So yes we did go on a honeymoon. As we only knew three weeks in advance that SO was going to be able to have any time off after the wedding organising it was a rush job.
Firstly we had to decide where to go. We wanted to go somewhere with some sunshine, After all as much as I love winter for a honeymoon one needs some romance and sparkle. Though I admit, the John Lennon way does have an appeal, in bed for days. We had decided to use some of the mountain of frequent flyer points that SO has accumulated over the years. Next we decided we were not going anywhere which meant changing planes or flying more than 3-4 hours. Then we opted for a place neither of us had ever visited and that made a short-list. From all options we decided in the end that Lisbon was a great option.
Then we had to decide on a place to stay. How do you decide this in a city you do not know- well there are several websites that have reviews of hotels. About a gazillion of them really, not really entirely helpful if you have no idea how the public transport works etc. But we have short cuts to information. A colleague of SO, (P) is Portuguese and grew up in Lisbon. So we asked him.
Seriously overestimating our budget he gave us some hotel options. He also provided us with a 3 day insiders guide to Lisbon. Seeing the prices of the hotels we were blown a little away. Sure a backpackers was not what we had in mind but really we are don’t have a money tree! Actually we do, SO’s department made us one, blooms only on your wedding day. But as it was off season we managed to secure a 55% off deal in the Bairro Alto Hotel in the middle of Lisbon and one of P’s suggestions. Let’s just say he has a good taste in hotels.
We arrived on Sunday after a good flight. The hotel, well, you know those Dynasty type series where the porter sort of anticipates the guest every whim and is so utterly polite. That is what happened. It was like stepping into a movie. I liked it.
The first night we walked around towards the river. So I was not quite prepared for this little thing called hill. Our hotel was at the top of a steep hill. In fact within a few hours we found out that Lisbon has a high town centre that steeply declines to the river. Bairro Alto is right at the top, and our hotel, of course, as well.
Now this has some nice side effects. Nice views from the top of the hotel. There is an old elevator. Sort of Jules Verne meets PJ’s Middle Earth type design, called the Santa Justa. Little trams that go up and down the steep ways (funiculars). As I was still somewhat groggy from the weeding night, toilet episode we did not have a full blown dinner. Instead we enjoyed the terrace at the top of the hotel and had some bread and cheese there. So had a hamburger and chips brought to the room.
The room itself was not large but well set up. The bathroom had a bathstede. Something like an old fashioned bedstede where part of the bath is obscured behind panels. It was a huge bath. When I sat in it my head barely made it over the rim. But it was lovely.