As I stepped off the plane into the balmy afternoon sun that I have felt so many times in a variety of different places and moments, I realised that there was something special in this air. I couldn’t put my finger on it but it felt warm even without the sun.
My friends excited and ever organised had this trip all under control. But I as ever could always be whatever I wanted to be in their creation.. no pressure to be anything other than me.. that is the beauty of their friendship.
So off to our little apartment which would be our castle for the next 3 days..
We arrived to Paula, a beautiful walking art work of tattoos with a kick ass demeanour. She showed us round. Room for a bedroom each but we were always going to bunk in together.
I felt happy, relaxed, and so ready to be somewhere so beautiful.
We were living round the corner to a park.. not just a park a space where life happens.. where I could imagine my life happening .. a perfect Saturday afternoon for family’s, for friends, for old couples passing the time on their favourite bench and lovers laying together on the grass… These spaces are different but the same everywhere and unite people the world over. How perfect life looked under those trees. We would return another day.
On return to our castle we had a moment of Game show. The weird key that looked like it would unlock heaven just wouldn’t open our door.. L tried, M tried we were all ready to call Paula back..
but perhaps it just needed some GITRC magic…finally my contribution.. yep totally magic touch.. I became the magical gate keeper of our castle. I had a role. It felt good.
And my prize .. the top bunk with a view out of the skylight.. YES!!
Simple things make me very very happy!
I could talk for ever about our days and nights which of course were full of everything… but I shall pick just a few small moments that I loved.
I love Sunday’s. As a kid they were a day for escaping, being free and exploring . Go out in the morning and come back when it was dark.
We took the tram, which were jam packed every time we had seen them the day before.. like a squashed down London tube in the middle of the street in the heart of summer.. but this one was completely empty.. our own personal Laurelliaga ride complete with friendly driver.. photos in every location like we were on a photo shoot for vogue… eventually people got on and it became alive and I smiled listening to the Canadian lady who bantered with the driver like she had known him her whole life.. I love that kind of friendliness… like we are one big dysfunctional family in a wonderful green and blue world .
I found myself very dreamy that day.. the girls were chattering and I was happy in my world… and they let me be…I loved this city… it’s pretty architecture of rainbow colours and cobbled stones made me feel like I was in a city that Willy wonka would have created for Oliver Twist.
My favourite thing being old style lamp posts with ice cream shaped lights.. and everyone was so friendly… the life in the bars the night before had felt so happy and full of passion and daytime felt the same but in a more easy and carefree way… there was love in this city and It was living in every single corner… but with such unpretentiousness that made me feel like I was home.. the version I live in.
we of course came upon by chance the wine tasting festival…
lots of beautifully set stalls delivering a taster of the delights of Portuguese wine.. its good to try the local delicacies. So we did 😊
We had decided to visit the castle that evening to watch the sunset. walking up the never ending steps gave us the work out we needed to balance those custard tarts. I hate cooking but eating.. eating I love.
It’s hard to capture all the tiny details but I loved that the castle was set amongst peoples homes. A man carried a mattress past to take into his little place and there was washing hanging in line with the castle walls.. it felt like the castle belonged to the people.
The sun was already hazy when we arrived and we found a beautiful spot to park up and chat.. with our glasses of wine from the little stall.. wine with a view… yes it was… I can’t even describe the feeling of pure pleasure.Watching the sunset with music from the city drifting across in the light breeze. It was a place that was oozing heart and made us all feel special… I told L & M that the next time I would return to this city would be with someone who was crazily in love with me …ovs i”ll be back! It’s a dot.
When the sun finally set we flew round in the dark alongside the bats and held the moon in our hands… I loved that there was no lighting on the steep steps coming down… That would be a UK health and safety nightmare that would have shut that place down.. but here no such craziness.. you”re not an idiot.. just watch your step.. although after those wines there was always a good chance that we might stack it.
An evening of food and drink and fun followed and I eventually drifted off to sleep. Who needs to be up early…Lisbon will wait for us.
There are so many perfectly wonderful monuments and places of interest in Lisbon and yet I was captured by the American busker playing his songs as we sat by the water… If you are looking for a guide map this ain’t the blog for you.
I could have sat and listened to him all day… Singing along like groupies… Take me home country road.. Worth the euros I put in his case which was followed by a few words especially for me, mid song.
I sat on the boat going back to the centre looking out at the water whilst dreaming of what it would be like to live and write there. Paris had always been the dream but this place had something else. We fitted together in a way that felt natural. All heart and passion with simple carefreeness
or maybe it is all held within me and I take it to every city I visit.. who knows!
Our last night L and M had planned for us to visit a Portuguese restaurant that was full of rave reviews… the lady that owns it does everything.. cooks, serves, hosts. we found her standing outside mid renovation.. just a small place that even under maintenance looked joyous.. she was so lovely… genuinely sorry for our disappointment and directed us towards an Italian restaurant that she loved to go with her children on warm evenings.. she said it was a bit of a walk and gave us directions and said that we would love it…
love it we did.. she had told us to try and get a table outside in the gardens… obviously it was full up but we could have a table inside… but M was determined we would have the full experience and in her very politely persistent way said that we would happily move anytime a table became available… we waited at a table with our cocktails and were entertained by the American man sitting next to me that looked like Chris Pratt… suddenly sitting inside didn’t seem quite so bad…
There seems to be a pattern of Americans in this story.. I think reminders of a friend I once had many years ago.
but an outside table was available for us so off we went and it was so worth it… there was a buzz, an energy outside which felt perfect. Like summer had been extended especially for us.
We were happy chatting about M’s upcoming wedding in December. So exciting.
Wonderful food surrounded by flowers and lights and easiness of company. We were already on where’s next.. The South of France was suggested and taken up, which made me chuckle to myself as I have a perfect outfit for a posh club.
Anyways based on that restaurant recommendation I will definitely be going to the Portuguese restaurant when I return. She knows what she is talking about.
Aaaahhh just thinking about that place makes me feel happy.
I could fill tiny gaps with a million silly little moments that only will mean something to us.. like our freezing cold shower exploits, L in a formula one helmet, singing to the ice cream seller, ale house buyout , lampshades in the shape of cabbages, little chicks, nice waiters.
Some thoughts, sone experiences are just for me.. and in Lisbon they remain.
But to share is how I roll. How I value deep rooted long lasting friendships and lucky I am to have them.
Life was a fairytale on this trip