Tuesday, 27 July 2010

Portugal Post!

Weekend trip in Lisboa, Portugal= best weekend trip eeeever. The place was SO beautiful, amazing, different, and just plain FUN!
The trip started out poorly, with the flight being delayed 2 hours! But once we got on, it was pretty smooth sailing! I slept on the plane ride which was really good because I was TIRED!
Oh- almost forgot... there was one other hicup. Kaja's bank card wouldn't work in Portugal! It was very frustrating for her, because even though I was happy to lend her as much as she needed, she didn't want to depend on me.
Anyways, we got in at about 9:30 and took an airport shuttle into the middle of town, then walked to our hostel.
This weekend we stayed at the Black and White hostel, a really funky artsy hostel with SUPER nice staff and cool rooms! The beds were comfy, the location was prime, and in the morning they served a breakfast with eggs and sausages! WOW best hostel!!
After we got in, we changed into some smashing outfits and went out for dinner! We ended up eating at a little cheap but delicious Indian food place!
We rushed through dinner though because we wanted to make the "pub crawl" that started at 11:15. We ended up not even being able to find the meeting spot for the bar tour though, so instead we decided to walk around Bairro Alto, which is like, the coolest bar scene ever. It is a huge hill/ mountain on one side of Lisboa that is just packed with all kinds of bars, restaurants, clubs, and people drinking and socializing! The streets are like a huge bar scene, if you just walk down them you will meet tons of people! We walked around for a long time, taking in the scene and also stopping at some cool outdoor clubs that were playing techno music. Then we headed home pretty early so as to get rested up for the next day.
Saturday was BEACH DAY!!! I was STOKED because we had not been to any beaches yet in the whole trip and I LOVE the beach! Let me assure everyone, Portugal did not disappoint beach-wise. We took the metro down to the coast first, then a train all the way to Cascais (pronounced Kish-Cay-ish). The area felt just like a Portugese P-town, with little tourist shops and boutiques along with tons and tons of restaurants! Behind the shops were lots of little beaches that were all packed!! It was SO hot, but SO nice!! We picked a spot near the water so that we could swim while still keeping an eye on our bags. We tanned for like 20 minutes then went in the water, repeating until we were ready for lunch. The water was FREEZING!!! You would have expected it to be warm because of how sweltering it was, but instead it felt colder than even Cape Cod water because of the shock of changing temperatures. I still loooooved it though. I was especially fond of the smells of Cascais, salty mixed with the smell of the restaurants food! Amazing.
After we had enough sun and water, we went to a little hamburger place for lunch. We sat by an open window high up overlooking an amazing spread of ocean, beach, and cool rocks that people jumped off. It was fun!
Next Kaja and I decided to do some shopping! First we went to a atm to try Kaja's card again, and it WORKED! It was very exciting!! Her parents I guess had called Bank of America and worked it all out! We went around and found some seriously cool shops. I got Kaja and I matching wooden elephant Keychains and then we both got matching necklaces from an artist flea- market thing that was in the area.
After lots of shopping we got dessert. I got a cup of vanilla ice cream and a diet coke to compose a Diet-Coke-float which is. The. Best. Dessert. Ever. when you are vacationing on the beach in hot humid Portugal.
Finally it was time to head home. We were running a little on the late side for what we had planned for the rest of the evening, but then I remembered that I had forgotten to re-set my watch back an hour, so in fact we had plenty of time! (This happened over and over again throughout the weekend!!)
While waiting for the train I was eating some skittles. Then these three Brazilian guys near us came over and started joking around and asking for some skittles. They were really nice and so I shared my fruity snacks with them and they hung out with Kaja and I on the train back home. They wanted us to go to Bairro Alto with them then, but Kaja and I wanted to get back to the hostel and clean up so we declined!
Back at the hostel we got all pretty and then walked to Bairro Alto for dinner. We ate at a little restaurant in Bairro Alto, shared a pizza and each got some Tapas. I love Tapas because it's like getting one little appetizer for yourself... instead of ordering a huge plate of something for the whole table. I also got a Martini, to try, and I am a huge Martini fan! Shaken, not stirred, of course. Just kidding. (Side note... it is going to SUCK coming back to not being able to drink in bars and restaurants in the USA... The drinking age is so stupid. :( )
We then went to the meeting spot for the pub crawl (This time we knew where it was!) and then went touring the pubs!!
It was a really fun night! We made friends with the people on the tour, who were pretty cool. The best part is that while we were walking between two bars, we ran into one of the Brazilian guys from the train, Regis! He was the one who spoke the best English, and was the nicest too! We then met up with him at a really sweet bar/ dance club that played great music and was filled with locals. Regis danced with Kaja and I and tried to teach us how to dance Portuguese style but the twists and turns were definitely a challenge! Kaja and I want to take Salsa dance classes back at UMass... if they have them!
We got home around 4:30 AM and sleeeeept after all that dancing!!
In the morning we hung around with the girls in our room. They were two 23ish girls from London who were SO funny and nice to us! We ate breakfast with them and they showed Kaja how to make delicious instant coffee! They also had great stories about how they survived traveling without money for food!
Then we checked out of the hostel and did some sightseeing... we saw the Castelo de sao jorge, the monasterio los jeronimos, and got DELICIOUS Portugese pastries that were like little flakey cupcakes filled with creamy kugel sauce and covered in cinnamon and sugar!
Finally it was time to go. We headed to the airport and ate some delicious airport food for dinner. This time the flight was only delayed by 30 minutes!
After the wonderful weekend, I was ready for a wonderful last week in Madrid. And so far, it has been just that (Spoiler!!) I'm going to write another post now about this week, the saddest and most happy week ever.
xoxo Julia

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