Journal

eurotripping: porto, lisbon.

My time in Portugal didn’t get off to the greatest start. When I flew into Porto, it was cloudy and muggy, and the walk to the hostel with my suitcase was all uphill. And the climb wasn’t on pavement, but super lumpy and bumpy cobblestone. Because I had some time before I could check in, I joined a walking tour and of course, I ended up hurting my ankle on the cobblestone. Just my luck! I was doing so good throughout the trip and the moment I wasn’t paying enough attention, I injured myself…

I only spent one night in Porto, which is why I thought that joining a walking tour would be a good idea. I got to see a lot of the city and saved a lot of time because if I had explored the city myself, I definitely would have been very lost because it’s a very hilly city.

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After my day in Porto, I took the train to Lisbon and was welcome by the shining sun. I walked around the downtown area with another Canadian girl I met at the hostel and chilled by the water, eating some delicious fresh cherries.

The next day, I visited the Castelo de São Jorge, a hilltop castle that overlooks the city of Lisbon. It’s a very popular tourist attraction, so there was a large line of people when I finally made it up the hill by bus. Once inside, you can choose different areas to explore. It was actually quite scary to walk around the castle walls because the guardrails weren’t very high and I was scared that I would topple over them. However, the view is so worth it, as per usual. 

On my third day, I took the tram out to the Belém area of Lisbon. There’s lots of things to see and do there, so I spent pretty much my entire day in Belém. I went up the Torre de Belém and visited the Museu Colecção Berardo, which houses a pretty awesome collection of contemporary art. Plus, there’s free wifi there, which is always such a great thing to stumble upon. I also saw the Padrão dos Descobrimentos monument (so huge) and visited the famous Jerónimos Monastery.

A good chunk of my last day in Portugal was spent trying to find a place that would print my boarding pass. The hostel’s printer wasn’t working, so one of the people who worked at the hostel told me to try some store in a mall. I found the store and turns out they only print photos, not documents. Finally, I realized that I could just go to a hotel and print it, so I did that. I went to some ritzy area of town, waltzed in and printed out my boarding pass at no cost. 

After the hunt to print my pass was over, I rested for a bit before taking the tram out to the Algés area because I was going to the Optimus Alive festival! It was my first European festival experience so I was pretty stoked. Not only that, but I purposely chose to only go on the Sunday of the festival because that day had the best lineup. I got to see Jake Bugg, Of Monsters and Men, Tame Impala, Phoenix, Alt-J, and Kings of Leon. It was so awesome! Had I not been so exhausted, I would have stayed for Band of Horses and Django Django. Oh well, maybe next time…

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Next up: back to Spain!