This weekend, I went to Lisbon for the weekend. My group left super early Friday morning and took a six-hour bus ride to Portugal. We stopped in Évora, which is a town with preserved medieval walls and many other monuments. While we were only in Évora for a few short hours, we got to see the Capela dos Ossos, or the Chapel of Bones. The Chapel gets its name because the inside is “decorated” with human bones and skulls. I don’t have any pictures of this because….seems weird. But picture the Catacombs of Paris but much smaller and less…underground. In the same building, there was also a beautiful Cathedral. It had some of the most colorful stained glass that projected bright colors onto the wood floor. It almost made it look like there were some kind of disco lights on in the Cathedral. I’m a big fan.
After our visit to Évora, we continued on the bus to Lisbon. Once we arrived, we had a guided walking tour of the city. Lisbon is a beautiful city with pastel-colored buildings and buildings covered in decorative tile. We also walked near the river; Lisbon lies on the River Tagus, which honestly is so large, it looks like the ocean. I was shocked to find out that it was only a river. After the walking tour, we decided to find a good place for dinner. We went to a little restaurant at the top of a huge hill. Portugal is known for their dried and salted cod. Before it is prepared, it is soaked in water overnight to soften it. For dinner, I had Bacalhau à Brás, which is a traditional dish that is basically a mix of scrambled eggs, potatoes, the salted cod, and olives. It was interesting – I’d give it a 7/10.
Saturday morning, we gave ourselves the privilege of sleeping in. After that, we headed to the city to see if we could catch Tram 28. Lisbon is full of archaic-looking tram lines. Tram 28 is the most “famous” of these lines and provides a good tour of the city. We rode Tram 28 for about forty-five minutes then hopped off to grab some lunch. We found a huge market with different food stalls with all kinds of food. I went for a stall offering Portuguese cuisine and got some more of the traditional salted cod. My friend, Mia, got pumpkin risotto from the same restaurant and we shared. After lunch, I headed to the Museu Coleção Berardo, a modern art museum and the most visited museum in Portugal! To be honest, it was a little underwhelming for me, but that’s besides the point. The outside of the museum was incredible and it offered some good views as well. After the museum, we went back to the hotel for a *too* long nap. We went out for dinner around 10:30 PM (waaaay too late by Portugal standards), so out pickings were slim. We ended up at a classy burger joint and, honestly, I was kind of glad. I don’t think I’ve had a burger since being here (okay..except for one or two Micky D’s stops while in airports, etc) and WOW was this a good one!
Saturday morning, we had another walking tour that included the Castelo de S. Jorge, which is the *casual* local castle of Lisbon. My favorite part of the tour were all the peacocks that were around the fortress of the castle. They were so incredibly beautiful – I’ve never seen one up close before! After the tour, we made a stop for one last pastel de nata (Portuguese cream tart) before we headed back to Sevilla. I think I had five pasteles de nata over the course of the weekend, and this one was definitely my favorite!
Overall, Lisbon was great! I came home with a bunch of memories and even a *small* vocabulary of Portuguese! I can say “milk,” “thank you,” “good day,” “coffee,” and….that’s it! All the essentials, right?