When we made up our mind to continue travelling, we chose Central and South America for our next grand journey and started to map it out. However, it made sense to wait till autumn, when it’s getting cold in Europe, and flee to warmer countries then. We left Cyprus in August, so we had a couple of months for European trips.

We had been dreaming of visiting Portugal for a long time, so we thought it was time to make our dream come true. The warm summer weather was a perfect background for long walks and could give us enough time for exploring new places with our babies.

Lisbon, the capital of Portugal, was our first destination.

It was no easy task to fly from Cyprus to Portugal with two very active little babies. The thing is, almost all flights from Cyprus to other countries are done with a change in Athens. It was only a second flight for Michael Jr and Robert, so we prepared for it very thoroughly. We took their main and extra clothes, favourite toys, and medications.

Night’s sleep on the plane is very comfortable – if you sleep in your dad’s lap.

Before the trip, using TripAdvisor, we made a detailed list of the places we were going to visit during the two weeks we planned to spend in Lisbon. We found a beautiful spacious flat near the city centre (though it turned out to have a “surprise” for us – we’ll talk about it later on) in advance. We didn’t have much time for exploring Lisbon. We usually stay in new places for a month, which is enough for us to walk everywhere and feel the vibes and rhythm of the city. However, this time, we decided to fit two cities – Lisbon and Porto – into one month.

We were satisfied with the way Uber works in Lisbon. It’s very fast and surprisingly cheap (compared to Spain, for example). As usual, we ordered two cars to reach the flat we rented. One car is for the dad, boys, and babysitter, a pram and a couple of bags, while the other one is for the mother and all suitcases.

When we arrived, it turned out that the wonderful flat is on the fourth floor of an old house with a small narrow staircase. So we had to ascend it with all the suitcases, the pram, and our children… There was naturally no lift there. When we did it for the first time, it was just exhausting. But we had to do it every day! Over and over again, we had to take the pram, children, and various bags with child stuff down, when we went for a walk, and up, when we came back home… Quite a workout!

Later we found out there are lots of houses of the kind in the old centre. They are very lovely and beautiful, built in the old Portuguese style, covered with colourful tile patterns, but… they have no lifts.

Facades of most of the houses in the central part of the city are decorated with beautiful tiles.

Photo: Singa Hitam

Lisbon: History and Unique Character

Lisbon lies on the bank of a wide river called Tagus that empties into the ocean. The area has lots of hills, so Lisbon has been called The City of Seven Hills since ancient times. There might have been only seven of them at that time, but there is much more now, which may be connected with its seismic activity. However, local citizens still proudly call it The City of Seven Hills. It’s an incredibly interesting, picturesque, and impressive city. It’s nice to walk around old central quarters as well as waterfronts and beaches. Although the city is located in the south and has quite hot weather, it’s very windy there even in August. Because of the vicinity of the ocean, the weather may change several times during a summer day.

View of the city from one of the observation points

The westernmost European capital, the center of a powerful state, whose citizens made numerous great discoveries in the Middle Ages, was destroyed by a natural disaster at the end of the 18th century. A severe earthquake brought about gigantic waves that swept out the whole of the city’s coastal area. Shortly after that, a fire broke out. Even when the devastating disaster subsided, the miseries of the locals were not yet over. Various epidemics started to spread out, which killed many of those who managed to survive the disasters.

After the earthquake and tsunami, the city was almost totally destroyed. Only the areas and landmarks situated in the upper hills managed to survive.

Magic sunset

Photo: Independent

It took several de