Week 4: The Beginning of the End

Keep reading to hear about my trip to Lisbon and the final week of my study abroad program! I am so happy and grateful for this experience and that y’all are interested in hearing about it!

Friday, July 22nd, 2016

  • The weekend getaway to Lisbon begins! (after boring class in the morning)
  • Tori and I flew to Lisbon, got to our hostel, and went out for dinner. We learned very quickly that the people in Lisbon are much more aggressive than in Madrid. Almost every restaurant has someone out front trying to persuade you to eat there, and it is especially bad if you look like 2 young female American tourists! Needless to say, picking a place to eat was quite an experience…
  • Bedtime!

 

Saturday, July 23rd, 2016

  • Church of Saint Anthony
  • Miradoura de Santa Lucia (a really pretty view of the water and the city)
  • Puerta da Sol
  • Castle of Saint Jorge (well the ruins of the castle, this was my favorite part of the visit!)
  • Placa Comercio, where I ate a delicious meal and a very traditional Portugese custard tart and saw Arco da Rua Augusta
  • We shopped, of course!
  • Went on the Elevator Santa Justa and got more insanely gorgeous vies of the city! This is supposed to Lisbon’s version of the Eiffel Tower and I am so stoked to see the real thing in Paris soon!
  • Grabbed a second lunch on top of the elevator sooooo basically delicious food and more gorgeous views
  • We took a break for a little bit in our hostel before heading out for a delicious dinner in a super cute place in downtown Lisbon.

 

Sunday, July 24th, 2016

  • On our way to Belem, we drove past Ponte 25 de Abril
  • We saw the Monastery of Belem (WOW SO COOL AND PRETTY AND AWESOME) where there is lots of fun stuff including Vasco de Gama’s grave
  • From there we walked around the gardens, saw the Tower of Belem (highly recommend this), and the Museu do Combatante
  • Next we saw the Basilica da Estrela, which has one of the Holy Doors, and the Jardim de Estrela…both beautiful!
  • To get to our next location, we walked for a while through a really quiet part of the city…it felt like Tori and I were the only people in Lisbon! It was super weird and still don’t know where everyone was or what was going on…we did pass the Assembleia da Republica though which was cool
  • We arrived at the Time Out market where we had smoothies, dried fruit, and got to see a surprise dance show from some of Lisbon’s youth!
  • The trip ended with another nice dinner at a delicious restaurant where we tried more Portuguese food and we went back up the Elevator to see the city at night…totally worth it!

Monday, July 25th, 2016

  • So today is St. James Day, which is a holiday in Spain because James is the Patron Saint of Spain! So yay no class!
  • After arriving early in the morning from Lisbon, I took a nap before lunch and more sightseeing.
  • Lunch was delicious, as always, and then Tori and I explored the rest of Retiro Park. We saw the Statue of the Fallen Angel along with some beautiful gardens and scenery.
  • The day ended with shopping, walking around the city, and a little bit of homework.

Tuesday, July 26th– Thursday, July 28th, 2016

  • My final days of my program! The past few days I have been enjoying the city and the food before the program ends (I am staying after, but I expect it will feel different)
  • I have continued to find more fantastic restaurants here, buy more gifts, and practice my Spanish.
  • Not sure why, but these few days I have noticed a marked improvement in my Spanish, so that’s exciting!
  • Also I have finished up my last homework assignments and papers for school because classes ended Thursday

Friday, July 29th, 2016

  • FINALS! Today I have a final exam and a final presentation since it is the last day of the program. Wow…I can’t believe it!
  • I grabbed lunch with Tori after packing then took my suitcases to the Air BnB our family will be staying in when they come.
  • Okay so the Air BnB is SUPER nice and my mom did a fantastic job booking it! This is really starting to feel like it will be a vacation!
  • Saying good-bye to Tori was super hard, but I did it! Seriously so grateful she was on this trip with me.
  • My time as a student in Madrid ended perfectly with a delicious Spanish tapas dinner prepared by my host mom and some great time just chatting with them and enjoying our last moments together. I am so happy that I got the chance to live with them and they were absolutely fantastic people! Going to sleep and saying good bye was really, really hard!

Well that’s a wrap! It is deceiving though because I am staying here for another 2 weeks with my family traveling around Madrid, Barcelona, and Paris! I am so excited about them, but will probably just be posting one blog post about Barcelona and Paris since I will be repeating stops in Madrid with them. Having my family here is so comforting and I am so excited to show them my city!

 

xoxo Marie

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