I finally ventured outside of Spain!!
Since deciding to go abroad I knew I wanted to see as many countries as I could in the four short months I had in Europe. As soon as I heard that my friends Cynthia and Emily had signed up for a half marathon in Lisbon I knew I had to join in.
I expected it to be a normal, relaxing trip to another country where I'd do some site seeing and have fun and though most of my trip was like this there were still some not so great moments.
Most of these not great moments revolved around travel. Aka the nine hour bus ride that we voluntarily signed up for in order to get from Salamanca to Lisbon. On this bus ride we made frequent stops and had to changes buses three times so I'm sure you can imagine the frustration and exhaustion that we felt after arriving in Lisbon at nine o'clock night. Not to mention we were also told to be quiet by some mean ladies, had obnoxious people putting their seats all the way back so that they were almost laying in our laps. and to cap it all off our taxi driver got slightly lost while bringing us to our Airbnb thereby upping the charge for all of us as he aimlessly drove around. Needless to say we didn't have much energy to do anything but eat and sleep for the rest of the night.
On Saturday we spent the day touring around the main city. I honestly loved it so much (maybe even a little bit more than I like Spain). The whole city felt cozy and small, much less "big city" than I had expected. It also had a really artsy vibe; there were murals and colors everywhere along the road. And there's always the added bonus of the fact that we were so close to the ocean (I missed that salty breeze).
Side note: my 48 hours or so in Portugal also made me realize that Portugese is quite a lot more different from Spanish than I thought it was. Even though some of the words are very similar the accent makes it almost impossible to determine what anyone is trying to say to you.
After getting some much needed food at a cafe we then headed to the Saint Jorge Castle. I cannot even express how beautiful this place was. The castle basically sits on a giant hill that overlooks the entire city so I'm sure you can imagine the view was incredible. The pictures I took don't even do it justice. I could have sat up there forever just looking out at the city. I didn't actually get any to find out any history of the castle, such as why it's there and who Saint Jorge is but I feel like I should definitely look that up now.
After the castle we went into the newer section of Lisbon to get dessert. We went into this pastry shop that probably had every kind of sweet you can possibly imagine. Cynthia and Sophia got a few things from there but Emily, Anthony, and I naturally opted for McDonald's Mcflurrys instead (lol we suck I know).
Sunday was the day of the half marathon so while Cynthia, Emily, and Anthony got up early to go run, Sophia and I slept in and then went to the area it was being held at later in the day. Luckily for us the race was located very close to a mall where I did some much needed but very unnecessary shopping (I got the cutest things though and I'm so hype about it). After the race was over we had to rush to the airport to get back to Spain (we didn't actually arrive home to Salamanca until 11 o'clock that night, once again you can imagine the exhaustion).
Having so little time to explore an entire city (and country) is pretty hard to deal with but I think we made the most of what we could. To be honest my biggest disappointment from my trip was the fact that they never even stamped my passport *insert annoyed face here*.
Overall I loved Portugal, and honestly hope I get the chance to go back and see it more in depth.
Much love from Spain,
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<p>I’m a 20 year old student attending Gettysburg College where I study English with a focus on writing and Spanish. I come from a big, close-knit Italian family, am in love with reading and writing, and am always open to new experiences. I hope to be as creative as possible in everything I do and can't wait to find influence from my semester in Salamanca!</p>