Last weekend we went to Lisbon for the weekend, to celebrate my sister's 30th birthday. You can see more pictures in the gallery but here are a quick selection.
The party consisted of Steph and Dave, mum and dad, John and Em, me and Mike, plus Steph and Dave's friend Natalie, who must have been a bit overwhelmed at having to cope with the whole family! The others all arrived on Friday lunchtime, having been on the same flight from Liverpool, and spent a pleasant sunny afternoon exploring. We flew in later and joined them in time for drinks and then dinner, which was fabulous, before a fairly early night.
On Saturday it dawned grey, and we walked down to the Praca do Comercio to get ourselves tickets for the tourist bus, which sheltered us from the rain for a while as we travelled through the city and out to Belem. Here we visited the Belem Tower, and then got drenched walking down the road to the Monastery, where Em, John and Natalie found a bus and headed home to dry out, while the rest of us looked around. In the evening we had a few drinks in a big pastelaria on the Rossio square before finding dinner in a little restaurant near the hotel. Then we found another little bar which would sell us some wine to take out and headed back to the hotel and sat up drinking and playing cards in the TV room.
On Sunday the rain had given up and we spent the morning going round the castle and enjoying the views from the top, before finding a very cheap and excellent four course lunch in a nearby street. We voted to skip the cathedral and headed back down to the waterfront where we caught a train out to Caiscais on the coast. On Sunday they stop at every station so it took about 40 minutes. Here we had a wander round, some cocktails by the sea, a paddle in the harbour (well, Natalie and I did anyway) and then headed back for the train home. Mike was too ill to join us for dinner, which was a shame as we went to Cafe Nicola which was lovely, even if we were really a bit too full, especially for the enormous fish platter ordered by Steph and Dave! Then we headed back to the TV room again and had Steph's birthday a day early, so she could open her presents in front of everyone without having to get up at an unearthly hour the next morning.
Steph and Dave were staying for the whole week, but us and the others were only staying for the weekend, so on Monday they all had to dash off for their plane. This left Mike and I to have a lie in before joining Steph and Dave for breakfast out in the square, which was lovely. After that the weather started to really hot up. We headed up the escalator (which was fab) and went for a wander in the streets that side, and managed to find the area of Lisbon that's meant to have a lively night life - hopefully Steph and Dave managed to check it out properly later in the week. The sunshine was lovely, and we just had time to have a nice lunch before heading back to the hotel to pick up our bags, hoping to stop for a coffee and an icecream before we had to get the bus. This plan was slightly scuppered by 3 of us getting stuck in the lift at the hotel, where they had to call out an engineer, but thankfully he arrived quickly and we were free in about 15 minutes. Still, we only missed out on an icecream, and we found the bus stop with plenty of time to spare, and waved the others off to enjoy the rest of their week. I wish we could have stayed longer too!
This week I have had a blood test (still not diabetic), given blood, watched some DVDs and generally been a bit knackered. This weekend is going to be a quiet one!