I know it’s been a while since I actually went to Lisbon, but hey, better late than never, right? Since breaking up my travel posts worked out so well for my Scotland trip, I plan to do the same with my Lisbon trip. Check out parts TWO and THREE, up later this week!
Over the first weekend of November, I met up with one of my best friends from back at Wofford, who is spending her semester abroad in Granada, Spain: Kelsey! After a lot of confusion in planning our trip and even a change in weekend, we finally decided on Lisbon, Portugal as our destination.
I’m not gonna lie, when Kelsey first suggested Lisbon, I was like “really? Lisbon? What’s in Lisbon?” But boy was I wrong. Lisbon is absolutely gorgeous and is chock-full of history. Did you know it is one of the oldest cities in Western Europe? And it was completely destroyed in the 15th century by an earthquake, fire, and tsunami? Talk about an apocalypse. Lisbon was a part of the Roman empire, and is still home to some Roman ruins.
But without a doubt, the best part about going to Lisbon was getting to see Kelsey. If you know me at all, you know that my friends are incredibly important to me. Being away from them for so long is slowly breaking me, but getting to see Kelsey, even if for a short period of time…it was so, so wonderful.
On Friday, I arrived in Lisbon, navigating my way from the airport to the hostel by myself (Kelsey had arrived before my flight even left London), and honestly – I was super proud of myself. First things first, we had to take a reunion selfie (after the ten minute hug I initiated). Then, after checking into the hostel (Good Morning Hostel – Lisbon, I would highly recommend this hostel if you ever go to Lisbon IT WAS AMAZING), we decided to adventure over to the TimeOut Market. It’s basically a huge food market and had everything we could ever imagine. But of course, these Americans had pizza.
It was getting close to sunset (thanks Daylight Savings Time) when we finished our late lunch, so we ventured uphill (for some reason, Lisbon is SUPER hilly) to Miradouro de Santa Luzia, which essentially means “viewing point.” It was gorgeous. We got some great pictures and were completely blown away by the views. For a while, I was under the impression that we were overlooking the ocean, but I later learned that it was just a river.
On our walk back, we stopped every few blocks to take pictures of the tiles on the facades of the buildings. That’s one thing I didn’t expect in Lisbon was the beauty of the architecture. Yes, they had Spanish-style buildings, but also they had the facades decorated with elaborate tiles. It’s something that really makes Lisbon unique, and something I really loved.
Our hostel (which is so amazing), had a free sangria night on Friday night, and we both took full advantage of that. We got the chance to meet some of the other people in our hostel (people from everywhere – USA, Australia, New Zealand, Germany, Czech Republic, Mexico – all over), which I really loved. It was something that I feel like you don’t get the chance to do in most hostels, and even though I was super excited to be spending time with Kelsey, it was really cool to get the opportunity to meet people from all over the world.
Our final adventure for our first day in Lisbon was an attempt to locate a Tapas bar. Kelsey had been raving about how wonderful Tapas bars are in Granada (you can apparently get appetizers and a drink for like two euros). But that was not the case in Lisbon. It’s not Spain (obviously), so there weren’t many places that were like Spain. We did end up finding a really cool restaurant where we got food, but it took way too long for our liking. Kelsey had been up since 4:30AM and I had been up since 6:30AM. Neither of us wanted to wait very long for food, but Europe takes their sweet time in restaurants. Needless to say we were ready for bed when we finally made it back to the hostel.
More than anything though, I am glad that I took this trip because I wanted to see Kelsey. My friends are very important people to me and not being able to see them is really starting to get to me. Spending this time with Kelsey really helped make up for it. Kelsey is such an amazing person, completely genuine and tells it like it is. But she’s also kind and caring and the person you want to have around if something goes wrong, because she always keeps a level head. She is not judgmental and loves with her whole heart.
I had been going through a small bout of homesickness the week before I went to Lisbon, and Kelsey cured that for me without a doubt. There is no one in the world I would rather adventure around Lisbon with, attempting to not completely wipe out on the slick tiled hills. It was a random adventure, but I wouldn’t have had it any other way with any other person.