Sunday, November 1, 2009

Lisbon, Portugal

Greetings from Lisbon!

Hereºs what we did here:
Lo que hicimos en Lisboa:

El viernes:

First, we went to our hostel. It is the most *modern hippie* sort of place Iºve ever stayed in. Sorta fun. Complete with people drinking tea out of odd looking mugs. Very cute. Itºs all college students except for our fourth roommate, who is an older woman. On the second night we stayed there, she had left, and we had a French guy as our 4th roommate. Breakfast here is toast or cereal, and Iºve eaten a lot of toast. Ç-=
Primero, fuimos al hostel. El hostel tiene un estílo como "hippie" moderno. Divertido. Tenía personas esteriotípicas que beben de tazas extrañas. Todos los huéspedes allí eran estudiantes de la universidad salvo la mujer que compartió nuestra habitación, una mujer mayor. En la noche segunda que nos quedamos allí, ella se había ido, y un chico de Francia estaba. El desayudo aquí es pan tostado o cereal, y he comido mucho pan tostado. :-)

After leaving the hostel, we went to the Castelo de Sao Jorge, a castle. It was super fun climbing through the old castle and taking picture from the towers.
Después de salir del hostel, fuimos al Castelo de Sao Jorge. Fue super-divertido para caminar por el palacio viejo y sacar fotos.
From there, we intended to find Bairro Alto, the place with all the shops, restaurants, and bars because our guide book said thatºs where everyone hangs out at night. Well, we never found it, but we did find a street with Armani, Burberry, LongChamps, Louis Vuiton, etc. I actually didnºt buy anything. Really, I didnºt. Oh, the Hard Rock Cafe was there too.
Después, intentamos encontrar el Barrio Alto, el lugar con todas las tiendas, restaurantes, y bares porque dice en nuestra libro de guía que es el lugar mejor para pasar la tarde/noche. Pues, nunca lo encontramos, pero sí encontramos una calle con Armani, Burberry, LongChamps..etc. Actualmente, no compré nada. De veras. HRC estaba allí también.

Lisbon is sort of a paradox in appearance. Some parts of the city are really modern and clean, but in other places, there are piles of garbage in the streets. Itºs like theyºre half way there. How many of you are thinking of the Bon Jovi song after reading that?
Lisboa tiene una apariencia (paradoxical?). Por algunas partes, la ciudad parece moderna y limpia, pero por otras partes, hay basura en la calle.
We found these chair-things along the Atlantic coast. The other Atlantic coast. We waved to Boston. The chairs are chairs/flowerpots/plant-holder-things. There were about 30 of them, and they were pretty comfy. Encontramos estas sillas cerca de costa del océano Atlántico. La otra costa Atlántica. Dijimos 'hola' a Boston. Estas sillas son sillas y ... Había 30 sillas más o menos, y estaban cómodas para sentarse.
One um, interesting aspect of life in Lisbon is the apparent obsession with American girls. As we were walking somewhere, one guy at a restaurant literally called to us, ´Darling! Itºs me youºve been looking for!´ We assume he got that out of a movie since no one says that. Most guys just say ´hello´, ´money´, or ´photo´. Sorry about the bizarre punctuation. Lots of hellos.
Un aspecto interesante de la vida en Lisboa es que los chicos tienen una obsesión con las chicas americanas. Mientras estábamos caminando, un hombre en un restaurante nos llamó, diciendo, "Darling! It's me you've been looking for!" Pensamos que él aprendió esta línea de una película, porque no hay nadie que hable así. Normalmente, los chicos dicen "hello", "money", o "photo". Muchos dicen "hello".


