Translate

Tuesday, June 8, 2021

Europe 2018 - Part 3 - Portugal!

Hello hello, welcome back! Ready for part 3? Portugal!!

Bom Dia, Belém! (Good morning, Belém!)

June 18, 2018


 May 30, 2018

Day 2 in Europe 

Oh boy! Lisbon has so many sites to see and things to do. We jam packed the day on a whim and it was so much fun. The easiest way is to start at the beginning. 

1. First we walked to downtown Lisbon. We didn't do much and finding our way was pretty simple. You just have to follow the tram tracks. On our way down we passed churches and museums and snapped a few quick photos. We also ate fresh, local fruit which I highly recommend if you ever find yourself in this beautiful city. 

2. Next we found the metro. Then from the metro we switched to the train that took us to Belém. On the train ride we passed a couple well known architectural buildings such as the Energias de Portugal(EDP) Headquarters by Aires Mateus Architects and the Museu Coleção Berardo of Modern and Contemporary Art. If I get the opportunity to visit Portugal again, I'm definitely adding those stops to my trip. 
(I brought up the metro, and just happen to have a picture. Probably because it was my first time and I was excited... Who knows! I try to capture everything. :) )

3. Next we arrived in Belém. Honestly, we saw what looked like castles in the distance and just started walking. I think this made the journey more fun and added adventure. Along the way we stopped at a couple shops where I learned it's better to bargain. I got ripped off because I bought a shirt for 12 euros and the next day I found the same one in a smaller shop for only 8 euros. If you ask me, I'd wait to buy gifts or souvenirs. I promise you will find it again, probably cheaper the closer you get to your destination. If not, you can always go back. Moving on, we finally reached the massive church we saw in the distance, Túmulo de Luís de Camões (Tomb of Luís de Camões), where the line was incredibly long. However, a man selling sunglasses approached us and let us know that the Paróquia Santa Maria de Belém (Saint Mary of Bethlehem's Church) was free and the line we were standing in was going to cost us 12 euros! I thought that was very nice of him to let us know. So far, we've all been treated very well by the people of Lisbon. After we walked through the church we ventured across the street to see Padrão dos Descobrimentos (Monument of the Discoveries). It is a monument on the northern bank of the Tagus River estuary.
Finally, on the walk from the monument to the Torre de Belém I got conned! A women was trying to sell jewelry and threw the bracelet into my hands. At that point I admired her persistence and talked her down to 2 euros instead of her original price of 5 euros.
Túmulo de Luís de Camões (Tomb of Luís de Camões)

Padrão dos Descobrimentos (Monument of the Discoveries)

Torre de Belém

4. We finally made it back to Lisbon and had a couple of hours before our next adventure. In the center of everything was the cutest beer garden. We got to get out of the sun and enjoy our first local draft beer in Portugal. I am not a beer drinker and never have been, but because it was so cheap compared to a mixed drink, it was really easy to take a liking to it. 

5. Pena Palace in Sintra, Portugal. What a site to see! The palace is located on top of the Sintra Mountains and is known as one of the Seven Wonders of Portugal. From the top we could even see Cristo Rei, the Christ Statue of Lisbon. Our guide, Alex, was very knowledgeable and made the trip interesting and all the more fun. We booked him through AirBnB Experiences which I highly recommend. However, if you're on a budget, there are many other cheaper options to tour and learn a lot about the city. (I'll get into those in another post.) It cost 7.50 euros to tour the outside and 15 euros to tour the inside. Unfortunately, we only did the outside, but for the amount of time we had, there was plenty to see. Maybe give yourself the whole day if you want to tour both.

6. The trek to our apartment was by far the worst walk of the entire trip. We probably walked uphill for 45 minutes. At one point we thought lets just rip it off like a band-aide and jog the rest of the hill. Surprise! The hill turned and kept going! It was rough but, to me, that's what makes a trip memorable. I love it when things are great, but I also love being faced with challenges and overcoming them. Especially when you get to share that with people you care about.


June 18, 2018

I only made it through 2 days. Our entire trip non-stop. We would wake up at about 9 a.m., explore until 10 p.m., and then we wouldn't make it to bed until 1 a.m. some nights. It was VERY hard to keep posting. It might have been easier if I had taken a laptop so I could type. Lesson learned, next time I will be prepared! 

Thank you for tuning in!