If there’s one thing I dreamed of a lot during this trip, it was the beach. I didn’t like the cold, and since leaving the UK I’ve been thinking of just having another vacation with a bunch of friends in a great beach somewhere where I’d rent out an apartment for at least a fortnight, and go to the beach to laze till the sun sets, returning to cook dinner, then going out again to drink and party till late. Rinse and repeat, that’s my idea of a perfect vacation. And the weather should ideally be hot, not overly, preferably 20-30 degrees, with clear, blue skies. The beach has to be clean, with fine sand, clear waters and not too crowded. And please, let there be shops nearby as well, good facilities at the beach like toilets and water fountains, and plenty of cafes and bars nearby to chill out. Now, that’s my dream of a perfect vacation.
It’ll never happen, because once I go back to Singapore I’ll start complaining about the hot weather, and almost all the beaches in the immediate vicinity are dirty and strewn with rubbish. Don’t really fancy lounging in the water with empty cans and pieces of plastic floating about.
But you know what? I found my dream vacation in Lisbon, at least for two days. Once I saw the beach, I changed my entire opinion of Lisbon. Its one of those cities with such a high quality of life, like Sydney in Australia. Laid-back, relaxed and brimming with beach culture. There’s beautiful beaches and forested hills right next to the city, and really, this must be one of the best places to live in the world.
Just head out westwards from the city and there’s an entire string of beaches along the coast, all in close proximity to the suburban train line, on which trains run frequently.
For two glorious days I went to the beach and lost track of time doing nothing. Ahh.
The first day, it was the beach at Estoril and Cascais. At one point Nuno even drove me to the westernmost point of continental Europe (this one’s for real, unlike the Southernmost point of continental Asia in Sentosa which is really a joke because Singapore’s an island). It reminded me a lot of Australia, with cliffs plunging into the water and strong winds. We also went to Sintra, which I don’t really have an impression of actually, because it was just a brief stop. Then at night we headed out into the city with his cousin to some really cool bars, although nothing much was going on since it was a Wednesday night. The venues were interesting enough (one was like someone’s house, with different deco for different rooms, and the other was a clown school by day that’s perched on the side of one of Lisbon’s hills and offers a good view of the Golden Gate-like bridge spanning the river) but we felt a little bored because we wanted to listen to some live music.
Second day I walked to Carcavelos beach, which was awesome as well. Then at night we drove to the beach with Nuno’s friends and just sat on the sand drinking under the stars to the sound of guitar music and lapping waves. I enjoyed myself, and thought how nice it would be to spend the rest of my life doing this everyday.