This is a bonus post. You know how the bonus room in a house is usually small and sweet? That’s what this post is. It’s about my three-day weekend in Lisbon, Portugal. During my study abroad in England, our professor allowed us to have an extra day to go explore. My friend and I decided to grab the cheapest flight we could possible get to…. Lisbon! Ding, ding, ding! The night we purchased the tickets, we went to the bookstore to grab a Lonely Planet Portuguese dictionary. We were off to Lisbon only days later.
During my extended weekend visit to Portugal, my friend and I managed to traverse a lot of grounds. It was definitely tiring because the streets were hilly. The sight, though, was worth all the walking. The first thing we did was a walk near the port. We explored the Jerónimos Monastery in Belém. While we were there, we saw this guy dressed up and waved at people around in front of the Torre de Belém. It was common there to find people dressing up for the day and taking up donation for the entertainment they provided.
The Padrao dos Descobrimentos monument was built to symbolize the Portuguese exploration. History class didn’t fail me here. There was a reason why Portuguese reached a lot of places; their port was very convenient.
During our stay there, we tried to soak it all in within our extended weekend so we spent a lot of time walking around. We walked around the Praça do Comércio and saw a lot of people interactions. That part was interesting to me. I liked doing the people watching, even though everyone else was probably watching me, the tourist.
I was so excited to see the different architectures and artistic touch that makes Lisbon stood out. Of course, I saw some familiar crafts that made me happy also. This lady was crocheting these cute flower pots out of yarn and styrofoam. I found her on our way up some “mountain.” It probably wasn’t a mountain, but man, was it steep to go up that hill.
As far as souvenir knick-knacks, there was a lot of this chicken art everywhere. They were called the Barcelo Rooster and was the common symbol for Portugal. I was also impressed of the post-it notes art in front of the museum. I wonder how long it took to make.
We rode the Santa Justa Lift, which was an elevator that allowed us to view the city from up high. It wasn’t “Just-a lift” (ba doom chhh) because we had to climb more stairs to reach the very top of it. I could see the sea of terracotta roofs from up there.
As far as food goes, we found McDonald’s and ate there the whole time. Just kidding. We did eat there once, and I found their menu to be different than any McDonald’s in the United States. The rest of the times, we ate where the locals told us to. That turned out pretty good. We ate a lot of seafood. For me, when I went into a restaurant, I would randomly picked one dish. Luckily I didn’t run into funky food.
Being in a foreign country without knowing their language was a humbling experience. The beginning was rough and scary till we reached our hostel, where our host spoke perfect English. Luckily I had my friend, Jacob, who was more confident in his ability to travel more than I was. The rest of the time, we were working out our calves climbing up and down the streets and playing tourists. Portugal was a cool place to be for a break from my study.