Lisbon Day 7 – coming home

Leaving Lisbon

This will be a very short post! For day seven of my trip in Lisbon was really just all about getting home.

I was up fairly early on the Tuesday morning, finished packing and then headed around the corner from the hotel to have a last simple breakfast at Simpli Coffee.

Unfortunately I was a bit too early – the café didn’t open until 9 o’clock and I was ten minutes too early!

I wandered around until it opened, then decided to sit in with an americano and a – it had to be done on my last day – pastel de nata.

I wrote my diary and then took a last look around…

.. what a lovely spot! Then I headed along the street back to the hotel to check out.

Before I did that, I look at the hotel’s pool – which I hadn’t had time to go anywhere near. It wasn’t big by any means but I could have done a few laps if I’d had the time!

I grabbed my bags from the room, did my last look around to make sure I hadn’t left anything then headed down to reception. Check out was swift and polite, and I was soon on my way to the airport.

I was sad to be leaving my home on Avenida Liberdade and was going to miss stepping out on to its sun soaked pavements every morning (although I wouldn’t miss its slippery kerbs)!

It might seem weird but very quickly after arriving in Lisbon I’d felt really settled. I actually felt like I lived in the city during my time there.

The metro journey out to the airport took just half an hour.

I caught a glimpse of some of the Lisbon inspired characters I spotted on my first day at the airport station as I headed up in to the terminal.

The characters were a little reminder of my night spent listening to fado!

After I checked in I went outside for what I felt would be the last bit of sunshine I’d have on my face for a good couple of months – there really is just something about feeling the sun and warmth on your skin!

Claiming tax back and the Lisbon lounge

After making my way through security I managed to remember to claim my tax back for the power bank I’d bought in fnac a couple of days earlier. The process was a little bit confusing as there were two different companies operating tax free facilities just after security.

After trying unsuccessfully to scan my receipt at one machine, a lady came up to help and pointed out I had to visit the customs counter first.

There I scanned my receipt at a kiosk and very quickly got a receipt.

I then took that to the Planet Tax Free counter (the one on the right).

There, a man took my passport, boarding pass and debit card, and after a quick bit of typing told me the money would be in my bank account within around ten days. Perfect! (And it did arrive within that timescale.) This could be one of the very few benefits of Brexit, and one I’ll have to remember on my other trips to the continent when I’m doing some shopping!

I then made my way through the terminal and came out in a large central hall around which were a selection of shops and restaurants. It was pretty busy!

They had a branch of my favourite shop! I had a look around in there, but again managed to resist from making any purchases.

I did see this which I’m just going to leave here for posterity…

After that I headed upstairs to the ANA lounge. It was absolutely heaving. To the point it was pretty hot and unpleasant to be honest! Every seat seemed to be taken or had a bag on it.

Eventually I managed to find a seat in the small café-like area. Food and beverage wise the lounge seemed to have a really weird system I couldn’t quite figure out.

There were some small sandwiches out on display, but packets of crisps seemed to be behind a staffed counter (maybe to stop people taking them from the lounge). Above the counter was a large menu – but I’m not sure if that food was available to order or if it was just listing what was already out on display.

I got some crisps, and a selection of snacks, and an americano and sat down for a bit.

Once I’d had that I decided that it really wasn’t worth hanging around in the lounge much longer. It wasn’t relaxing given how crowded it was. I did manage to find (beside the toilets) some booths for working which weren’t being used, so if you find yourself in the ANA lounge and it’s busy, I would head for those!

Actually a better bet might be to head to your gate! Opposite mine was the “First Class café” which had plenty of seating, wasn’t busy, and had power points too.

I ordered another coffee there but had literally just sat down when my flight began boarding, which seemed very early!

It turned out that was because we were being bussed to the plane. Once we got on the bus, it began moving pretty swiftly but then sat for what seemed like an eternity until we could get off and actually board!

My flights home

Before long we were taxiing down the runway and lifting off towards Heathrow.

The lunch offering included a starter of roasted squash with wild rice, then as a main I chose the red Thai prawn curry. Dessert was a passion fruit coconut crumble.

It was alright! And pretty filling. Having had my fill of coffee for the morning, I had a tomato juice and Diet Coke to drink. I always feel people order tomato juice on a plane when they would never normally think to drink it. Or is that just me that does that?

The sky was a bright, deep blue as we made our way towards Heathrow.

Once we landed, immigration was pretty painless. Again I decided to walk to the Terminal 5 B gates lounge and sat there chilling for a while before my flight to Belfast. I then made my way back to the A gates when my flight was allocated a gate.

Yet again boarding involved getting a bus to the aircraft!

On board the 50 minute flight to Belfast I had a little prawn salad with a bread roll and a chocolate dessert pot.

And before I knew it I was back in Belfast, and getting a taxi home.

Thank you!

I just want to say a quick thank you here if you have read and enjoyed my posts from Lisbon! I’m really glad I’ve got back to writing about my trips. Despite the amount of time it takes up, I find writing them really therapeutic – and it gives me a great record of what I’ve done on my travels.

I’ve really enjoyed reading the nice comments people have left on social media under my posts too. I don’t currently have any trips planned for 2024, with work shaping up to be pretty busy. But if you’d like kept up to date with when I’ve written a new post on my travels, you can subscribe for updates here.

Thank you again for reading and I hope you have a great 2024!

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