Our first rugby season in Paris is complete, twenty six games of which Hugh has played twenty four! It has passed by in a busy and crazy blur. At times I thought it was moving so slowly, that I would never be without a coat and boots again. But we made it, and our summer holidays are just around the corner. It is mind boggling to think that at the same time last year I hadn’t traveled further than Australia and the Pacific Islands and by scrolling back through my blog posts I am reminded again to pause and thank whatever super power out there has made my travel adventures so far possible. Or maybe I should thank Hugh… na – lets go with a superpower. Thank you batman.
Hugh’s last game for the season was an away game in Brive so naturally I decided to kick off the summer holidays a little earlier with my gal pal Hailey. She has appeared in my previous posts she is the girlfriend of one of Hugh’s teammates, Jono. Hailey and I are part of the ESB club, the ‘Expats sans bebes’ club. Our club has few members, in fact it’s more like a 90’s pop group than a club. We are very lucky in the sense that we are surrounded by the cutest squishiest babies and children for hugs and general conversation (kids understand my humour) yet we also have the ability to travel at a whim. Hugh and Jono’s team are in the top 6 so they play their first round of finals this week. Once the finals are finished we will be on a month long holiday, so I guess you could call this Lisbon excursion the warm up trip, to kickstart a base tan for the euro summer ahead.
After making a half hearted attempt to organise ourselves to travel to Brive to watch Hugh and Jono play – it was very costly actually, just FYI- we started to look further afield basing our short trip from Thursday to Saturday around based solely on the forecast of my weather app.
Lisbon is a direct two and a half hour flight from Paris. Hailey and I arrived on Thursday afternoon to a warm 27 afternoon and promptly removed our staple black jeans our legs yelling “YAAAAAS FREEEDOM!”
The view from our window
After trading our black Parisian outfits for lighter fabrics and brighter colours we hit the cobbled streets of Lisbon.
A mutual agreement was made with a quick nod we made a beeline to Fragoleto. Afterall you do not say no to ge-la-to.
I had never felt so pleased to be squinting in my entire life.
Trailing Hailey at a slower pace determined not to waste one creamy drip.
It was on our first day strolling the streets that I stumbled across my newest, favourite Portuguese word “Bolas” for my favourite Portuguese creation. Golden, pillowy doughnuts with a cream, chocolate, strawberry or caramel filling. The Bola is the doughnut that all the other doughnuts whisper about.
Blue skies, buildings and tramways.
There is only so long that two girls can be expected to traipse unknown streets under a cloudless sky before stopping for a while to collect their thoughts and quench their thirst. Oh and it was happy hour, so stopping at just one cocktail would’ve been a crime.
Hailey is a convincing actor, her expression portrays “yay holiday fun with my delicious drink!” In reality the the strength of her cocktail would be enough to knock a grown man sideways.
More street walking. Note we are street walking, but not street walkers. A big difference especially in Lisbon.
Dusk fell and we found a restaurant to sit, eat and chat the night away, with a bottle of Portuguese red of course.
We woke on Friday to another magical blue day and after a quick breakfast we were girls on a mission. Our sole purpose for this city escape was for some beach action. It was time to hot foot it (quite literally) to the train station, destination Cascias beach.
It was important to secure provisions for the thirty minute train ride from Lisbon to the beach.
Insert the Gelato popsticle.
Coming from an advertising back ground I was keen to promote this heavenly creation by offering a few tag lines to the owner. “Popsticles – they’re like popsicles. but not”, “Popsticles – have your smoothie on a stick!” or “Popsticles, no seriously you’re saying it right”. I imagine the signage will be updated soon.
All aboard the Lisbon to Cascais train. A multiple stop, slow-amble of a ride along the coast line with views of the sparkling sea at each turn. We left the station and squealed in delight at our first glimpes of Cascais beach.
My first attempt at a self timer shot. Buoyed with confidence from Hailey’s impressive phone photography skills I decided to try the functionality on my camera. Here we have a large amount of concrete in the foreground and a topless babe in the background. I managed to miss the beach completely. Nailed it.
We settled in for the remainder of the afternoon sprawled on our loungers bronzing and bathing, although one of us was more successful than the other. I became so engrossed in my book ‘The Girl on the train’ that I didn’t notice the sun beating down on my exposed winter skin. I quickly became the proud owner of two burnt knees so I convinced H we had enough sun for the day and it was time to explore the small town of Cascias.
Then it happened, straight out of a heavily scripted RomCom. Two lovers finally reunited! Appearing before us like a mirage we spied a food truck with the world BOLAS scrawled across the side.
Serious eating face. No time for smiling, only got time for biting.
Satisfied and praising the Portuguese for their work in the dough field we decided to return to Lisbon. But no before browsing at a fruit store. The key to a healthy lifestyle is balance and more is more. So, scooper in hand we filled a brown paper bag with cherries for the train ride back.
Our walk from train station to suite was hot, however not one complaint was uttered. We knew better than to annoy the sun gods that had treated us so kindly. A quick shower and back on the streets, opting for a local style dinner with grilled chicken and piri-piri sauce, and of course a pitcher of sangria to wash it all down.
It was a slow and quiet walk back to our suite as we tried to stretch our last twenty four hours in Portugal out for as long as possible. After a day in the sun we fell asleep quickly and I may or may not have slept talked. Hailey will never tell.
Saturday was our final day and we woke early to embrace the temperatures and the freedom of open toed shoes. Our walk was somewhat vertical, 750metres uphill to Sao Jorge Castle.
What goes up must come back down and so we retraced our steps all the way back to our suite, and then to the train station for beach, day two!
After beaching it once more we had to face the inevitable. The boarding time for our flight was at 7pm and we arrived in Paris well before Hugh and Jono who had a five hour journey on their team bus back to Paris.
We stayed at Emporium suites and loved the huge room, kitchen and bathroom. I would definitely recommend staying here!