to go up and overlook the city but it had a big queue. We then walked to the seafront and saw the little Lisbon beach. There was a man who had constructed a sand sea angel which was pretty and near the Terreiro do paco (a large square and a statue of a man riding the horse) Google info tells me this: Also known as Praça do Comércio, is one of the largest squares in Europe with around 36000 square meters. The name of "Terreiro do Paço" (Royal Palace Square), had its origin in the 16th century when the king changed the Palace from Castelo de São Jorge to this square. The buildings were all destroyed by the 1755 earthquake, and the square was totally rebuilt by Marquês de Pombal, Minister of King D. José I. Having contributed for the reconstruction plans the bourgeous, financial and business class, explains the later name of "Commerce Square". During centuries this square was the great reception hall for visitors arriving by sea, since it was the dock where the Kings and Heads of State would disembark when visiting Lisbon. Today it is headquarter of governmental departments. In the centre of the square you can observe the statue of King José the 1st, work of the famous sculptor Machado de Castro. On the north side of the square, there is the Triumphal Arch, which marks the entrance in Rua Augusta and Baixa quarter. After taking a few pics on the square and on the beach we headed back to the hotel and packed up and were in bed for 9.30. It was a fabulous weekend away but a bit knackering as well so I was glad to be going home for a rest, for me and baby!
I was awake early on the Monday when we were returning home, about 5.30. We went for breakfast for about half 7 and then checked out and paid €6 for city tax and left to go to the airport. When we got to the station I went to give our two ticket passes to people arriving to use. One or two didn't understand so I tried to explain to English speaking people and eventually got rid of them. We went through to the gates to await our flight. They were trying to load people's carry on into the hold luggage but we managed to keep ours. When we got back to Heathrow terminal 3, there were police around the drop offs at departures so I rang dad and said to meet us in the car park, it took quite a while as there was some traffic so we waited quite a while in the end but we were home for about 3ish. A lovely weekend to celebrate our first wedding anniversary.