Tuesday, 6 April 2010

Portugal, where the weather is fabulous!

Friday morning the alarm awoke me at 6:30 in order to get to the airport for Lisbon. My roommate Kristen and I made our way to the tube and got to the airport in time to enjoy a bagel breakfast sandwich and then hopped on our flight. I am still obsessing over Harry Potter so it was a lovely opportunity to crank through the 5th book (200 more pages to go)! We finally made it to Lisbon and took the city bus to our hostel. This hostel was incredible... almost like walking into Ikea. Everything was so trendy. We went out for dinner at an authentic Portuguese restaurant where I experienced clams for the first time. Did you know they're slightly crunchy? Not really my thing. It came with fries which ended up being little squares of potatoes, but I suppose it was manageable. We signed up to go surfing the next morning so we hit the hay around 10:30 to get some energy for the big day.

We left for surfing in the cloudy morning, taking a train out to the beach. Little did we know that the clouds were going to dump buckets of rain on us. Only Kristen was smart enough to bring an umbrella. We made it, sopping wet, just as the rain cleared up and we got situated in our (not-so-flattering) wetsuits. I think mine was designed for a 13-year-old, but somehow I managed to squeeze into it. Not only was I excited to get out in the ocean, but I absolutely couldn't wait to learn how to surf from my two instructors, Pedro and Pedro. There were also two other instructors too, Pedro and Pedro. Original? I think not. Needless to say, they were amazing (to look at) and taught us everything we needed to know. Unfortunately I never completely got up. I was honestly about to just lie on this thing and tell y'all I did, but nope, I suppose I really didn't, but then again, I just kind of floated on the water for fun. After surfing we got some cheese pizza and relaxed near the beach for a while. We made our way back to the hostel and collapsed. Kristen and our other two roommates (and Grant!) went out for dinner at the Hard Rock Cafe. I believe I've eaten at this place almost everywhere I've traveled. It never gets old! I treated myself to a daiquiri and a lovely plate of mac and cheese.

Sunday morning, Easter, we decided to venture out to the castle. Little did we know that it would take us over an hour to actually get up the hill. The roads were narrow and so curvy that we had to stop at almost every corner to figure out where we were. Luckily the castle was on top of the hill so it was usually easy to spot. We saw the entire city from up there and enjoyed some ice cream, though it didn't last long. Cats and peacocks were randomly scattered throughout the premises. Interesting combination. I ended up getting more pictures of the animals than the castle.. oops! Afterwards we went on the double decker bus for a tour of the city. This tour took us to some historic landmarks and the sun was just loving me. It lasted almost two hours and we decided to do it again! That was basically what we ended up doing most of the day, but it was really a beautiful day out and being on that bus was quite exhilarating. We came back for some dinner on the square and I had an omelette with fries. I just found out eggs are high in cholesterol and they're basically what I eat every day. That habit has stopped. Oops! Kristen and I finished up the night with an oreo mcflurry from you guessed it, McDonalds! Yummm. Extra oreo of course. We came back and decided to pop in a movie, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. Then, sunburnt Emily went to bed.

The last day we slept in a bit, packed, and I just went out to the river to enjoy the last bit of Portugal. The weather was terrific and I knew I was going to be missing it the second I got back to London. As I was sitting on the ledge, a man approached me offering weed. Don't worry though, I said no. I was not about to buy weed on the streets! Not that I would off the streets, but I mean, it was just so sketchy and uncomfortable. We made our way to the bus that took us to the airport and we made our flight about ten minutes before it took off. It's hard to rely on public transportation sometimes... Overall though, I would go back in a heartbeat, but maybe do a little more tanning and a little less burning.

For pictures press this link