Friday, September 11, 2015

Best Day Ever

Wow, so just now I got home after an absolutely amazing day. Today out class was cut short so that we could go together on a field trip to the Portuguese historical museum in the Terreiro do Paço (or Praça do Comércio):

 Ok I went a little crazy on taking pictures here but here are 2 of me:

Plus it was RIGHT on the river so here is what it looks like on the other side:

Here is right outside the museum on the edge of the square:

The museum was pretty interesting, though difficult to pay attention since it was audio guided and we were in a big group:

  After the museum we all sort of splintered off into groups and the people I was with decided we should all go for lunch. After wandering around we found a cafe on a side street. 

The food was SOOO good. I ended up getting "black pig cheek with mushroom risotto" for around 12 euros. I wasn't really sure I would like it but it was delicious

After lunch, one of our friends was on a mission to return to a terrace we had seen while on the Tuk Tuk tour to have a drink and watch the sunset. And so it began. It became our challenge to make it to this terrace by the end of the day. Some more people split off from us so it was just me and 4 other people. 
First we went to go get gelato at a place called Gelado Santini that our friend said was really good. It was and I really recommend it, especially the strawberry. Honestly I have been eating gelato here almost every day because it's so common and delicious.
After we started walking and ended up at this thing called "Elevador Santa Justa" which is just a random elevator in the street which brings you up to an overlook over the city. It costs around 5 euros for the short ride but our train passes which we got from CIEE could be used to pay so we got on free:

Here is the view from the top:

Farther down from the elevator is a square which is outside a monastery that collapsed in an earthquake in 1755. Not sure what the square is called but it is in Chiado. Here we drank some ginja which is a cherry liqueur which they sell all over the place in little shot glasses (it's kind of rough going down) and shared an alfajor which is two super soft shortbread-like cookies made with cornstarch, and made into a sandwich with dulce de leche in the middle, which is then rolled with coconut around the edges:

 Nearby in the square:

There is also some type of military museum off the square. We passed by this on our Tuk Tuk tour a few days before and we had tried to talk to the guard but he just ignored us and talked to his friend instead. That made them seem really intimidating so rather than approach again I just took a picture from afar:

A beautiful terrace off of another square we walked to:

There are tons of tiled buildings all over Lisbon:

Next we walked to Praça dos Restauradores:

From here we walked to the Panteão Nacional or National Pantheon where famous people are apparently buried. I can only really post pictures today and not tell the story of these places as this turned into more of an initial exploratory walking trip rather than a site seeing day. I will most likely come to these places again to go inside later:

A cool arch we walked under:

With a blue Tuk Tuk:

We entered a random church:

In the back there there is a HUGE organ which someone began to play out of nowhere while we were looking around, It was creepy for a second but it was really cool. 
Right outside the church was a little courtyard with a pool and an arbor with beautiful flowers:

We walked down this small alley at some point and this man in the window started meowing and hissing at us. He let me take a picture of him. Can you spot him?

FINALLY, we made it to THE terrace. The one we had walked literally all over Lisbon to get to. Here is the view right off of it:

A statue of St. Vicente:

We grabbed a cafe table right next to the railing overlooking the city. We bought water and lemonade and sat for a good hour with the hot sun and cool breeze coming off of the water. An old man who the others said they had seen around during the Tuk Tuk tour came and started to play Fado guitar nearby. Someone said that he was super sassy and had yelled at them days before saying, "Right now I will play fado so %#^$ing listen". It was literally so perfect here but we all agreed the most fun part was getting there. This is not a great picture because we were all so wiped out at this point I forgot to take any, but you get the point. There were two of the biggest cruise ships I had ever seen in my life moored on the shore.

After sitting for a long, long time soaking everything in we finally decided to descend from the hills and go back to the real world. But of course, we had to made stops on the way down:

When we finally got to the bottom of the hill we all got on the Metro and went home. Tonight is the Vogue Fashion Night Out, which I had never heard of but during which certain stores stay open until 11, have sales, give away free stuff, and DJs play throughout the city (So I have heard and we saw the DJs being set up as we were leaving). It sounded really fun and everyone had been planning to go but we were all really tired. I'm not going to make it and no one else looked like they were either but they might. By the end of the day we had been walking around from around 1-7pm... almost 6 hours!!! And before that we had been in class/at a museum. The days seem soooo long in Portugal... like one day here is equal to 2 at home. The reason is that we wake up at around 7 to start the day, the sun doesn't really set until 8pm, and we don't have dinner until 8-9:30 at night. With all this time you can fit in more activity than anyone could possibly handle. 
But anyways, it was an amazing day and I have these people to thank for it.

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