May I just start off this post by saying that it was extremely difficult to blog from Spain, and for that I’m truly sorry. I didn’t have access to WiFi in my homestay apartment for most of the time I was in Spain, and when I finally received it, I needed to divide my time between a wretched cold, actual school work, final travel plans and communicating with loved ones back home. Sorry this post is late, but now that I’m home, I have control over when I can write my posts. With that said, here we go!
Lisbon is probably the most gorgeous thing I’ve ever laid eyes on. It’s so antique, authentic, and seems fairly untouched from the world of tourism. I had a wonderful time getting acquainted with its rich culture and unique beauty. I want to take this opportunity to mostly share pictures of my time in Portugal with brief descriptions.
So, literally the minute we stepped out the train station and onto the streets of Lisbon, we were greeted with this extraordinary sight.
When me and my study abroad friend first got off that horribly long and uncomfortable train ride (long- it was 7.5 hours; uncomfortable- we couldn’t sleep because in true European fashion, there was a junkie gypsy in our car) we already knew it was going to be a wonderful trip. How I wish you could have seen this in person!
After hitting up an information counter for some sightseeing advice, we were off to the recommended local market. It was fabulous!
There were so many personal items on sale by vendors as well as artisanal goods, old electronics, cultural gems and more. After hitting the market, we were officially enchanted by the city of 7 hills, which is a geographical trait Lisbon is known for.
After the market, we had to find our hostel, so naturally we gawked at everything in sight along the way.
And then there was the breathtaking view of Lisbon from the viewpoint by our hostel…
We stayed at a hostel called Johnie’s Place. It was clean, quaintly decorated and quintessentially European. We were the only guests there, so we pretty much had the place to ourselves. I would highly recommend staying there if you’re a traveller on a tight budget. It offers free breakfast, WiFi and the staff was so friendly and helped us map out our tourism route of the city.
After taking a full blown 2+ hour nap (remember we could not sleep on that train), we grabbed a bite to eat from the outdoor café at the Miraduoro de Graça…
… and headed to the Castello Sao Jorge. The castle was beautiful. There were old cannons, and remnants of how royal life used to be. We saw a moat, some old horse stables and yet another gorgeous view of Lisbon during the sunset.
Later that evening, we went to the Museo de Arte Antigua and ate at this charming little restaurant called Lumar down Rua Do Conde. The food was absolutely delicious!
The next day, it was cloudy and looked like rain was on the day’s agenda, but we were determined to see the absolute most we could of Lisbon on our final day. We took the blue line of the Metro to the Avonida station to visit the Parque Eduardo VII. It showcases the most unique growth pattern of foliage I’ve ever seen in my life.
It’s at this point that my friend and I get caught in a torrential onslaught of rain, and had to cut our roaming short.
After recovering somewhat (still largely cold and damp) at a local eatery, we caught the tram in hopes of making it to see the Monastery in Belém, but we unfortunately got there too late. It was a gorgeous sight though, even at night.
After our failed attempt at perusing the monastery, we were lucky enough to make it to the Museo Berardo, where we saw original Andy Warhol and my friends personal favorite, Michaux. Though we did take pictures, I’m not sure if it’s entirely legal to share them on my blog, so I rather just not. However, here’s a cool artsy shot of the museum entrance.
After some rendevouzing at some of our favorite spots, we hopped on the train and headed back on another 7.5 hour ride to Salamanca. And, I went to school literally two hours after we got back from Portugal. And no, I didn’t sleep much on that ride either!
These are some of the other sites we saw during our time in Lisbon.
Overall, I had an amazing time during my short visit to Lisbon. Portugal definitely captures my heart as a traveller and an individual. I yearn for the opportunity to revisit it and explore more of the city and the country. The people were so nice, friendly, helpful and full of life and Portugal has a very distinct and unique European culture. I hope one day you’re able to experience it too.
Till my next post,