Since we didn’t know if we would make the flights to Lisbon, we decided to book once we hit the ground in Portugal. Upon landing, we booked the Lisbon Chillout Hostel (shown above) & grabbed a Uber and checked in close to 2AM. Great price and the breakfast the next morning was great in the self-serve kitchen shown above. We decided to walk downhill towards the water and check out the Rue Augusta that is lined with shops and patios. This pedestrian friendly road leads you down to the water and into Praca do Comercio square, which is where we headed to sample the city and let the kids get their sense of direction.
I also wanted to take them on top of on a hill to get a good view of the city at sunset. Miradouro da Senhora do Monte is an excellent place for this. (shown below) Bring a blanket and a bottle of wine and some food and sit and hang out with the locals also doing the same. It’s best lookout since you can see the castle, city, river and the bridge in the background.
The next day we moved over to The New Hub Lisbon Hostel, which I booked in advance using HostelWorld. Excellent place with great amenities and excellent location. They even have a ball pit room. I had the top bunk, so after two pitchers of Sangria… it was hard to climb the wooden ladder to get into bed.
In the video above you will see us take a Tuk Tuk, which is also recommended after you negotiate a great price. We also tour the city on the famous Tram 28 that takes you east across the city towards Belem. We loved this tram and it was included in our 24hr city metro pass that is good on the subway, buses, tram and also ferry if you add that extension to the ticket. Advice for the Tram is go early in the morning to make sure you get a seat with a open window.
A great place to eat is the TimeOut Market shown below with so many food vendors surrounding the many tables that allows you to taste many little yummy things. It’s down by the water and easy to get to from the city square by the river.
Will this summer be different and it all happens? Will we finally fly to Europe from Canada and visit some neat cities & Tropical Islands just south of Berlin?
(below: Chantal asking since she never replied to my email asking…)
(Above: Chantal telling me it’s a go! Karen also emailed me the next day with a “Yes”.)
So time to plan. I work at Lufthansa, and that provides me and the kids with flight benefits. There is so many great websites and apps for your phone to help you plan a trip to get away. All our trip information is going into Evernote now that my Daughter also has access to.
Time to use Evernote, Google Earth, Trip Advisor, Couchsurfing, Hostelworld and see what our options are. I have 16 days to plan out since the kids are at a cottage till the evening of July 28th. We are using Google Sheets to track and plan how much money we need. We are creating a google cal that will track some of the basics of the general timelines to show the kids the blocks of time.
I really wish the Canadian dollar was strong against the Euro.
When you start to look at the logistics on how to travel to hop from city to city… it’s kind of nuts and also equally hard to plan out.
Here are the basic details of the trip:
Right now, we have decided to fly Air Canada into Prague in the Czech Republic since it’s a little east of Munich and South of Berlin. We are flying standby so if we don’t fit on Air Canada Monday night, we will have a backup ticket towards Munich, Germany so we can easily catch up and get to Prague.
AC1922 departs Toronto (YYZ) at 4:50pm on July 29th and arrives next day into Prague (PRG) at 6:55AM on July 30th. We will have two full days in Prague before moving north.
After the two days in Prague we will get on a Train and head north to Krausnick, Germany that is about a hour south of Berlin. We will be staying inside Tropical Islands Theme Park in a little tent. We will have access to the water park for a crazy amount of time so I’m sure we will be pale Canadian prunes by the end of it.
After checking out of the park we will jump on a train north to Berlin Germany… where the next day we will have a full day exploring the really interesting city.
The next morning we will make our way to the airport and jump on Lufthansa to zip southwest to Lisbon Portugal by the ocean for four days. The city of 7 hills and we can get lost in the streets of Lisbon and also hop on a train and hit two beaches along the coast. Will update this blog post soon with more information since we are looking at places to explore to roughly block off some time to do and explore.
After Portugal, it’s on a plane North East towards Zurich and into the mountains of Switzerland and Austria as we make our way back to Prague. TAP Portugal will fly us to Zurich since it’s a gateway into the Alps. This will be a short stay and we will have the second part of the day to taste some food and hopefully jump into the river for a swim and a late night to try and see a bit of the city before bed.
