Please see part 1 of my Lisbon experience here!
The next day, I woke up after 4 hours of sleep because my body is used to waking up early.
This was part of my gaining an extra day. Besides the fact that S (see part 1) showed me around, I wasn’t expecting to wake early and get a lot of things done.
Since I was running on low energy I stayed within Lisbon and did the transportation pass- 24 hours.
I started going to Belem. This is a small town or suburb 10 minutes by tram from Lisbon. They are known for Pastel de Nata or, I believe in English, Custard tart. There’s an old monastery there and I decided to pay to enter.
At the counter I saw that there was a student discount. I had already given her 10 euros for the adult ticket and asked her about the student discount. She changed it out with no problem. There wasn’t much inside. The courtyard is beautiful and there’s a small exhibit on a famous historian and another on the history of Portugal/the world/the monastery (400 years I think it said).
I’m glad I only paid 5 euros. I’m not sure it was worth 10.
My next stop was this pastry shop. As I approached I saw this huge line. I groaned, and stood in it. However, I saw an occasional person go inside through another door.
I took a risk.
When I entered I saw signs for table service. I was confused. I followed the signs. There was no line.
“There must be some financial benefit to getting it take away (the long line). Otherwise, why are people waiting so long?” I thought to myself.
I was sitted instantly and had my order in less than 10 minutes. I ordered cappuccino do chocolate- I think it was just hot chocolate and that it was! My throat was burning the first few sips and I let it cool and focused on the 2 pastries I ordered.
They were divine! They were a bit warm from the oven and it was so good!
People all over were ordering like 4 per person along with other yummy goods.
By the time I left, the line for table was super long and the take away was short. I suppose people realized. I paid 1.10 euros per tart and 2.65 for the chocolate.
I tried taking the tram back and there must have been some problem as it didn’t show up within the 15 minutes I was waiting and the screen kept saying 2 more minutes. I finally gave up when it changed to 15.
I took a bus to the general area I wanted to go and there waited for another.
Finally I made it to the “final” destination: Basicilia de Estrela. I was told that that was the first tram stop for Tram 28, the famous old tram. Lisbon has many of these old trams running around, but 28 goes through all the major sites.
I toured the lovely park in front of the church and read my book for a bit before catching the tram.
It is not the first stop as it was pretty full already. I was a bit annoyed as I wanted a seat, but it turns out it didn’t matter because due to road work, it only went so far before stopping.
I decided to take the metro to my next destination, but got on the wrong line. Which was alright because I ended up in a place I wanted to go to eventually.
It was this big Avenue and park, which I walked around a bit before hopping on another bus. This didn’t last long either since there was a motorcycle/taxi accident. The ambulance came and that was my cue to start walking. Luckily, the guy just had something wrong with his foot, like sprained, no blood.
This destination is Lisbon’s highest point and viewpoint. The view was beautiful, unfortunately, I went in the afternoon and the sun was facing me meaning my pictures are all against the light. So my suggestion would be to go in the morning.
There are 2 ways to get there. One involves walking up some stairs (like one flight) and the other is about a mile uphill walk. My suggestion is to take the stairs as I walked down the hill and it didn’t look fun.
This particular evening was interesting…I got into a bit of a riff with a fellow dormmate.
3 out of the 5 were sleeping (I was just about to), one was gone, and the last just showed up. I had turned down the main light, but that being said, with the other light, one can still see everything. The last woman turned on all the lights (including hallway). After 20 minutes when I officially wanted to sleep and I saw the 2 others were sleeping,
“I’m going to turn off this light.”
“No. I’m still using it.”
“I’m just turning off one light.”
“I need it, I can’t see.”
“But 3 of us are sleeping.”
“It’s still early.”
“You can’t use a flashlight or your phone?”
“No, I don’t have one.”
Her selfish attitude was too much and the illogical reason of not turning off ONE light was too much for me. I went to bed. About 5 minutes later she turned off all the lights while still doing her bag. I think because she was about 40, she wasn’t meant for hostel life, where sometimes you have to sacrifice a little (like putting up with snoring) since you share a space and pay cheap.
The next day, I decided to go to a small town called Obidos. It is truly small and I only spent 1.5 hours there. The bus round trip is about 16 euros and is an hour one way. It leaves Lisbon from Campo Grande station about every hour and pick ups to return are about the same. Buy your ticket on the bus.
It drops off right in front of the tourist office so I got a map before heading inside the walled city. You can walk around the medieval walls giving you a nice view of the town and area.
