We left early Saturday morning - programmed the GPS and started the 6 hour trip to Lisbon, Portugal. It was a beautiful ride with rolling vineyards, sprawling farmlands with mulling cows, herds of sheep, goats and horses...miles of olive trees, rivers and lakes, bridges and small pueblos...we rocked out to the Oliver and Company and the Princess and the Frog soundtracks, and everything from Michael Jackson, Alicia Keys, Kirk Franklin and Israel Houghton.
Before too long (but not without paying a ridiculous 'cross the bridge' fee of 36 euros! We found ourselves in bumper to bumper traffic to cross the bridge into the city of Lisbon...and what a bridge it was! It looked exactly like the Golden Gate bridge in San Francisco and I remembered reading in my guidebook that it was built by the same architect.
In addition to the bridge ahead, to the left we saw the huge statue of Jesus called 'Christ the King' which sits on the hills overlooking the city a la the one in Rio de Janiero. Lisbon's was built as a tribute to God's grace and favor keeping them out of World War II.
We drove through the city and followed the GPS into the neighboring town of Cascais where our hotel was. Nestled in a small woods this hotel was a little piece of heaven. After such a long ride, we just wanted to chill out and stretch our legs, so we got to the room, put on our bathing suits and headed down to the pool. It was cooler outside than it looked, so we took a quick dip in the pool and RAN back to our hotel room for pjs and room service.
Ordering was a little tricky since we didn't speak Portugese...and after Johann tried using the online translation tools, we called the hotel front desk for some help! We ended up ordering some Brazilian food since we were in Portugal...and called it a night with plans to wake up early in the morning to sightsee in Lisbon.
Our room came with complimentary breakfast in the glass restaurant. The fresh fruit and baked bread selections were delicious. We became specifically fond of this kiwi, mango and honeydew melon salad. The Portuguese coffee was a hit for Johann and I too and the staff were SO friendly and helpful.
We drove into downtown Lisbon and headed for the Yellow Tour Bus which does several tours throughout Lisbon. We chose the 'classic tour' hitting all the highlights. It was a fun way to see the beautiful city. Toward the end of the trip, we switched seats so R&R could ride in the front - they thought it was a roller coaster - and rode 'hands up high' as we sped down the hilly streets of Lisbon.
After the bus ride, we went to the Hard Rock cafe and called Granny and Grampy! It was fun to have a little piece of America in Portugal. We ordered hamburgers and a ridiculously huge sampler platter with every American appetizer you could think of!
Back at the hotel, Johann sent me off to the spa for a pedicure and he took the girls back to the pool.
Sunday, we checked out of the hotel after another delicious breakfast and drove down the coast of Estoril to Lisbon. There were enormous mansions along the coast, a beautiful castle, lighthouses, bridges and a quaint little town before we were back in the Belem area of Lisbon where we stopped for a bite to eat, some pictures at the Belem Tower, and some souvenirs and before the trip back home.
Lisbon was absolutely beautiful, and we had a wonderful Memorial Day!