The drive from Porto to Lisbon was long it was interjected with a short stop to stretch our legs in Obidos, a place Joshua has fond memories of from his childhood holidays to Portugal. I loved seeing it through his eyes and with him pointing out various places he remembers. For the whole journey Joshua constantly checked his phone so excited to see his friends. We parked up along xx and we were right alongside the festival set up. It was the perfect start getting in the mood for all the live music to come! We hopped in a taxi to the apartment and felt more like holidaymakers. As we pulled up the lads greeted us warmly and we relaxed into some luxury of fans and a bit of space. The first stop was of course the football fan zone as England were playing. Each donning an England shirt with a beer in hand we headed down to meet the hoards of people, some English and claimed a spot on the turf in front off the huge screen. It was an amazing experience and I loved being part of it despite the outcome not being as we’d hoped. There was only one thing for it – drown our sorrows. Keen to make the most of the nightlife we headed into the town. Josh knew of a place that did pizza slices so we took a stop and had slices bigger than our heads it was phenomenal! We slipped between people on the street where bars were so tiny the customers poured out into the street filling the alleys with chatter, music and laughter. We had a few but keen not to go too wild before the festival we headed back relatively early.
It was day one of the festival. We aren’t used to drinking heavily these days so woke up a tad bleary eyed but it wasn’t anything a super long hot shower couldnt fix. I know a proper shower how amazing it was! I don’t think I could have physically showered anymore I am sure I racked up a good three a day whilst in Lisbon! I know I always have food on the brain but these boys were feeders. I was taken to the famous Time Out market along the front. I likened it to Altrincham Market but on a bigger scale! Each vendor had a slot in the wall all independents and amazingly branded with catchy names and spot on graphics. Trying to get a place to sit was near impossible but after a while we snuck onto the end of the huge benches. There was so much choice of what to eat I was desperate to try it all. We all separated off and each of us went for a different place. Some of us had Portuguese style pork whilst others enjoyed chicken from a bbq. Me and Joshua settled on some Thai food hoping it was as delicious as the meals we sampled during our time there a few years ago. I sampled the delicious pad Thai whilst Joshua had a yellow curry both were amazing and we also had a side of fresh rice rolls which I would highly recommend to anyone. We enjoyed the busy atmosphere and enjoyed a sangria or two before hiking back up to the apartment ready for some drinks and for me ‘glam time’. I loved the luxury of space and having my beauty things spread around me like treasures it is so the little things you miss when you live life on the road its crazy. Anyway, once I’d gotten myself festival ready, we drank on the roof terrace and jumped a couple of Ubers down to the other side of town.
NOS Alive is amazing. Firstly I have never been to a festival abroad but to not have to worry about rain or wellies or mud was an absolute dream! The place was so easy to navigate as it was only small but there were loads of bars and food stalls which meant we were never queuing long unlike some places. The stages were all really close too which was perfect for hopping between artists. My personal highlight was most definitely the Arctic Monkeys. I have wanted to see them live since I was 16 and 10 years on it became a reality! I loved dancing and singing with the lads and knowing all the words to my favourite songs. The night was topped off by the most fabulous Burrito which I have to mention as the boys will back me up on it being a top quality nosh stop before we were saved from the hoards of people leaving and trying to flag taxis down by an uber – honestly uber was a life saver!
Day two and we woke up super groggy. A long lie in was necessary and we slobbed about for a good couple of hours before getting out into the real world. It was genuinely liberating being able to relax as I always go at 100 miles an hour to try and see everything and end up tiring myself out. The adventure for the day was a hike up to the castle one of the highest points in Lisbon. It was a big hill to get up but it shook off our cobwebs and we were treated to a Magnum at the top! The view over the city was perfect. The famous red bridge in the distance and the manic streets below seemed so far away. We wandered through the historic site enjoying the ruins and walls preserved before enjoying a drink and snack in a nearby terrace bar soaking up some sun and planning the night ahead. We knew the ropes of where to go and what to do at the festival so enjoyed a bit more of a relax in the apartment making the most of our own drinks and heading down later. On the uber ride down we found out the Kooks had pulled out, I was gutted as that was who I was excited for most that day but anyway it was what it was. We arrived and as the sun set the air got a tad chilly so we hit the merchandise stall and all got matching jumpers. Some would have called it cringe but we looked the absolute dogs bollocks! We sampled another of our favourite burritos – obviously and headed to the acts. The replacement for the kooks was Blossoms and I know a few of their songs but not enough really. To my surprise they were absolutely fantastic and a massive highlight of the whole festival. I would 100% look to see them again and even since really gotten into their music! Whilst the lads wanted to see queens of the storage me and Joshua nipped off half way through to see Rag & Bone Man. Lying outside of the tent with a drink in our hand, we were super chilled and happy. The other act which we all thoroughly adored was Two Door Cinema club even if one of us was asleep on his feet we all jumped around yelling the lyrics and having a personal party. I couldn’t believe how fast time went and before we knew it it was 5am and we had to leave.
It was so hard getting out of bed that day, words cannot describe. We dragged our sorry asses out of bed for a final day well afternoon of sightseeing. Some people wanted to head back to the market but as wed already been I was keen to explore elsewhere. We took a peek down pink street sampling some homemade juices from an amazing little cafe come bookshop before walking up into town to a super ropey looking place for food following trip advisor reviews. It shows not to judge a book by its cover because it was fantastic we had fresh fish grilled to perfection and even a free round of rinks (its no wonder they had such good reviews). We all met up back at the apartment before playing a good few rounds of Heads up and going into town. FYI making heads up a drinking game is genuinely lethal especially if you are as sh*t at it as me! The walk to the main nightlife area was super long so we stopped off a place which looked popular with the locals called Bar Lisboeta and like them we stood outside in the warm evening air laughing about the festival and sipping our drinks. Next up was a bar called Mejong, tucked away with on the busy street in Barrio Alto, bit pricier but far more my cup of tea. The place was less busy than the rest most probably because it wasn’t selling 20millions shots for a euro or something like that. It was a cool Japanese vibe with pakchoi lights yes lampshade made from pakchoi (plastic of course). We all sipped espresso martinis and felt super civilised. I am so not a party animal and when we left the others were keen to have a late one, clearly the past few nights had caught up with me so happily me and Joshua slipped off, grabbed a 20 box of chicken nuggets and went back to the apartment!
Everyone was super hungover on our last day and we were all sad to say goodbye and head back to our normalities. I was particularly heartbroken leaving the shower, jokes. We packed up our bags and that was it we were out of the door and back to van life! Before we went back though I needed some food and particularly a Franceshina which our taxi driver had told us about. The stodge definitely cured our fuzzy heads and we went back to the van. That was it, we were on the road and heading to Obidos, not before a quick stop to take some snaps of the famous bridge, they were shit as my head was still clearly hungover and as you can see they are all blurry.