Study Abroad

Lisboa, Lisabona, Lisbon

One of my biggest problems, knowing three languages, is remembering which word pertains to which language, especially if they sounds the same.

My Spanish friends ask what I’ve been doing lately, and I tell them “Fui a Lisbon”, Seeing that doesn’t work I try “Lisboa”. Yep, that’s the correct one. (And Lisabona is Romanian).

In any case, this is where my friend Jenny and I recently spent a weekend in this beautiful capital of Portugal. Not even the rainy days could put a damper on the adventures (you should never let rain do that anyways!)

We took a nighttime bus from Sevilla, and woke up to the driver blasting Portuguese house music at 6:30am.. Welcome to Lisboa!

After a nap at our hostal and gorging on an included pancake breakfast (well, can’t speak for Jenny…)

Jenny is an expert at using the metro, and I just followed her as we caught the metro, and then a train to Sintra.

This town is unbelievable… it has palaces, fortresses, monuments, castles… all in one.

Our first stop was the 8th Century Moorish castle, a hike that plummeted uphill and was well worth it. You could see all of Portugal from those rolling hills! It was used as a lookout point and fortress for defense, certainly no one could have made it up those hills in quick enough time to attack…

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You can also see Pena National Palace up on a higher hill overlooking the castle, which was our next stop. Never have I ever seen such a palace.. bright yellow, salmon red, and powder blue on the outside. Totally pinterest-worthy.

This castle proved to me that all studying abroad really is, is a contest to find the best profile picture.

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Later that night, after a delicious dinner at a Nepalese restaurant (how I’ve missed ethnic food), we go back to our hostel and are greeted with “welcome beers”… awesome, no questions asked 😛
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Day Two

Rain rain go away….

Sintra was so beautiful yesterday that we had to get in another trip today.
Really, all thanks to that one Buzzfeed post about “Magical Places”…. one of them was in the Quinta Da Regaleira.

This estate has a labyrinthic grotos, tunnels, turrets, and wells to get lost in.

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And-the site we’d been dying to see… the magical well!!!!
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We then walked around Sintra in the pouring rain, huddled under one umbrella, and looking through shops. I learned that the Rooster is Portugal’s emblem, and that the country is the world’s #1 producer of cork.

Next stop- the district of Belém, for their famous pastries,pasteles de nata. And the Jerónimos monastery
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The line for these sweets wrapped around the building, but the workers at the register took care of business faster than I’ve ever seen anyone do anything in Europe.

I bought one to eat there with Jenny, and then one to go, but I was so starving that I just ate it on the packed trolley back to Lisbon (the trolleys here are adorable!)IMG_5026

And later Jenny and I went to check out the giant shopping center (mid-November, and it’s finally time to buy “warmer” clothing for Sevilla.) There was an awesome interactive art exhibit too:
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…And the day wasn’t even over… come 12am, we went out to dinner in the lively Barrio Alto

Typical Portuguese pescado, and green wine (from white grapes), plus an extra glass from the waiter 😉 (best waiters ever here, they were teaching me Portuguese!)

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Day Three
Spent our whole day exploring Lisbon, from the seaside to the old Jewish neighborhood of Alfama, and so many lookout points of this beautiful and unique city, where people’s lives are not hidden from the streets. Also found out Lisbon is the sister city of San Fransisco, it even has a Golden Gate bridge look-alike!

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And, of course, couldn’t keep my eyes off all the buildings lined with tiles-

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