A Lisbonne!

9 Jan

So for my winter break (and best Christmas gift ever from my parents), we hopped on a flight to Lisbon, Portugal for a five day stay. Can you say heaven? After spending so much time in cold, grey Paris, it was a perfect get-away. A nice reminder that warm weather will return one day! Lisbon felt like a fresh Spring day (Hello 60 degrees!) the whole time we were there until Sunday. We left Sunday, so this was no big deal to us.

Shayla and I stayed at this place called the Living Lounge Hostel. (If anyone is going to Lisbon, STAY THERE. Or the Lisbon Lounge Hostel, which is ran by the same people.) I have never seen a better hostel. The people are awesome and so helpful. The place is clean, modern, and comfortable. Plus, they provide practically everything awesome you’d need.

We went all over the city, walking around by foot. We also designated one day to taking the tram to Belem (my personal favorite part of the city) to see Geranimo’s Monastery, the Belem Tower, the Contemporary Art Museum, and the famous Pasteis de Belem, where I tried their Pasteis de Nata. So fresh and perfect! The next day we went to the other side of the city by metro to visit the oceanarium. So cool also! I never knew I actually liked aquariums… P.S. Apparently I do.

We spent the days exploring this city different than anything I’ve ever seen before, the nights going out. And drinking 1.50 Euro beers all day long. Caipirinhas at night, which is like a mojito minus the mint. YUM! Everything was so cheap and delicious. Only problem with Portugal- They don’t really know what to serve to vegetarians. Going to typical Portuguese restaurants, I ended up with a plate of oiled lettuce and a side of fried potatoes. I looked us up a vegetarian restaurant for us to go to one night for dinner. It ended up being buffet style and 90% vegan. Everything was amazing! Shayla, the meat eater, even asked me if we could go back the next day for lunch. If I lived anywhere near Lisbon, I’d probably find a way to eat there everyday. Another night we did Indian. And other than that, I ate lettuce. Good thing I really like lettuce. 😉 Portuguese people, for those interested, eat a lot of fish due to the location of Portugal, and have traditional pork and chicken dishes also. Sea food galore, baby! Shayla got calamari in a beautiful sauce, and she said it was awesome! So that’s a plus.

I’ve never been in a place like Lisbon. Because Portugal only became touristy within the past five years, there are many places still run-down. It’s not a rich city. Walking down the street, you’ll see gorgeous rustic buildings and continue along with a caved in apartment building covered in tall weeds and vines right next door. There’s so much character. There’s so much life (and charming men walking down the street offering you cocaine, weed, ecstacy… AKA powdered sugar, oregano, or to sell you for prostitution). It’s interesting to be in a place with such diversity.

Lisbon was an amazing adventure. Now let’s all say a big THANK YOU to Shayla for taking pictures and sending them all to me due to my AWOL camera cord. I swear I’ll be back eventually with New Year’s pictures or something.

Next on the list- Heading off to Lille (And possibly a day trip in Belgium) to visit the lovely Amandine and her family tomorrow for the weekend! Can NOT wait!

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