The new Paris – I highly recommend you go there!

Lisbon – June 2017

After a long trip we get to spend our last 4 days in Lisbon. I could easily go straight home but the work had to be done. Jon’s been super excited to bring me to Lisbon because he loves it here.

After a 4:30am wake up to get to the airport the kids were ready to sleep as we arrived at our apartment – so were we. Jon had the day off so he was ready to explore but it would have been miserable with 2 tired children. We all had a nap which was refreshing. We didn’t think the kids would actually sleep but they did and so did we.

Our apartment is great inside but we had to climb 8 flights of stairs every time we went in or out. Doing it on my own with the kids and a stroller to carry up, proved to be tough but at least it worked off my pastel de natas (custard tarts) I was eating. We were on the noisiest street and our air conditioner in our apartment wasn’t working which meant we had to keep all the doors and windows open. It was 41 degrees on some of the days and the others weren’t that much cooler. Having the windows and doors open proved to be problematic as one, it was so noisy from the traffic, trams and people on the streets and it was all through the night without letting up and secondly we were bombarded with mosquitoes. On one night alone Caleb had at least 20 bites on him. I did go in search of mosquito spray for the next few nights which I found but then we just heard them buzzing around our heads.

The children and I caught a tram and a train at 8am in the mornings to get to the beach. Because it was so hot, early morning was the best time to go and it was so beautiful down there. It took us an hour to get there and by the time we got there, there was quite a few people there already and by the time we left at midday, the beaches were packed and the lines at the train stations of people buying tickets to get to the beach was just ridiculous. I’m glad we got out early.

We then went home for an afternoon nap which was great because it was the hottest time of the day and then we explored the city in the late afternoon and early evening. In fact, on our first night there, the children and I only got back to the apartment at 10pm, we had such a great time and they had napped so late they didn’t mind being awake until then. With the windows open, we were awake early with the sun beating in but at least that got us out and about.

The next 2 afternoons, Jon came home for a break and I snuck out then to go an explore on my own. The children loved having home afternoons and it was pleasant exploring by myself, especially in Lisbon with the cobbled streets and hills to climb.

I was nervous taking the kids to Lisbon because I had read how hard it was to get around with a stroller. My 2 have both been riding in the single stroller so I was concerned. Yes, it was a little more difficult with the cobbled stone streets and the ridiculous hills but I managed perfectly fine. It was definitely easier when I was on my own but no one promises travelling with children to be an easy task. The children and I went on trams, buses and trains on our own and we were fine. There was one point where walking on the street was difficult as the pavement was non existent and the cobbled stone street caused the stroller to keep getting stuck. There were cars and trams in every direction and loads of people around. A woman offered to help though and she took Caleb across the street for me. Obviously I was right there but she was very kind and it was extremely helpful.

I loved Lisbon. There was such a great vibe about it. I loved the trams and tuk tuks. I loved how easy it was to get around the city. I loved how much there was to see and even just roaming the streets where there wasn’t anything to see the doors and windows and graffiti were so captivating. The view points of the city are beautiful. I loved that the beaches were so easily accessible from the main city and I loved the warm weather even though it wasn’t normal. The food is amazing and the Pastel de natas, especially the ones from Belem are a reason to visit on their own.

I’ve heard that Lisbon is becoming the new Paris. Everyone seems to be visiting there and I haven’t heard anyone say they didn’t enjoy it. I would totally go back here and I can’t wait to tell others about it and to take the family to visit. Is it a place to take kids? Well, it’s not kid friendly if that’s what you’re looking for. No playgrounds or children’s activities and obviously a little more challenging than any other city but having the children with me, wouldn’t stop me from visiting this great city again.

It was a great way to end off our very long trip. I am glad that we ended on such a high even though we had another 4:30am wake up to get home. We are all excited to be home. The children are excited that they get to go to South Africa next to see the family.

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