In the morning on Saturday, we went to the flea market. Itºs very different from El Rastro in Madrid. This one, named ´Thieves Market´ is a true flea market, in the sense that people sell their belongings that they donºt want anymore. Watches, cell phone chargers, jewelry, dishes, clothes, shoes, and .... underwear. Yes, they sell underwear at the flea market. I didnºt buy any.
Por la mañana en el sábado, fuimos al mercado (flea?). El mercado es muy diferente que El Rastro, el mercado en Madrid. Este mercado se llama "Thieves Market" y la gente vende las cosas que no quieren ya. Unos relojes, \unas cosas para recargar los móviles, unas joyas, unos platos, alguna ropa, unos zapatos, y ropa interior. Sí, venden ropa interior en el mercado. No la compré. After the flea market, we wandered over to telepizza for lunch. Iºve seen my host familyºs telepizza boxes, and figured the restaurant must be good if they eat there since they live here and know what to eat. We figured right, we got a good, cheap lunch. Perfect.
Después del mercado, caminamos a telepizza para el almuerzo. He visto que mi familia de hospitalidad come telepizza, y por eso mis amigas y yo pensabamos que debería tener comida buena en el restaurante... Era verdad, el restaurante era barato con comida buena. Perfecto.
After lunch, we went to the Fado Museum. Museu deo Fado. Fado is traditional Portugese music. They use guitars and vocals. Itºs really beautiful, and I think it would be good to dance to. I bought a CD for Dad of Fernando Farinha, a famous Fado singer. Another famous Fado singer we learned about was Amália Rodrigues. Apparently, Fado music was on and off legal through the years during times when it was associated with political movements. At the beginning, Fado singers were absolutely covered in tatoos, but that wore off later. The lyrics for Fado are usually poems about the love for the music, but sometimes the lyrics were also censored. Loved the music.
Después del almerzo, fuimos al Museo de Fado. Fado es la música tradicional de Portugal. Usan guitarras y cantantes. Es muy bonita, y creo que sería bueno para bailar. Compré un disco compacto para mi padre de Fernando Farinha, un cantante famoso de Fado. Otra cantante famosa de Fado sobre quien aprendimos se llama Amália Rodrigues. Durante los tiempos con problemas políticos, el música de Fado algunas veces sí fue prohibido, y otras veces no. Al principio, los cantantes de Fado estaban cubiertos con tatuajes (sp?), pero no fue así luego. Las palabras para Fado normalmente son de poemas sobre el amor por la música...
On the way to our next destination, Belém, we walked along the Tagus River, which opens into the other coast of the Atlantic Ocean. We waved to Boston all the way on the other side. From there, we took tram number 15, a streetcar to Belém. The streetcar was pretty sweet. Just like the old ones, it even has space to stand in the back, but obviously itºs not segregated.
Mientras estábamos yendo al próxima destinación, Belém, damos un paseo en el río Tagus, que va al "otro lado" océano Atlantico. (We waved?) a Boston al otro lado. De allí, andamos en un (tram), número 15, un (streetcar?) a Belém. Igual como los (streetcars?) viejos, había un espacio aparte para levantarse, pero obviamente no era segregado.

Arriving in Belém we went to the guard tower and climbed all 92 steps, taking pictures along the way. We got there just in time and got in free - it pays to be a student! The tower had four landings, some were kings´ chambers, and one was a chapel. It was on the beach of the Atlantic Ocean so they could monitor who was coming in to the land. This picture (below) is the tower.
Cuando llegamos a Belém, fuimos al (tower) y trepamos toda la escalera. Sacamos unas fotos. Llegamos a tiempo apenas para entrar, y entramos gratis porque somos estudiantes. Había 4 pisos en el (tower?) - para los reyes, y un (chapel). I should really know how to say 'chapel' by now since there's one in the Barajas airport where I sleep every weekend.
Leaving the tower, we headed for the famous Monastery. On the way, we saw a bee and a dragonfly fighting to their death. Well, one of their deaths. The bee\dragonfly hit Jenºs knee and then the ground. Then, the bee decapitated the dragonfly and ate its guts. Yes, we took pictures. It was...special....and not Dana-friendly. Interesting though.

We also arrived at the Monastery just before they closed. It was a beautiful chapel. It was very quiet, and sort of peaceful. We started to hear singing, so we left, but on the way out, we saw what we think was a monk doing some sort of service for some people in a side room.

The monastery is famous for their pastries. So, we went to Pastéis de Belém, the only place in the world where these pasties are made. Picture to come later. According to our guide book, there are only 3 people alive who know the recipe for these, and this is the only place where theyºre made. So, I got myself a tiny cake - it was super delicious. The outside was sort of flaky and the inside had a custard filling. It was fresh from the oven, and they gave us little packets of powdered sugar and cinnamon to put on top. Yum. For dinner, Jen had a recommendation from a friend for a great restaurant. It was super delicious. I had grilled salmon. Seafoood is the typical food here since Lisbon is on the coast of Portugal. Seafood and pork. After dinner, everything was closed to prepare for All Saints Day, which was on Sunday. So...we went back to the hostel and met people from all over. Some from Urugray, France, Canada, the UK, and one from LA. Together, we all watched the Sound of Music with Portugese subtitles. It was great. I learned a ton of words in Portugese. Iºll post a list later.
Overall, this trip rocked. It really helped to be able to speak Spanish since itºs similar to Portugese. Seriously, we wouldºve been lost otherwise. Super-fun time!! Excited for Paris next weekend.

Ç-= The smiley face on a Portugese keyboard goes the other way.


  1. Sounds like your weekend was amazing!!!!!
    Is France a 3 or 4 day weekend?

  2. I love reading about your travels. Sounds like you are having an amazing trip! Good luck with getting your classes scheduled for next semester - Mom was telling me about that challenge!

    Aunt Beth