Birthday, Live from Lisboa

Hola mis amores!

Well, only two days remaining! So crazy.

So, Friday was the big 2-0 (HOW AM I ALREADY THAT OLD), and the day started out great right away! At the table during breakfast Marisol left me a present which was the cutest little Teddy Bear. I had my last final on Friday and it went really well, it was so nice to be done worrying about school even if I still have to go until tomorrow. Two of my teachers brought the class cookies for my birthday and made everyone sing. The teachers are so nice here and so much more personable towards the students than most college professors I’ve had in the states. We came home and laid out and ran, our usual afternoon routine, and after dinner went to meet people in the plaza and got ice cream and stuff. All in all it was a great day! Then at 1am, it was off to the train station to Lisbon (Lisboa).

The train was definitely an experience, as there were 8 of us from my Auburn group in the same little section facing each other. Everyone was pretty wound up for a while, but it was a lot of fun. Eventually we were able to fall asleep and I’d be lying if I said it were comfortable to sleep like that. We were pretty crammed and it was freezing, but at least I slept a little because we got off the train and started a long day right away. We took the metro to this little market and then went to this really cool little vegan cafe for lunch, and saw two really beautiful churches. After some more walking around we went back to the hostel, which was yet another interesting experience. I have never stayed in one so I had no idea what to expect. My room consisted of 3 bunk beds and luckily everyone in my room was from my group, but the rest of the group stayed in a room of 10 people and some of the people in that room were random. The hostel was actually very clean though, and they served free breakfast and had free wifi along with a bunch of activities that they offer throughout the week. It’s definitely geared for college students and young travelers but I would totally recommend Lisboa Central Hostel if you ever find yourself in Lisbon. After a little rest we went to dinner and, being the Americans we are, when we saw a Hard Rock Cafe we all got a little nostalgic for some American food. Overpriced? Yes. Worth it? Definitely.

The next day we left the hostel around 10 for another day of touring. We took our time walking down to the coast and stopped at some little shops along the way, and finally made our way down to the water. It was so pretty and the boats were huge. Even though we didn’t make it to the actual beach itself, it was definitely good to smell the salt of the water. It was also cool because I’ve seen the Atlantic Ocean a bunch of times, but now I was seeing it from the complete opposite side. We took a tram a few miles down the coast to see the tower of Belem, which is a castle-looking tower that’s actually built in the water and it’s been there since the 1400s. It was very cool, I’ll post pictures on Facebook. We spent some time just sitting by the water watching the boats which was glorious. After a quick stop at a famous pastry shop, it was back to the hostel to rest. We played a fun game called fishbowl in the hostel and met a guy from Australia and a guy from France who kind of tagged along with our group the rest of the day. For dinner, we went to this Portuguese/Brazilian style steakhouse. It was very strange but so worth the price for how much food we got! There was a buffet with a bunch of different vegetables and cheese and I don’t even know what else, and then they came around and gave us each several different samples of different types of meat, a fried banana, and a grilled pineapple with cinnamon (my favorite of the night). It was very different, but so good and a fun dinner. It was a fun weekend and I’m glad I got to try so many new things that I’ve never done before. However, after 4 weekends of traveling around, I think I’m done being a tourist for a little while!

After that we headed back to the train station for an overnight ride home. I slept a little better this time, and we arrived in Salamanca around 5:30am. Luckily I had one more skip day so I took advantage of that and caught up on my sleep and have had a very relaxing day of hanging out at the pool, getting a workout in and walking around the city doing some last minute souvenir shopping. Tomorrow we have our last day of class and then home on Wednesday!

I should probably get back to packing soon since our room currently looks like a bomb went off. All my friends and family can vouch that I’m a last minute packer, so you should be proud that I’ve even already started!

See you in just 2 days, America! Can’t wait!