They are known for a cherry liquor and people are selling it in chocolate shot glasses for a euro all up and down the streets.
It is very beautiful with all the buildings mainly white and with yellow, red, or blue trim.
Another interesting thing to see is a church that has been converted to a bookstore.
I suppose if I was with someone we would take longer together, but I couldn’t find much else to do.
I bought the cherry liquor as well as the custard tart with cherries inside, which was good, but of course no better than the originals I had in Belem.
I had gotten on the 10 bus and now was leaving on the 12.45 one.
Upon returning to Lisbon and my hostel, I managed to find someone who had one of the French girl’s contact info. Before leaving, I exchanged Facebook with one, but it somehow didn’t go through and I was worried about it the whole day only because they were super cool and I would like to meet them again.
But it all ended well as I managed to contact both of them.
Before heading out for an hour exploration, I met my new bunk mate, M from America. She is in her 70s and basically has been traveling her whole life. She was super cool to talk with and I enjoyed all our conversations.
I also met a German woman, P, from part 1, and when we exchanged contact, she told me she didn’t have any social media! Crazy! But I told her that was awesome, which is true, because many people are too reliant on social media for approval and such.
I was told that Lisbon is seen by foot, which is true; however, there are a lot of hills, but all the small streets are worth it.
My remaining time in Lisbon has been exploring the different sections and streets.
I saw a cat that was a tad dirty and had a long string of saliva coming from its mouth. Something must have been wrong with it, but I kind of thought it was cute.
Actually, from my hostel window I’ve seen many cats walking the roofs.
Once, I was sitting by the water, and a woman was walking along the edge, OK no big. But then she started filming herself singing with her phone. I turned to my left, don’t know why, but I did. The woman to my left looked at the same time to me.
We shared a questioning look and then returned to what we were doing. The singing only lasted a few moments.
However, this night was quite interesting. Another woman, also in her 50s/60s came into the room. Now M, had a roller bag, but it was pretty small. This woman, Big Red, she called herself this due to her red hair, had 2 very large suitcases and was traveling Europe for 97 days and she just started. She was in Lisbon only 2 nights before heading to France.
P and I were sitting and listening to these two woman talk. Sometimes we would add things, but it was mainly them. And it wasn’t to each other, actually these women were mainly talking to us, the younger girls.
M didn’t really like Big Red, from Canada, but I don’t think the other woman noticed. Not that both weren’t lovely, but they had different personalities. M was more reserved while one of the first sentences Big Red said was,
“You know what’s bad? Waking up to a vibrating dildo from someone’s metal locker. Happened to me in the military.”
P and I looked at each other and laughed.
They were both discussing travel and their lives and Big Red did not like Germany as she had some bad health issues there. But P was not offended.
That night, M almost fell getting out of the top bunk. She was fine, but both her and I gasped out of surprise and Big Red went super nurse asking repeatively in a loud voice if we were alright. It was sweet, but funny.
The next night (P had left), and it was just me and Big Red was telling us about her “small German man.” She met him on the train I believe to Lisbon and apparently he’s been a bit love stricken though she thinks he’s married especially since he said they can only talk by email afterwards.
“That’s fine with me. He’s nothing more than a friend so.” Shrugged Big Red.
Due to being on the move so much, I decided for one day to be a relaxed day. I ate breakfast slowly to the point that several others were there at that point and all of them were asking me,
“Where were you? We thought you left? What happened?”
I apologized, but they understood when I explained.
True to my goal, this day was quite relaxed. I walked around the area near my hostel and ran into M who had checked out hours earlier.
“I was at that famous cafe with the statue. It was lovely.”
I accompanied her to the train station she was leaving from (there are many in Lisboa) and it was beautiful.
“The receptionist told me to look for Disneyland.”
“What does that mean?” I asked.
When I saw it, I knew what she meant.
I ordered a cream pastry and it came out different than I thought, but it was delicious!
The statue is of this man- I think he’s someone famous?- and people sit next to him and take pictures. I sat outside and it was fun watching the peoe go by and then stop for a picture. The chair and his hand were all golden from so many people touching it.
After dropping M off, I walked around and up to the castle. I didn’t go inside as I didn’t feel like paying 8.50 to enter and I heard from several people that there’s not much there.
