I fell in love with Portugal at first sight. I’m convinced that it’s the world’s best kept secret.
Departure from Salamanca
Friday morning, the ISA gang boarded a bus and made the 5 hour (más o menos, remember that we are on ISA time and no bus ride is complete without a coffee break and a lunch break) trip to Lisboa/Lisbon, Portugal.
Arrival in Lisboa
We pulled up to the hotel and there was a charter bus outside with “FC Porto” written all over it. The street was blocked off and bystanders were gathered outside the hotel. We couldn’t get off the bus fast enough, there was a soccer team in there! A few of the girls and I waited in the lobby for the team to come down and head to the stadium to play their rival, Benfica, for the Portugese Cup. We were told that Porto is like the Portuguese Barcelona and Benfica is like the Real Madrid, for those of you that speak soccer. FC Porto won and we like to believe that we are the reason for that.
ISA took us on a tour of this beautiful castle in Lisboa where we got to see a fantastic view of the city. I could have stayed there for hours. There were cats, peacocks, and a castle! America really dropped the ball by not building castles. For dinner, we ate at Cervejaria Trindade, which was recommended by Julia’s professor. Liz and I split the bacalao, which is a common dish in Portugal. The food was delicious, and the waiter spoke English which was great since we knew about three words in Portuguese.
Speaking of the language barrier….
Most people in Lisbon spoke English, few spoke Spanish but most could understand it, and everyone spoke Portuguese. Obviously. This made for very interesting taxi rides. We would talk in a mixture of Spanish and English and they would respond in Portugese. Nothing makes me realize how much Spanish I really do know than going to another country where I can’t even begin to put a sentence together.
I’ll have Lisboa part two tomorrow!