Sunday, March 8, 2009

07-03-2009 (Week 8) - Portugal

This trip, so far, has been my favorite trip in Europe on my current stay in France...

We landed in Lisbon, Portugal on Friday night. After Brian and Schlotty searched the internet for what seemed like hours, we finally decided to head out. The first place we hit up was a small diner. Talk about a true Portuguese experience, we were definitely the only foreigners in the place. And we didn't even order from the menu, we just all pointed to another table and got the same thing they were having...along with a super bach, of course.

The bars there are pretty small. Small in the fact that there's just enough room to go in, get your drink, and then head back out into the street to drink it. It makes for a great social atmosphere. We trouced around the downtown area for awhile until we got tired and strolled back to the hostel. In our stroll back, however, and basically everywhere we walked in Lisbon, we were offered either weed, hash, cocaine, or sunglasses. ok, mostly hash, but still the sunglass people were annoying too. And these drug dealers weren't ashamed of their goods either. They just held out their hand, showed you what they had to offer, and started asking you if you wanted it. We were even asked at while we were sitting down for breakfast on Sunday morning...

Saturday we got up and headed to a small town near Lisbon called Sintra. We were told this is a can't miss opportunity. And we were told correctly. There were lots of places to explore, including some type of fortress/labrynth that required flashlights in some places. After trespassing where we shouldn't have (by scaling a cement wall) and playing some faux tennis, we decided to check out cabo de roca. This is the western most point in continental europe. So I can tell you with absolute certainty for several minutes on March 7th I was the western most person in all of continental Europe.

Saturday night after returning to our hostel, we had planned on taking a 20 minute nap, and then heading out to the clubs. We feel asleep around 8:30, and I remember waking up and asking Schlotty if he was gonna get up and go to the club with me (but it turns out that was around 2:30 a.m.), so it turns out we took Schlotty's philosophy of "if you're going to be a bear, be a grizzly" to heart and took 12 hour naps, thus waking up at 9 a.m. the next day.

On Sunday we headed out to see some more of the Lisbon sights. On a train ride out we met some very nice Americans (Alex and Amanda) and spent the day with them eating remarkably good pastries, playing tag on the beach, and seeing some of the sights of Lisbon. After finishing off our seafood meal right off the beach, we started to head back.

The trip back was more of an adventure than anticipated. Schlotty almost got kicked off a train. If it wasn't for his smooth talking, he never would've made it. And Brian almost wasn't let into France because he doesn't have his visa yet...We ended up making it to the plane 5 or ten minutes before boarding. Not too shabby. I guess you could say we were just getting our money's worth in Portugal...

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