Greetings from Portugal! (well…I’m writing this in Spain, but it’s about Portugal, so you get the jist!)
Friday morning we flew to Portugal. We were on a itty bitty plane, but it wasn’t bad. I had a window seat, AND they served us lunch. Yes, lunch. We were on the plane for about an hour and a half, and they gave us food. NOW that’s something you don’t see in America!
Once we arrived in Lisbon, we took a bus ride to our hotel in Belém, a little suburb of Lisbon. The hotel was so cute and European, with a winding staircase and cute little rooms overlooking a courtyard with tiny little bathrooms. We checked out the carriage museum nearby that had the royal carriages of many queens and kings over the past few centuries.
After that, we had the afternoon/evening free! My roommate Michelle, along with our friends Anna and Lyndsey, checked out some of the local shops in the town, and eventually got some dinner. We ate at this cute restaurant outside, where we were subsequently ripped off. No one bothered to tell us that in Europe, the bread, olives, cheese, all those platters at the beginning, are NOT free. After having a delicious pasta meal (I know, pasta in Portugal?! It’s fine, it had fancy portuguese cheeses on it), we realized this after getting the check, charging us close to 10 euros for all the stuff we tried at the beginning. Oh well, ya gotta learn some how, right?
We spent the evening checking out the town, wandering down the riverside, and enjoying the magnificent views that you can find in Belém!
We woke up nice and early and headed to Pastéis de Belém, a pastry shop about 4 feet away from our hotel. There we were served the Pastries of Belém, a small pastry filled with Portuguese custard cream. Those pastries were delicious, and they were created in that very building! You can get that pastry EVERYWHERE in Portugal, but none besides these are the real deal!
When lunch time rolled around, I played this wonderful game called “pick food off the menu and hope it is made of food I like” and I succeeded! I then got some Portuguese helado, which tasted different than Spanish helado!
We then went to the monastery! I could never describe to you the beauty of that building. We got to see the chapel, which was STUNNING, and watched part of a service!
After we finished there, we technically had free time. We went to the Monumento a los Descubridores, a very tall and skinny tower in honor of the Portuguese age of discovery, and decided we were going to climb that one too! That one was like twice the height of the Tower of Belém, and we saw the ENTIRE CITY of Belém, it was BREATHTAKING.
We finished out the day at a fancy Portuguese restaurant on the water, using all the Portuguese we had learned that weekend (obrigada = thank you, but that’s about it!). I got a Portuguese steak sandwich and it was SO. DELICIOUS. I have a newfound love for steak sandwiches, that’s for sure!
It was the perfect weekend, and I’m so glad we had those two days in Portugal! Now, back home to sweet ol España for the second leg of the trip! (Sorry for the length of this post, hope you enjoyed it! ¡Adeus!