Everyone boarded the plane on time from Lisboa to Philly to Columbus --- sad to see this wonderful group go home.
We truly had an amazing experience together -- so many laughs, good times, bonding, and learning. I will forever cherish these 15 days with this exceptional group!
I stayed behind to head to Madrid for a few days -- Dr. C should be landing between 5 and 6pm with everyone else. A phone call will be forthcoming to the families. Dr Doug-Thug
Hotel Victoria in Central part of Madrid
Can't hug you guys - so I found this guy to love on!
Today Mary and Brittany decided to tour the city shopping and taking in the local cafe pastry shops. Our first stop was the renowned shop A Brasileira, where famous poets of Lisbon gathered to write. From there, we toured the shops throughout the city on foot, making our way towards the location of our Fado show tonight.
On our tour, we encountered a local festival celebrating St. Anthony. The music choices playing were comical and included "Hotel California" and "Final Countdown".
As we sit at our final leg of the tour, at Pois Cafe, we are excited to experience our first Fado show.
Sintra National Park consists of 13 natural parks outside Sintra, such as Cabo da Roca, a cliff rising about 140m (460ft) above the Atlantic famous for being Europe's westernmost point ( and a landmark cross bearing an inscription by Portuguese poet Luis de Camões stating that here, "land ends and the sea begins.")
This has been my favorite stop so far in Lisbon and here are some of my favorite pictures.
The past few days have been quite adventurous. We went to the beach as a group which was super fun. The water was a boiling 16 degrees Celsius but it was nice since it was about 30 degrees Celsius. The beach was very clean as was the water. There was a pier that some of us jumped off which made getting in cold water much easier and quicker! There were a lot f little crabs swimming around the waters as well. There is no such thing as a one piece suit here and almost all bottoms are thonged up.
Yesterday after the beach I visited my third stadium here on the trip, the stadium of light. The soccer club benfica plays here. Here I had a tour guide who brought me around the stadium and was very informative. For only 12.50€ I thought it was great because after the tour- I was the last tour- he brought me out for drinks and snails! He spoke very nice English. I will get back to this and the tour guide. In the stadium lives an eagle, this eagle flies before every game then lands on a perch on the middle of the field. It was very cool to see an eagle since that's a symbol of the u.s.
After the tour we all met up at a really cool restaurant which had so much stuff in it. Almost felt like I was in an antique shop!
Today we went as a group on a tour to portugals end of the world which is the farthest west you can go in continental Europe! The cliffs were really high and very dramatic. It was very windy as well. We also passed by an awesome surfing spot but only drove past which was a bummer but I have to save something for my next visit to this country.
After the tour, I was invited again to come out to dinner with my tour guide from the day before so a few of us went out to eat. Another reason for this invite is because there is a soccer game between Portugal and turkey tomorrow night in the stadium where this tour guide reserved tickets for us to buy! Only 20€ a ticket and we are 8 rows back from one of the goals! This game is only a friendly- or a scrimmage- but it is one of the last ones before a major tournament that is coming up this summer and wing one of the last ones, all of the good players will be playing!
The dinner with the guy was perfect. It was the authentic Portuguese experience that I was looking for! Me and Tyler got a steak which came out rare but cooled right before our eyes on a scorching hot marble slab. Dr Douglass got a salmon dish and her daughter Sophie got a mix plate with all the food groups, eggs, meat, vegetables and maybe not fruit but it did the job! I really enjoy this city and will miss it quite a bit. It is a very chilled out city and has a feeling of te west coast of the USA. Really laid back atmosphere and very hospitable and a lot of people here speak English.
They speak English because they receive our tv channels and they are not translated, only subtitled. With this, the children watch cartoon network and learn English while reading Portuguese. Pretty neat if you ask me.
Brett and I are watching espn America right now and the Cleveland Indians are playing and it is the Ohio broadcast!
Last thing I have included is a picture of some sidewalk. All of the sidewalks are done in a tile. The sidewalks are hand laid stones and are everywhere, it is amazing!
Today was a free day so we all took the hour metro ride to the beach. The metro system in Portugal is a bit tricky, but we managed quite well. The beach was a bit crowded, but beautiful nonetheless.
After the beach we rested up and took to the city in search of food. We had our minds set on Indian food and managed to find a place. Leaving the restaurant we walked right into a street festival. Performers were putting on a crazy "Tim Burton" inspired performance. It was fun to be amongst the locals and clap to the music. Pretty awesome that festivities were occurring and it is only a Thursday night.