This trip was the first time back in Portugal for IES Abroad Salamanca in a few years and it was a blast! There was an itinerary of activities with the program (subject to change), but we did get free time in between.
In Coimbra, we got a guided tour of the university which included a prison on campus and the library from the live movie of Beauty and the Beast! We had free time for lunch, and within the main walking strip, there is a restaurant called Seoul Chicken that is soo good. My friends and I had various fried chicken options and there were also vegetarian food options. Overall a very delicious meal that I highly recommend for Coimbra. In the evening we traveled to Lisbon, and for dinner, we had traditional Portuguese food and a folklore “Fado” show. It was a great cultural immersion.
In Lisbon, we started off with a tour that included the Alfama neighborhood (full of art) and St. George’s Castle. The castle had a very nice view of the city and all the white buildings with orange rooftops (one of my favorite patterns). We had time to explore on our own so I climbed various towers, did a photo shoot of the peacocks roaming the grounds, and explored the artifact museum next to the gift shop. Afterward, we went to visit the “Boca do Inferno,” and the view of the water amongst the rocks from above was beautiful. For lunch, we got to spend it at Cascais Beach. Depending on how you want to divide your time, you could do a quick lunch to spend optimal time at the beach, or what I did was sit down for a pizza and then some window shopping (found a cute market and carousel park).
It was departure day, but we did visit the Sanctuary of Fátima in the morning and the religious pilgrimages/mass we witnessed were astonishing. After exploring the inside, arches, and greenery, we had a quick lunch before traveling back to Salamanca and got back in the evening.
In between all of this, your most free time is the evenings. I spent my nights doing dinner with friends and souvenir shopping (since you have no time during the day). The cities we visited in Portugal were beautiful and I loved it all besides the humidity, so beware those with wavy to curly hair!
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Hi! My name is Alexandra Carrillo and I am a 2nd year at my university. I am studying International Relations and Spanish with emphases in politics and security and Latin American literature. I am from the USA and México and I often travel between the two. My hobbies include embroidering, painting, and reading (my favorite genres are romance and history). A fun fact about me is that I have a twin sister who goes to the same university as me (we are fraternal and people still mix us up!). I look forward to documenting my journey abroad and the people and places I'll meet along the way!