Monday, March 31, 2014

Lisbon ;)

The people of porto are quite sure their town outranks Lisbon on all fronts, but i obviously still wanted to check it out for myself! I met a nice dude named eduardo in the hostel in porto (one of my faves, btw) who suggested i stay at his place in lisbon where he is currently studying law. We also took the train together cause it made the most sense.

Although eduardo is from brazil, i loved his enthusiam for showing me around his adopted town. We went to a regular spot of his for dinner and stuffed our faces, and we did a short tour of his area of chiado. He graciously gave up his own bed for me to sleep in, much to my opposition, and slept on the couch for like 4 days. Whatta prince!

The next day before school we went up the Elevador de Santa Justa which is right near his place. This is a crazy old elevator with an amazing 360 degree view of the city. After this we split up and i took a small bus up to the alfama (old town) of Lisbon. I visited the castle saint jorge, which in my opinion has the beeest view of the city. Its breathtaking. The castle grounds are rather sprawling. I visted the camera obscura that was installed in one of the towers (same idea as the one in edinburgh) and it was so cool! It really felt like i was watching a scene dumbledore would conjure up in harry potter, which is funny, cause there seem to be many similarities between edinburgh and portugal relating to jk rowling and harry potter fame. Bah! :) i went for lunch at 28 cafe which is a cafe in an old tram car. Bitchen kitchen. I then tried to visit a few churches, but they were closed because it was monday. I wandered up and down the hilly streets and finally wandered back down to the city centre, exhausted.

The next day is the day of the Alfama flea market, Feira da Ladra, so i headed back up by tram! The tram is really fun :) i tried my best to haggle but i still paid €10/dress. This is where i got my yellow scarf youve seen as of late. I went back to a few churches then headed back to apartment to change and put down some bags. Later on i walked up to the district of Barrio alto where there are tonnes of shops, cafes and restaurants...very few vintage shops to be found, but a beautiful and interesting area! For dinner, a few of eduardos friends came over and we headed to a joint run solely by the owner--she is the cook and server, and you either deal with the alower service or you dont. I had a dish with traditional codfish, potato and egg, and finished it off with delicious chocolate mousse. The owner didnt speak any english but she seemed pretty funny and made going there quite an experience!

The next day i headed to an impressive oceanarium, where i saw one of my fave animals: otters! Theyre so damn cute, holy crap. I walked around the dock and pavillion then took the metro back to city centre and walked around the praça do comércio and arca du rua augusta. This archway is amazing! Its really gigantic and stunning to see in 5-6pm light. 

The say after i headed to Belem via tram 15, which is a nearby district of lisbon. I checked out a few gigantic and impressive monuments and rhe monastery, botanical gardens (where i made friends with a duck), the coach museum (v v old, like the one cinderella used but way older and darker and real). I also picked up dessert at pastis de belem, which are supposed to be the best in lisbon...and they were! I couldnt stop eating them. Before taking the tram back i stumbled upon an intense community mural, of which i took a million pictures. Bah! I went back to the arch to chill for a while, until i became too annoyed by the guys asking if i wanted to buy drugs. Went home after that.

Eduardo and his friends had decided last minute to spend the weekend at the algarve, so i bought a ticket to madrid on a sleeper train and was off that night. Eduardo was so great for letting me stay! It was decided even before i knew his name. This is the sweet thing about travelling, especially alone...anything can happen, and people are amazing. Lisbon was so different from porto, but i enjoyed them both. I did really miss all the people i met at my hostel in porto, though! I definitely need to go back asap :)

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