After our field hockey tour in Lloret de Mar, Spain, Kristyn and I took our geographic location as an opportunity to travel more, rather than ride the 30 hour bus back to Bangor.
Our flight took us to the delightful city of Lisbon, which exceeded our expectations in every way. We met up with our other friend from exchange, Alana, who was meeting us in Lisbon after doing some of her own travels in Spain.
Our first day in Lisbon led us to the town of Sintra, which looked like a page taken from a fairy tale. The cobblestones lining the streets combined with the whimsical architecture was nothing short of magical. The town is approximately 30 minutes from the city centre, and under 10 euro per person, by train.
After wandering around the initial town area for a while, we tucked into a late morning snack at a local bakery. I tried the local delicacy, called Pastel de nata, also known as a Portuguese egg tart. I’m not a huge egg tart fan, but I found it pretty enjoyable. After all, when in Rome, right?
We then ventured up the mini mountain to check out the castles, the Moorish castle and the Pena castle. Being student travelers on a budget, we just could not justify paying the 13-14 Euro it was to enter the castles. So, we admired the castles and views from the outside.
The next day, Alana left us and Kristyn and I set out to explore the city of Lisbon. First, we headed up the cobblestone streets to a viewpoint by the famous Lisbon Tram 28. The streets were something I’d have dreamed about and fit the bill perfectly as charming European side streets.
At the viewpoint, we got a top-of-the-hill view of the tram and our first overhead view of Lisbon. It was stunning! I was particularly in love with the red roofs and white buildings that seemed to comprise every building in the city. Some artists were also selling artwork at the top of the viewpoint.
After our first trek, we we thirsty for more. Since we hadn’t paid to see the castles in Sintra the previous day, we took it up to St. George’s Castle, the best view in all of Lisbon. It is a bit of the trek to the top of the castle but we enjoyed every second, particularly the street art that greeted us on the way up.
After a couple hours of putting in our historical dues to the city, we treated ourselves with the usual: gelato! We looked over a beautiful view of the city as we enjoyed our ice cream in peace and happiness. On our walk back to the hostel, we again, enjoyed the quirks and quarks of this unique European cities. We stopped “just to look” at many bakeries, and toddled around an antique flea market for a bit on the main road.
Note: this post is a recapture from when I studied abroad for the year during 2013-2014. It was rewritten to enhance the included media and writing quality for this blog. The original post can be found here.