¡Hola friends and family!
Wow! It has been awhile since I last blogged and I am sure you are all eagerly awaiting my next post 😉 well here it is!
As you can imagine, so much has happened in the last two weeks. Some of the highlights: I went to a Real Madrid game, visited La Reina Sofia which will be the fist of many more to come, bought a pair of platform shoes, went on a day trip to Segovia.
But best of all, I spent this last weekend in Lisbon, Portugal! My good friend from Tulane, Mallory and I decided to spend our weekend alone in Lisbon instead of joining the rest of the Tulane abroad community at Oktoberfest and I am SO glad we did this. 10/10 would recommend.
We left Madrid Thursday afternoon and arrived in Lisbon 1 hour later. I was sitting and staring out my window from up high in awe of the city’s beauty already and all I was thinking was that we arrived in paradise. We walked through the airport without a problem and no one checked our passports which we thought was very odd and slightly alarming. But apparently, that’s a thing in Europe. None of our friends have any new passport stamps besides the one from entering Madrid in August… which is a little disappointing but it’s okay because I know where I’ve been regardless.
After navigating the airport, we decided it made most sense for us to metro to our hostel. If we can do it in Madrid, we can do it anywhere… right? A man and his wife stopped us on our way down to the metro and handed us their fully loaded metro cards that were no longer of use to them saving us around 3 euros so as you can imagine, we were feeling good.
When we arrived to our hostel, I was so pleasantly surprised and very relieved to see how the nice facilities and the welcoming staff. This was my first hostel experience and it was a great one.
We settled in and decided to journey for good food because eating is something that Mallory and I are really good at… especially together. Lucky for us, Lisbon is known for its amazing cuisine scene specifically their sea food 🙂 We did some research and decided on el Mercado de Ribiera which happened to be 2 minutes away from our hostel. There were probably 30 booths, live music, and people from all over the world speaking every language imaginable. It was AMAZING. Words cannot describe. Mallory and I ordered sangria (of course), black risotto with scallops and a codfish burger.
After we stuffed our faces, we went back to our hostel and sat outside socializing with some of the other guests. We made two friends that had just spent the week at Oktoberfest and were relaxing in Lisbon before they returned to the states. We then sneakily climbed into our bunk beds and went to sleep without waking our hostel roommates.
Mallory and I spent the whole next day relaxing on the beach. We took a ferry and a bus to get there but it was so worth it. We laid out, talked, laughed, napped and ate- what more could a girl want? It was the perfect day.
After a long hard day at the beach (hehe jokes), we cleaned up and went to dinner. Yet again, we had some amazing seafood and left with smiles stretched across our faces and full tummies. To end the night, we joined a pub crawl that our hostel was putting on with our friends from the first night. It was my first pub crawl ever and I loved it! I met so many interesting and fun people and saw a completely new part of the city. I hope to do a pub crawl in as many cities as possible.
The next morning, Mallory and I had to move hostels because we could only book 2 nights at the Sunset Destination Hostel. So we packed our bags and moved to our new hostel which was so very clean and in the old town. It was a nice change of pace and completely new scenery. We dropped our bags, met up with our new friends and went to the flea market which is one of the biggest in all of Europe. They were selling everything from underwear to cork purses to antiques to toys. Shopping made us work up an appetite again- believe it or not -so we went to a little restaurant nearby. I had my first yummy salad since I got to Europe. It had goat cheese (which is my all time favorite), tomatoes, beets, nuts and more! Wish I could this salad everyday… I miss it already. Here it is in all its glory!!!!
Once our low blood sugar levels were brought back to normal, we visited the São Jorge Castle. It was unbelievable and had some of the most amazing views of the city.
In total, we walked about 12 miles this day. Lisbon is a very hilly city so the majority of those miles were uphill. It was exhausting, but so beautiful. They also have streetcars in Lisbon just like the ones in New Orleans which made me so happy to find a little piece of NOLA in Europe. Look at how cute their streetcars are.
After walking as much as we did, we thought it was a good idea to treat ourselves to fancy dinner so that’s exactly what we did. Mallory and I went on nice “date” to Cervejaria Ramiro and had some of the best seafood I have ever had in my life. Dad- you would have been in heaven! We ordered garlic shrimp, rosé, and crab which to our surprise was accompanied by two mallets. It was an experience to say the least. We laughed so hard and made a mess. A waiter came by after watching us struggle and suggested that we should whip the crab rather than hammer it. But by the end of the meal, we started to get the hang of it. Another notable event of the meal was that Mallory dropped our nice glass bottle of rosé on the ground and everyone in the room stopped and just stared at us. It was definitely a meal to remember!!
After the meal, we went to a rooftop bar that was on top of a parking lot. It was so cool and chic and obviously had amazing views. And before we knew it, we were on our second pub crawl. It was just as great as the first but I ran into a few minor issues. The first being that I was hit by a car while standing on the sidewalk. I am okay- no need to worry! But it was hilarious. I was completely taken off my feet and I have a little bruise on my left side to show for it. Second, I was pick pocketed. Apparently the Portuguese are famous for this and everyone seemed to know this except for me. They didn’t get much so that was lucky but man did I feel bad. All is well now! I have money and a new metro card! It was quite the night and definitely ended our trip with a bang. After this long eventful night, I was ready to go back to Madrid.
Lisbon, te amo.