This weekend, for my 19th birthday a group of 10 of us traveled to Lisbon, Portugal.
We decided that Lisboa is the best kept secret it Europe. It’s not a place you really hear much about, but it is GORGEOUS, and we had the time of our lives. I was really happy because the 10 of us that went are all my pretty good friends on this trip and we all got along and were able to stay together the whole time.
We got a little lost on our way to our hostel which was kind of scary because one of my friends has heard of people booking hostels and the hostel just not saving the reservation, but finally we found our way (pictures above). We started Friday by walking around the streets, the main one mostly to get a good vibe of the atmosphere. Some interesting notes:
1. people will try to sell you glasses on the streets, many times. only, they’re not glasses that they really want to sell you…it’s cocaine or weed.
2. portuguese people would prefer we speak english to them over spanish because of all the historical friction with Spain. It is offensive that we would know spanish over portuguese to them.
3. in all portugal has a worse economy so everything was much cheaper which i will not complain about at all. we had delicious waffles with chocolate or caramel on them for 1 euro and this huge chicken sandwich with a coke and fries for 5.
We went to Belém to eat this special pastry (also picture) and look at the river. It was very very pretty. Then we returned to get ready for the night, aka my birthday. We decided to go to barrio alto where there are many clubs and people everywhere. The hike up to the street was very difficult in heels though, i don’t suggest it. It is common for people to buy drinks in bars then go outside and drink in the street with everyone. There were probably over 60 bars in a 1 mile radius. My friend bought me a crown from the vendor on the street and people asked me if i was getting married, because it is custom to get dressed up for bachelor/bachelorette parties and frolic in the streets. Thankfully i am not getting married, just turning the “big” 19…how lame. I got a lot of free drinks by telling people it was my birthday and one bar we ever got a group of italians to sing to me, and then we got kicked out by the owner for being to loud. Outside they sang again, and lifted me up to do so hahaha. Needless to say the night was very fun.
The next day we travelled to Sintra, which is a very beautiful small town with castles. We entered one specifically that was amazing. It had caves, towers, and really pretty flowers. Then we went to Cabo de Roca which is the most western part of continental Europe and beautiful. I found a spot behind a mini wall where I was looking out at a cliff (picture below) and honestly never wanted to leave. So peaceful and cool. My friend said he wanted to propose there and die there haha. Later we returned, determined to make it to the pub crawl that our other friend’s hostel was putting on. On the train ride home I made friends. There was a soccer team from Chile that was singing songs and dancing and they asked me to take a picture of them. Then my friend was like do you want her in the picture, they yelled sí!!! but i was like nooo so then he was like es su cumpleanos, so i got another serenade, and later one of the kids gave me a hat from their team hahah. best regalo ever.
We just barely made it but it was worth it. We drank shadily out of a soda bottle in a park, but then started going to bars and having cool drinks. After we went to more clubs and danced and i passed the crown to my friend who was turning 21, but she didn’t really want to wear it so basically everyone took turns wearing it haha. Later my friends met a boy from Spain and found out he was 17, so told me to go talk to him. That was nice, but i got to have a full conversation in spanish so i was proud. Needless to say another great day/night.
en total, me encanta lisboa mucho.