The next morning it’s on a train through the mountains to Innsbruck to spend 3 days in this small city in the valley of the mountains. The reason we wanted to go here is the huge steep mountain coasters and do some hiking in the mountains with the help of the gondola to get up there. 😉 Below is two of the rides that we hopefully not hit the breaks on.
After the the days of going hard… it’s rest day on a train as we travel from Innsbruck to Vienna to stop for lunch for a couple of hours before getting on another train to hop back to Prague for a last night of spending any money we have left on some food we can’t spell. I’m sure I will be editing videos on the train.
The next day it’s off to the Airport in Prague to hop on a plane and fly back with Air Canada back to Toronto where we will be back in the same day and the kids should be home by about 8pm local time and off to bed to sleep for 4 days.
More info to follow. Please don’t share with the Mom if you know her.
November 18th flying with the kids to visit this beautiful city. The city of 7 hills. Where Chantal is allowed to have a German beer on the flight legally. Where tags own the back alleyways and the little Natas are everywhere. A city where everyone eats dinner at 9pm.
Can’t wait to go with them. I’m sure we will make a movie. I’m sure we will stay up late too each night.
Little iPod video above about Portugal… that I made last year… since I wanted to take them but my ex derailed those plans… so now it’s back on.
This Summer… I was to fly there with Noah in Aug and that got derailed by the ex. That might be it’s own blog post. Bottom line is she agreed to let them both go in Nov so I moved the remaining vacation days to Nov to fly and take them both to Lisbon and most likely Spain.
The “Don’t Tell Mom Summer Series” is taking the show on the road this November.
Portugal juts out into the Atlantic in the far southwest of Europe otherwise known as the Iberian Peninsula. The only country it shares a border with it’s buddy Spain to the north and the east, with the Atlantic Ocean hugging its 800km coastline to the south and west.
European Portuguese is spoken in Portugal. Population: 10.6 million.
This year… I want to take advantage of my flight benefits at work. If I price out a trip to Lisbon it would cost around $3,000 return for the 2 of us. With my benefits at work, the two of us can fly at cost. We need to take the “show” on the road and explore something that is new to all of us.
We would get to fly on our planes From Toronto to Germany and a little smaller flight over to Lisbon. On the way back… we might take a train up the coast to Porto, Portugal and fly out of that city after exploring it. The train up the coast will take about 3 hours.
Lisbon Portela Airport (LIS) is located 7km (4 miles) north from Lisbon city centre, close to the Parque das Nações district. It take about 15 minutes to get by taxi into Lisbon from the airport.
One of the trendiest capital cities in Europe, it gets lauded for everything from its affordability and its waterfront location to its well-preserved looks and its near-constant pleasant temperatures. Sunshine and scenery aren’t all it offers, of course – you’ll also find several millennia of history, a compact centre well suited for us to explore the streets. Unfurled across a series of hills and stitched together by a web of atmospheric backstreets.
With AirBnb we can find a great place to stay for the week that is right in the city.
We could rent a car and head up the coast to Algarve show below to explore the coastline.
I know the kids want to hit the beaches and play in the ocean.
I asked Chantal if she thinks she could eat the food in Lisbon. She asked me if they have McDonalds. I told her I would check. She thinks if they can have one in China then they will have one in Lisbon.
There is a couple. But I think this will be a good trip for her to try new foods since there is some good places that serve more of a North American menu. I hope we are not going to McDonalds every day.
Practice Chantal!!! Practice eating other foods! 😉
I’m sure if we walk around we can find some places to eat at. We can also cook a little in our flat also. Lisbon has some great points of interest to visit like Museums, one of the largest indoor Aquarium in Europe, Belem Tower, Sao Jorge Castle and Castle of the Moors which is about 30 min’s away and worth a day trip and it’s shown in the two pictures below:
Another stop on that day trip would be Pena Palace that is close by to the Castle. The Palace is shown below:
Another attraction in the Sintra district – and another that’s been named one of the Seven Wonders of Portugal – this Romanticist palace is a jaw-dropping attraction sat high on a hilltop.