Well it’s trip time again, and we are off to the capital of Portugal, Lisbon. Now the last time I visited Lisbon was back in the eighties when I was a lot younger, it was a fleeting day trip from Albufeira the city seemed very overpowering back then for a little traveled young man as I was in those days, but years on I love nothing more than a city break. So as with most recent years we decided to visit for my birthday. As we had an early flight and the drive to the airport takes around two hours we decided to stay in one of the trusty Travelodge chains hotel just a short drive from the airport, getting up up at 4am was a bit of a shock but it’s a lot better than leaving at 2am with a two hour drive to deal with. Flight was painless enough and we arrived in Lisbon around 10am. The weather initially did not seem a lot different than back in the uk which was a surprise, but that was ok, at least it was dry. Getting through passport control was painless enough, located our pickup from the airport and we were soon on our way to to our apartment for the duration of our stay. Chiado Apartments. When we arrived at our apartment we discovered that it could not have been in a more perfect location, overlooking largo de camões square right in the heart of Lisbon in the Baixa & Rossio area. So it was a quick unpack and off out to explore the area. First port of call was a to get some lunch consult our guide book and get our bearings. So just a short walk from our apartment was a little wine bar called Grapes & Bites Wine House, where we formulated our plans over a nice glass of red wine and some excellent local cheeses.
Next we moved on to the Rossio area of town, on the way I could not help noticing that the architecture of Lisbon is in my opinion a bit lacklustre compared to the many other European cities we have visited, even the squares and monuments had that something lacking. The time flew by and our thoughts were turning to where to go for dinner, their were plenty of restaurants to choose from, some with some very nice outside seating spots, but the evening was a little on the chilly side for that so we took the indoor option. Whilst walking around we did stumble across a small little place where a very friendly old chap was trying to beckon us in but we replied ” maybe later” but the place looked really nice. So when we were ready to have dinner we decided to return to the friendly old chaps restaurant which was called. Restaurante Portas in Rue dos Corrreeiros,in the Baxia district. The restaurant itself was very plain and simple, but very clean and the food was excellent especially the sardines. A good way to end our first day in Lisbon;