Friday, April 16, 2010


How come traveling can never be easy? Budget travel gets you what it gets you ... from point A to point B ... with no luxuries in between!

My friends and I had a 7:30 am flight out of Madrid to Lisbon ... so we wanted to get to the airport around 6 ... only problem is the first train from our town to Madrid is at 5:30 ... so we'd get to the airport at about 7:00 .... no dice.

So, we did what apparently ever other american college student living in Spain was doing ... took the 11:30 pm last train into the airport and slept there! When I say literally every college student was doing this ... the entire check in area of RyanAir and Easy Jet (two low budget european airlines) was literally lined with sleeping bodies. It looked like a mix of the end result of a concentration camp or pre school nap time on steroids ... still haven't decided which. But, that's what you get for $20 flights!

We landed in Lisbon only about an hour later and checked into our hostel. We had so much time that day, plus 3 more days ... we really didn't know what to do with ourselves. My friends wanted to nap so we ended up wasting about the entire afternoon which I wasn't happy about, they woke up just in time for dinner ... which was at a buffet all you can eat for 5.95 ... good enough! Then we went out for the night. Lisbon has this amazing drink ... its sort of a fruity twist on a mojito ... instead of crushed mint leaves its crushed strawberries, sugar, and a special Portuguese alcohol ... i'm definitely going to have to learn to make this when I get back to America.

The next day we did the hop on hop off bus tour, went down by the water, explored a little ... but my friends got a really bad sunburn because they just wore tank tops so then we had to search for sunscreen and lotion for them! we ate dinner down by the water and then again they napped (they napped a lot ... it wasnt my most fun trip) after two kind of boring days I made the executive decision that we were going to the beach. One of my friends was too sunburnt and stayed home ... i really didn't care, i wanted to go to the beach so i hopped on the train and i went. It was the coolest thing ever! I've never swam in an ocean the first week of april! not only that but this beach, called Cascais is the western most point of europe ... i had to hike over a lot of rocks and up some long streets to get there, but i was determined to stand on the westernmost point ... aka the closest i've been to home in 4 months. It was definitely worth it. Cascais was an amazingly beautiful, bright colored beach town. The entire train ride went parallel to the ocean so it was cool to see how the beaches changed the further west we got.

I have always known that I love the beach, I swim in the water in Maine when its 60 degrees, I'm a Pisces, we love the water, we love watching the waves and getting lost in day dreams ... but after two kind of grouchy lame days seeing the ocean really had a magical way of lifting my spirits. the two friends who came with me were still very sunburnt so they couldn't really lay out in the sun but i parked my butt down in that Portuguese sand and napped, read, went for a swim, and really enjoyed myself!

Anyways, i wish i had more to write about regarding lisbon except it wasn't the most eventful trip. Don't get me wrong it was absolutely gorgeous weather ... 75 and sunny, and the city itself was affordable, and quite pretty but my friends and I clashed a lot about what to do and where to go ... which is always frustrating when traveling in groups. oh well.

Then on the way home our flight got delayed ... as a result we missed the last train out of Madrid back to our town ... but we had class in the morning so we couldn't sleep at the airport. we took the metro from the airport to a big train station, transferred there to another metro which brought us to a bus port, caught a bus to the center of our town and then had to take a cab from the center of town back to where we live ... not so fun! Which made me realize I have no idea how im going to get from my dorm to the airport when I leave for good because I have two fifty pound suitcases! can't walk far, nor can you really do public transportation because you cant wheel two suitcases thru the turnstiles at the metro. oh dear! looks like I'll have to splurge for a 50 euro cab ride.

in other news, I bought a dress for the ring dance which I'm quite excited about! I have a fitting on Monday so I'll post some pics then. I still took lots of pics of portugal, it was really beautiful, i just didn't have a lot of fun ... except the beach ... that was amazing!
here's the link: lisbon pics

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