The Other One
June 25 - 28
Lisbon is the capital of Portugal and is one of the oldest inhabited capital city in Europe, not as old as Athens but older than Istanbul and even Rome. Speaking of, Rome is known as City of Seven Hills because it was founded on seven hills, but did you know that Lisbon is also known by the same name. I would definitely say that the title is more appropriate for Lisbon rather than Rome. To get anywhere in the city you have to walk what feels like miles and miles up and down the hills. Basically if you want great legs, move to Lisbon.
Thursday, I went to Lisbon with my friend, Rachael. I left for the airport at around five thirty in the afternoon, and met up with my friend Rachael at a metro stop along the way. The metro in Madrid is one of my favorite things about the city, and something that I miss since I got back to the States. If you need to get anywhere in Madrid—I mean anywhere—you take the metro. It's so clean, easy to navigate, and convenient. Anyway, we arrived at the airport at five forty-five and wandered around the airport until we found the check-in desk. There, we found out that we were on Stand-By because we didn't check-in to the flight until we arrived at the airport. We were worried that we wouldn't get on our flight, but there wasn't much we could do except wait for our gate to be announced. Fortunately, we found the flight attendants and got seats without much work. After an hour and a half flight, we landed in Lisbon at eight and got to our hotel about thirty minutes later. Later, we found a place to eat on a terrace in central Lisbon and walked around the city.
Friday, we took a free walking tour through the city. We started at around ten in the morning and ended a little after four in the afternoon. Our guide showed us many different parts of Lisbon and told us about the Lisbon that most tourists don't experience. We walked through eclectic neighborhoods and pasted through very narrow streets. We end next to a cathedral and on top of one of the hills of Lisbon that overlooked the entire city. Afterward, we stubbled upon a little cafe back down the hill we had just climbed. I had the best meal I had while I was in Europe there, and the wine was amazing. I would go back to Lisbon just to eat here again. It was wonderful. Later, we went back tot the hotel and napped. For dinner, we found a restaurant near the Tajo River and then a wine bar where we tried 30 year-old Port wine.
Saturday, we took a train to a city outside Lisbon called Sintra. Sintra is fairytale city close to the coast. There are palaces, castles, and royal estates scattered across the many hills surrounding the city. The extravagance of the city's former royal buildings are breath-taking. The National Palace is very peculiar building, and not well planned. Rachael and I walked around the entire building and almost walked straight into the palace without knowing what we were doing. The Castle of the Moors was one of my favorite castles. It's expansive and has the best views of the city, the National Palaces, and the coast. The last palace we went to was Pena Palace. It's a grand palace that takes you back in time. The castle is one of the most eccentric buildings I've ever seen. After campaigning across the hills of Sintra we returned to Lisbon to have dinner at that little cafe halfway up the hill on the way to the cathedral. That night, we went to the wine bar again and went to a festival in el Praça do Comércio on the bank of the river.
Sunday we got up at eight to eat breakfast in our hotel, and leave for the airport. Our flight left at twelve fifty for Madrid. This time, we made sure to check into our flight the night before. Thankfully, we didn't have any problems at the airport in Lisbon. We returned to Madrid at three. Afterward, Rachael and I went to el Tigre, a bar with the biggest and some of the best tapas in Madrid. After I got back to my homestay around five, I immediately fell asleep. My trip to Lisbon was amazing, but I never got any rest the entire weekend.