Big Red mentioned a store called Ale-Hop and I noticed it before, but after her comment I saw it on pretty much every street. I went into two and ended up buying a new wallet since I liked it as well as old one was falling apart. It’s like a Tiger. And if you don’t know that store, it sells cute stuff from little knick knacks to mugs, journals, slippers, etc.
I got back a bit early and talked to F, see post 1, and another German woman, C, who speaks 4 languages fluently! Super jealous! One of them is Hungarian, which isn’t easy. She is also the only person I know who is FROM Berlin. Most people grew up elsewhere and moved there.
While we were talking an Irish man joined us, K. He just arrived that morning and was overly excited….or maybe really tired? He was very talkative; however, his accent was a bit hard to understand even for me as a native speaker.
“I’m sorry, I don’t understand.” Said C. They looked at me.
“Don’t look at me, honestly, I’m having a hard time as well.”
He laughed and did his best to make it easier. There was another Irish man and they were from the same city, but I could understand him a lot better.
Anyways, K really wanted food and I had nothing else to do (plus he offered to buy me a crossiant) so I went with him. We went to this little snack stand where we bought me a pastry and then we continued to the grocery store.
From here, he proceeded to buy us 2 pastries and the two German girls a crossiant each. He also bought some sausages for us as well 2 persimmon fruits.
“We will have a picnic at the viewpoint” (near our hostel).
“Thank you, you didn’t have to buy me all this food.”
“Please, it’s 6 euros. That’s one drink in Ireland.”
He was interesting to talk with. I asked him what I should call the English speak islands up North.
“The British Isles. Great Britain and the UK are the same thing- everything, but Ireland.”
That night, T from Finland (see part 1) and I went to a fado show. The receptionist recommended a place called Tasca do Chico and it was great!
Every 20 minutes a new singer would come and sing 3 songs. This gave us a variety of styles to listen to. The prices were also reasonable. The downside, if you want to call it that, is that it’s a really small place and you might want to get there for a seat. However, some people stay for one singer or 2 and leave so there’s not a long wait to sit either.
Fado is the traditional music of Portugal. There is even a museum, but I didn’t get to go.
We shared a table with 2 nice ladies from Spain and we had this Spanglish conversation since T can’t speak Spanish, but we all enjoyed it.
My last day, I got my stuff together slowly and went to the cafe. I wandered into a few shopping stores. I’ve been trying to find a cheap blanket scarf….I don’t know what cheap is, but when I see it, I think I’ll know haha. I couldn’t and it was pretty much time to go to the airport.
It was amusing because T and I were talking about how talkative I am and that I will always find people to talk with, I get it from my dad. He pointed to the way I started with the Spanish women. So at the cafe, I start a conversation with this Irish man who was waiting for his boyfriend. I internally laughed as I’m pretty sure T would have laughed at me if he was there.
I said something about the British Isles.
“Don’t say that. Say Ireland and Britain.”
“Oh, I just asked an Irish man and he said that was ok….?”
“He should be slapped.”
So, the end? I have no idea, I’ll just say the islands that speak English haha.
I told the following story to T as well as others, but I would like to share with you:
In university, I took a screenwriting course. We read the script for Forrest Gump and then watched the movie (they are completely different by the way).
“What do you guys think? Forrest is a bit naive, right? I mean, he’s just talking with everyone at this bus stop.” My professor said, trying to start a discussion.
“I don’t think he’s naive. He’s friendly.” I inputted.
“Don’t you think he’s weird though? I mean, would YOU talk with someone at a bus stop?”
I gave her a bilwildered look,
The class broke out in a laugh- clearly not what the professor was expecting.
“Well, most people would not.”
Solo traveling would be much more lonelier if I didn’t talk to random people. I talk to myself plenty, I like to talk with new people :)
And the simplest way is to find something in common- be observant.
For example, this Irish man was studying the map religiously.
“First time in Lisbon?” I asked.
And that was all.
Anyways, to get to the airport, it’s about a 30 minute ride (I had to switch lines to the red line). Speaking of which, I really like Lisbon’s metro. It’s well signed and each line has its own color and symbol! For example, blue is a seagull and yellow is a flower. I’m not sure why they are as they are, but it’s cool. I haven’t seen that before.
Most of the cheap flights (EasyJet, RyanAir, etc) fly out of Terminal 2, there’s a free shuttle between the two.
That was my amazing time in Lisbon, in 2 parts. I hope you enjoyed reading as much as I enjoyed my experience and writing it :)
I know I’ll be back in Portugal, as it was great! But my next stop is Madrid! For Day Trips to take around Madrid.
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