I wanted to show as much of Lisbon as I could, considering it was their first time here and so much to be seen. I also did want us to relax, reconnect, catch up, have fun, enjoy good meals, and get a couple of drinks. Sunday was the last day to do that.
Was also not sure when everybody was leaving and times to be at the airport. Given the chaos European airports have been lately. Forgetting a bit that the girls still had a long way home, between airports, flights, and rides back to their places, the furthest being Germany and Denmark.
The plan had been previously thought, before meeting everybody and realising that walking around all day would make us feel a bit tired.
And, as Christel said, it is weekend after all.
So, my initial Sunday plans were a bit unrealistic, to say the least. They included: Belém, Jerónimos, Santos, Basílica da Estrela, Campo de Ourique; the fancy shops at Av. Liberdade, Casa do Alentejo. (With Mila: Cabo da Roca, Boca do Inferno). We did none of that. We did better.
I do prefer off the beaten track strolls
(like getting lost in Alfama), but there are things we simply cannot miss in a city we visit for the first time. And because time was what it was, that’s what I had planned: A Lisbon basics.
Realised as well that “My Lisbon” no longer exists.
Fortunately, my favourite neighbourhoods, Príncipe Real and Chiado, are still there, charming as ever. But I no longer know about cool places to have a drink, dinner, and just chill. My days are long gone, even if Lisbon is full of fancy places for different meals, just as I like them.
Christel had looked up for cool places to go for Brunch close by and we ended up in a neighbourhood we had not managed to have been, Bica. Therefore, it was the perfect choice. The sky was blue, they promised it would rain, and we were very fortunate to be able to eat outside, eating, relaxing and chatting, for as long as we felt like it.
Waking up the neighbours with our laughter.
I soon realised that there would be no time to go to Belém and Jerónimos, one of the most impressive monuments I know. Maybe next time. Had treated the girls with Pastéis de Nata at their arrival, a Lisbon welcoming, so they did not miss much. Even though Pastéis de Belém factory is worth a visit, through the endless rooms, in blue and white tiles, so very Portuguese.
Instead, we decided to relax.
Walked down Elevador da Bica, Praça São Paulo, Cais do Sodré, all the way alongside the river and stopped on the chairs of one of the new kiosks that opened up, following the renewal of the whole area of Praça do Comércio and Ribeira das Naus.
Reconnected a bit more, conversations tend to go personal when we are in touch for a while, and the bonds between us grew stronger.
That was the mood for the whole Sunday.
Checked the view from the Arc, in Rua Augusta, nothing to write home about, hence, the lack of tourists’ endless lines, and decided to go for a last walk, until Estação do Rossio, the new Eden, and back.
We said good-bye to Eva, whose flight was later on.
I decided to ride the tube with the girls, to go to my mum’s place for a visit. In the end, I ended up taking them to the airport, accompanying Jutta to Terminal 2, heading back to Terminal 1 for a last chat with Christel, who could not believe I was walking from the airport to my mum’s place.
Which I did.
Despite all the walk during the whole weekend – 30 km in 2 ½ days… not bad for 50 year old’s – and being a bit tired due to lack of sleep, I can be a bit of a pain to fall asleep in strange places, alcohol might not have helped.
Walking helps me clear my mind and my rug sack wasn’t that heavy.
The girls had been posting pictures on the group as we took them, so that the others would not miss too much. And Mila surprised us with a video of her own, and a picture of her unpacking, on Sunday. A very cool way to see her and to recall her voice. Very sweet.
All in all, it was a great weekend, super special, more than any of us could expect. And the main goal was reached, to have a good time and to catch up, face to face. And get closer to one another.
Besides, I haven’t smiled, or felt so happy, like I did with the girls, for far too long.
So, thank you all for coming, can’t wait for the next trip, with all of us.