Friday 30th of September – Monday 3rd October.
Eleven of my closest friends and I made our way to Lisbon to celebrate Matt Connolly’s ‘Stag do’.
These photographs are ‘technically’ not particularly impressive but hopefully they capture some of the fun we had in Portugal. The trip included a range of activities including a beach day, watching Portuguese champions Benfica play and absorbing some of the beautiful sights and culture of the city (and some nightlife silliness). Some of the gaps have been filled with GoPro images from Jamie Archer as I didn’t bring my camera onto the beach.
Our apartment was based in a conveniently central location, albeit aloft a seriously steep and winding staircase. Not so appealing at 6am.
Upon arrival we dropped our luggage at the apartment and went for a walk around Lisbon. We all made close comparisons to Barcelona and the main road through town was reminiscent of La Ramblas. We had no set plans for our first night in Lisbon, this led to quite a long search for somewhere to eat. Aside from the Nata (custard tart) and other pastry snacks, we found that there wasn’t a great variety of ‘traditional’ Portuguese food beyond basic fish, meat and vegetable dishes.
Unfortunately, I didn’t capture any photographs of the first night out but what started as watching the Ryder Cup in an Irish dive bar, turned into a night that escalated rapidly. Drink flowed as did the laughs, singing, chanting and admiration from our international audience.
Day two was a chance to chill and recover from the night before. For what was now October, the weather was stunning. We were served food and drinks all day and took the occasional dip in the very fresh Atlantic – a fantastic hangover cure!
Being that it was Connerz stag do, it was only right that he received a bit of humiliation, although we went pretty easy on him. Which, given the fact that just over a week before we left for Lisbon this was his situation…
…was only fair. Besides we had been given strict instructions from Mr and Mrs Connolly to look after their little soldier.
Taking his recent invasive kidney surgery into account we weren’t going to be fighting to strip him off or duct taping him naked to any lamp posts… So he gracefully received his fate of wearing very small speedos and a rubber swimming hat on the beach…
From one beach to another… Saturday evening took us to one of Lisbon’s ‘super clubs’; K Urban Beach for another very late night.
Sunday brought one of the trip’s highlights, a trip to Estadio da Luz to see Benfica vs Fierense. After some tense moments when our tickets wouldn’t scan due to printing issues, we made it into the stadium in time to see the famous Benfica eagle take its place on the match ball. The atmosphere was electric for what was a fairly non-competitive league game.
‘Oh Benfica campeão’ a song that echoed for 15 minutes by Benfica’s ‘Ultras’ was loosely translated by our group and echoes to this day; ‘Oblagita loves nipple!’
Our final night in Lisbon was one where most of the boys were struggling from a lack of sleep and the results of over indulgence, not least from the enormous portions of wings from Hard Rock Cafe. We plodded on and ventured to a few small bars to try and liven the evening. We went to a small cocktail bar and banged on the wooden doors to get the guy – who was closing up for the night, to re-open. He seemed happy to oblige and made some very tasty drinks!
Our final day in Lisbon was perfectly planned. A chilled tour of the city by ‘Go Car’, a small scooter engined car that enables freedom to drive around the city. I say it was chilled. The whole group seemed to panic that they’d ended up on the Lisbon highway and I got us lost on the first turn. The inbuilt GPS system wasn’t very helpful, particularly when trying to locate other members of your party…great fun and a brilliant end to the trip, nevertheless.
All in all a fantastic, classy stag do to see Connerz off into married life – with a great bunch of mates. I will definitely be returning to Lisbon in the future to explore it further.
‘A great bunch of lads’…This pretty much sums it up…