Wednesday, 24 January 2018

Lisbon

We debated for a while were we wanted to go for our honeymoon. Given some of the safety-related restrictions we were facing with a baby in tow, we decided to stick to something more familiar and take a 3 week vacation in Europe like all good tourists. This trip was going to have its own set of challenges - Babes is no longer exclusively breastfed so we have to find food for her, she is getting pretty heavy so we have to carry around a stroller, AND she is now a full on crawling-almost-walking machine! No more Japanese-style-thin-floor-mats where we could just lay her down and have her stay there for the night. We now needed a proper crib at each place! We considered bringing our own pack n play but it would've been such a hassle to carry around between destinations, given that we like to be able to carry all our luggage in our backpacks.



Our itinerary included a roundtrip flight to France, with stops in Lisbon, Lagos, Sevilla, Madrid, Malaga, Barcelona, Nice and Paris. The overnight flight to France was pretty smooth and we arrived in the morning. Much like the Japan trip, the first day was a complete write off full of heartbreaking cries and a solid 24hrs of on and off sleep. But unlike the Japan trip, this time we were prepared - a hotel reservation at the airport for the first day and night and no events planned. Even though I saw a meltdown of this magnitude coming, I still struggled and doubted myself as a mother, partner, human... and looked at next day return flights. But at least this time there was no fever involved and I knew the language so I felt a lot more comfortable with our decision to travel.

The following morning we boarded our 1hr plane to Lisbon. Babes was able to catch a few more z's thanks to the kind people who let us have two seats together.


From the airport we took a couple trains to get to Alfama, the historical heart of Lisbon, where we booked our Airbnb. From the train station, it was a beautiful uphill walk on narrow, pretty-sure-pedestrian-only-but-not-sure-how-some-cars-got-here cobblestone streets and views of the ocean.





Since we were a bit early for checkin, we stopped for a coffee at a cafe nearby. Danny went in to order us two lattes and a pastry, while I sat down to feed Babes. A few minutes later, our two .. lattes.. came.


I guess we got what we paid for; two glasses of hot milk. Danny mentioned that he thought it was weird they asked him if he wanted the lattes hot, and... just in a glass? But regardless, the hot milk was delicious and we enjoyed it just as well without the caffeine, making a note for next time to make sure to say ***CAFE*** latte. These pastries though - Pastel de Nata - are a signature Portuguese dessert. There's a lot of disputes about which bakery shop in Lisbon makes the best and most authentic Pastel de Nata. Some say it's Pasties de Belem, others claim it's in Manteigaria and I'm sure there are quite a few other runner ups. We only had about 2-4 each a day, so we didn't get to try all of them. We're not fatasses.

Soon enough we were able to check into our Airbnb, where we were greeted with yet another round of Pastel de Natas. After digging into these ones, we very quickly went from 0 to full on Pastel de Nata snobs.



After a quick break and nap for Babes we ventured back out into the streets of Lisbon. Our CFO (Chief Food Officer, Danny) found us a cute looking restaurant (which had the mandatory 4.5+ star rating, of course) where we tried some traditional Bacalhau fish, as well as beef stew. It was delicious!


Since highchairs were unheard of in such small restaurants, we let Babes roam and entertain herself by playing peek-a-boo with the cooks.



After dinner we headed over to Castelo de Sao Jorge for some gorgeous sunset views over Lisbon.















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