My first trip during the semester was to non other than Lisboa, Portugal.
Those who say that Spanish and Portuguese are similar enough to communicate with people from Portugal are straight up delusional. Their pronunciations are entirely different, and whenever we asked if they would prefer for us to speak in Spanish or English, every time they asked us to speak to them in English. Luckily, practically everyone knew English, which (more times than not) makes me feel so bad because English-speakers expect the world to speak English and we cannot even learn and appreciate their language.
Lisboa was breath-taking. Every building was covered in the most beautiful mosaic tiles, and those that weren’t were brightly colored. The weather was a drastic change from freezing Segovia, only a jacket would have sufficed compared to the winter coats required to walk outside of the flat back in Sego. At any chance we got, the girls and I would bask in the sunlight until a new cloud would cover the warmth.
If I had to describe the weekend in as few words as I can, it would be: Eating and Drinking. And since we were celebrating Johanna’s birthday, I feel that it perfectly depicted what we all do when we’re together. I didn’t take many pictures of the landscape, or buildings, now that I think about it, which truly pays testament to how beautiful the country of Portugal is. Our airbnb had a gorgeous view of colorful buildings and two balconies that gave you the entire view of Lisboa. Uber was ~uber~ cheap as well, for the whole weekend I only paid 20 euros (each car ride was about 15-20min). Rachel does her research each time we go to a new location, and the restaurants we ate at were fantastic. If anything I took more pictures of the food than any other thing that weekend.
None of us has had a proper breakfast since entering Spain because Spaniards usually eat nothing for breakfast, save a cafe con leche y tostada. We ate a lot for breakfast that day, and boy do I miss smoothies and actual crispy bacon. (I should go grocery hunting for some). We ate at Dear Breakfast, and the staff and food were both superb. I would love to go back there if I ever get a chance to visit Lisboa again.
Pasteis de Nata is a very popular thing specifically from Portugal, and had Rachel not been there with us, I would never have known how incredibly delicious, and similar to arroz con leche, they are. We ventured to the most famous shop and bought a ton, grabbed some coffee and basked in the sun eating them. Very picturesque, us stuffing our faces with deliciousness.
Of course we had to try the gelato, because we’re in Europe. As we ventured into the shopping center of Lisboa, we found a very popular gelato shop and gladly ate.
We stumbled into what looked like China Town, in search for a vegetarian restaurant that our friend Carlos recommended, named The Food Temple. After walking through a few neighborhoods covered in graffiti, we found the restaurant in the middle of it all. I could tell the girls felt very uncomfortable walking around the neighborhood, and if I had been in their shoes, I would have been scared as well. And to be completely honest, the food was worth it. I am always pleasantly surprised when I eat very good vegetarian food. Their beer and wine was all vegan and the food was incredibly tasty. The staff were so kind, and it was overall such a wonderful experience.
This whole post is now just a review of the Lisboa food, and for that I am tremendously sorry.
The views of Portugal were incredibly amazing and the few pictures that I do have of the landscape do not do it justice.
My favorite location was The Park Bar. Walking down the streets of Lisboa, you would not expect to find such an amazing rooftop bar hidden on top of a parking garage. And if I say that the city of Lisboa itself is immaculate, believe me when I say that, once you get to the rooftops, there is a whole other city waiting for you. A city on top of a city. It is a crazy concept to think about, but that is how I imagine it. So many rooftops with so many people, laughter, and music filling each once. It felt so surreal. If there were walkways between each rooftop, it would literally be another city on top of the city. And the view, oh my, I will never forget this view. Too bad the only photo I have of it is crappy quality because of the darkness that is night and the suckiness that is my phone camera, but it is the only photo I have of the view, so you will live. Or it may just be incentive enough to go and visit there yourself.
Portugal was, and still is, a beautiful city with extremely kind people who love jazz music, which was another high of my trip. Everywhere we went, jazz was played, beautiful beautiful jazz. I cannot wait until my next adventure and to see what else will be in store, but until then, enjoy these (shamefully) narcissistic images of myself and the girls.