After a rather intense five days at Glastonbury Festival I was in desperate need of some recovery time and Portugal seemed like the perfect place for this to happen. I had never visited Portugal before so was rather excited to see some new sites and chuck another stamp in the passport.
Stupidly, I had booked my flight from an alternative airport to my friends which meant that I had to meet them at our apartment in the centre of Lisbon. I seemed to find it ok and even caught the Funicular up the steep street to the door of our accommodation situated right next to a lookout from which you could view the entire city of Lisbon. After we eventually found each other down a narrow alleyway we took a stroll down to the waters edge and sank a few quiet beers in the sun overlooking the amazing de Abril Bridge. Eventually we made our way back up the hill for some more drinks in a strange gay bar which was right next to our apartment (so gay the bar tender was literally on Grindr whilst he made our cocktails).
The next day was the only full one in which I could see the sites I needed to in Lisbon. Firstly I had to pay a visit to good old pal Jesus standing on the cliffs above the de Abril which we had spent time admiring the day before. We caught a ferry and a bus to reach the peak of the cliff on that extremely hot day, but the view was well worth it. We had no time to waste as we took the ferry back and boarded a train to Sidra a small town outside of Lisbon which I was told I MUST visit. I really love visiting the smaller towns in foreign countries and Sidra was exceptionally beautiful. We caught a glimpse of a castle through the mist on the peak of the mountain as we strolled through a massive sculpture garden. We paid a small fare to explore the rooms of the palace close to the town centre which was paved with incredible tiles that went from the floor to the ceiling.
I felt the delayed effects of a Glastonbury comedown as we trained back into Lisbon but after we got home, had dinner and a few drinks it was already 11pm and I had a taxi booked for 4:30 so instead of sleeping I stayed up a few more hours with some good old mates and sank a few more beers before I attempted to sober up to jump on my next plane to Barcelona.
THINGS I LEARNT ABOUT PORTUGAL
• The language is not as similar to Spanish as you may think. Don’t be an ignorant tourist like me and say Gracias when you are served a meal.
• Basically every single person that approaches you in the street only has one motive – to sell you drugs. I was offered hash by eight separate dealers in one day.
• The train passes are different to the metro (playing the ignorant tourist got us away with this one).