I am beyond excited to find out that between July – September there is a drive-in cinema at Parque da Feira Semanal in Viseu, 1 hrs drive from our casa. As well as the drive-in they also have an open air cinema. They are showing a lot of old favourite films including ET, Top Gun and Forrest Gump. ET takes me back to my childhood and I absolutely love this film so I had to book tickets. There is space for 150 cars but you have to pre book and arrive 1 hour prior to the start of the film. It costs €19 per car which is a little steep in price but we haven’t had a proper night out since we arrived due to Covid-19. Bars and discos have reopened but I still have really high anxiety so won’t be going on a pub crawl anytime soon. I did think about squeezing a couple more people in the back seats to get value for money but apparently you must all live in the same household. The last time I visited a drive-in cinema was in Australia 1992 when I was on a 12 month backpacking adventure. It’s not really a thing in the U.K although a couple of years ago Bristol did have an open air cinema in Queens Square and there was a hot tub cinema night where you sit in hot tubs with strangers whilst watching a movie outdoors. I can’t think of anything worse and not something that could happen at this present time with Covid-19. 

I always have a bit of a situation when I enter a hot tub. Last hot tub adventure was at a mother and daughters spa day at Cadbury House near Bristol and a weird man kept eyeing up my daughter who was 16 at the time. I closed my eyes and tried to relax, which is impossible. Then my hand accidentally floated and brushed the private parts of the bloke sitting next to me! (ha ha). Obviously this was a pure accident and not on purpose then I had the awkwardness of having to say, gosh I’m so sorry. I just try to stay clear of hot tubs in general as I also feel they are a breeding ground for germs. We haven’t really ventured out much in the evenings since we arrived here as restaurants are not the same enjoyable experience due to having to wear a mask to enter, plastic dividers and social distancing. Most of our trips are connected with nature and so during the daytime. We usually just like to stay home and watch the sun set on an evening from our favourite spot in the garden. We have a bar and BBQ now so we are sorted.

Drive-In movies are perfect for me as I am not really a social person and I really dislike sitting next to strangers and having to listen to their annoying chatter before the film commences. Then there is the situation that you have to keep standing up to let people pass. Then there’s always that annoying person who talks all the way through the film or a crying kid and don’t get me started with the people on their mobile phones. I rarely go to the traditional cinema as I find it difficult to sit still with my back disability, I just feel uncomfortable, in pain and that I’m annoying others with my constant fidgeting but a drive-In is so perfect for me as I can change positions as many times as I like in the comfort of my old banger of a car. The film started at 9.30pm but we had to arrive 1 hour before the show started. The coordinates on the ticket were very misleading and unfortunately took us to the wrong venue. We arrived at a completely different venue. There were lots of open air restaurants, a fair with fun rides and food stalls with a huge centre stage. We drove around for ages trying to find the place then ended up following a car who headed to a small parking lot behind the main stage. There was no security at all and we managed to drive right behind the stage and we asked a bloke where the drive in cinema was located and he directed us to the right place. He was one of the musicians just about to go on stage and was so friendly. God knows how we managed to access that back stage area without being stopped by security. Lucky for him we are not murderers or weirdo stalker super fans (ha ha).

We arrived at the right location and there were stewards checking our tickets upon entry and handing out a leaflet with rules which were all in Portuguese. Luckily for me I can read Portuguese far better than I can speak it. I understood about 80% of the listed rules. A steward waved us in and we were about the 6th car there so got a great spot on the first row. We had to wear masks to enter but then we could take them off. Although the ticket said we had to arrive 1 hour prior to the film starting others rocked up 5 mins before to the start time and were still allowed in. When I told my children that I was attending a drive-in cinema, my daughter said she has always wanted to visit one and was excited. Son said he would rather watch a film indoors in his flat with his headset on (ha ha). Typical ASC response.

There were promotional young ladies at the event from Fidelidade insurance who took our details for insurance quotes (home and car). We didn’t mind this as they are supposed to be one of the most competitive in price so we are happy for them to email us quotes. The funny thing was that she wore a mask and took our details then handed us a few sample little packets of hand wipes but she wasn’t wearing gloves! They will come in handy to keep in the car. Next a lady came around with a snack and drinks service. We didn’t think this would happen so purchased our own snacks. We had so many snacks they had to have their own spot on the back seat (ha ha). The film was supposed to start at 9.30pm but it didn’t. At 9.30pm a man appeared on stage with a microphone and spoke Portuguese for about 10 minutes. I have no idea what he was saying except for 2 words ‘Steven Spielburg’ (ha ha). When he finished I cheered, I was the only one! Then they showed a documentary about Steven Spielburg and snippets from the ET film (all in Portuguese). This showed us many scenes of the film, actually all the best bits which pissed me and hubby off big time. Then the film started at 10pm. We had to tune our radio in to 92.3 FM to gain sound in our car. The film was in English with Portuguese subtitles which is funny as we occasionally watch Portuguese T.V with English subtitles. I enjoyed reading the Portuguese subtitles and can recognise certain words now which is good. I’m not sure ‘ET phone home’ in Portuguese will assist me much here in Portugal but it’s all good for my memory key skills and if I ever encounter a space ship in one of the forests here, I will know exactly what to say if I don’t get abducted by aliens first.

It was a hot evening and only about 30-40 cars turned up. About half way through the police arrived, I assumed to arrest me but they actually took over security. What I found funny was that every now and then people had to turn their car engines on to prevent a flat battery, including us! Toilets were available and you had to put your face mask on when leaving your car. I didn’t use the loo as with my poor eyesight I would have just got back in the wrong car for sure as it was very dark (ha ha). What a fantastic unique experience and a perfect date night under a beautiful full moon. The atmosphere was great and everyone was having such a fun time. It was very well organised with little queueing to get in and out. Picture and sound quality were top notch. I am going to be finding random pieces of popcorn in our car for the next month! The weather was perfect and it was great to see so many people having fun. I only wish I had cleaned our car as the windows were a little dirty so obscured the view slightly (ha ha). I highly recommend a drive-In movie by moonlight and can’t wait to return one day. The film finished around midnight so we got home at 1am and were tail gated half the way home as usual by some A hole who had a death wish.