13th September 2021 by emmadurnford

13th September 2021

1 year, 169 days since the start of the 1st lock down in March 2020

Finally the day has come. We are heading to Portugal - checked in, with negative test certificates and completed Portuguese locator forms. The downside is that the original flights I had booked for the early afternoon to arrive early evening and enjoy a nice meal at the hotel had been cancelled. We were now flying at 8.30pm and not arriving until 11.15pm.

Luckily the BATs cab arrived a bit early at 4.15pm (posh silver Mercedes) and we arrived at the airport around 5.00pm. I appeared that we would not be able to drop our bags for some time but as there was literally nobody else checking in, we were allowed to drop out bags soon after arrival. Through security and yet again I had to stand in the ‘naked tube’ after setting it off for some reason. We headed to our favourite Giraffe, our usual place for meals. It was closed. In fact most of the shops and other restaurants were all closed as well so by c Han ce we managed to be the very last people allowed in Wagamamas as it closed. We literally had to place our order immediately as the chefs were leaving. I made a bad order and ended up with a bowl of noodles with pork with what looked like washing up water. Not great. No lengthy time relaxing as it was shutting so we decided to wait near the information boards and I got a coffee and Danishes as dessert.

We boarded the plane early. My trick with booking the aisle and window seat keeping the middle seat free worked and the rear of the plane was totally empty. We had kept our masks on whilst at the airport and for the entire flight. I couldn’t quite believe we were finally flying after over 1.5 years.

Lisbon airport was interesting as it is the first time I have had to go through the non EU passport channels and there was a queue but it only took twenty minutes or so to get to the front desk with a friendly immigration officer. Our luggage was already on the carousel and we exited the building into Lisbon! I could see our hotel from the front of the building and it took us less than ten minutes to lug our cases there. Masks on again and we made it to room 707 where we collapsed in a crumpled heap and went to bed - in Portugal.

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