Portugal, it's a love hate thing...
Trip Start Aug 02, 2010
15Trip End Dec 06, 2010
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Where I stayed
Palace Lisbon Hostel
Parkes stayed back a day so he could do a tour of Normandy, and I
decided to head to Portugal instead by myself, and we'd meet up the
I was looking forward to travelling
alone to be honest, simply because I wanted to know how I would
react, especially going to a country where I did not know the
language, so it was quite the experience, and one that went
One thing I was not expecting was the
heat in Portugal, and leaving from Paris, which was pretty chilly, I
had on a pair of jeans and t-shirt, and that was a huge mistake!
Nonetheless, I carried on to finding my hostel, with nothing but a
city map with a dot (which wasn't even in the right spot) that the
information guy printed, and a smile. He told me to take the bus
down to the Restauradores stop, and it would be a short walk from
there. Well a short walk turned into an hour of sweating, but some
really great sightseeing. I kind of got lost on purpose because I
wasn't in a rush to get to the hostel, and the city layout tempted me
to explore a bit.
Portugal is a city that you actually do
walk up hills both ways when you go somewhere! I definitely lost
some pounds during our 5 night stay, but that might of been offset by
the amount of partying we did at night in old Lisbon. The beer there
was so cheap and old Lisbon so amazing with everyone pouring out into
these century old streets drinking and listening to live music that
we would've been crazy not to
Every night the streets were packed,
Sunday, Wednesday, didn't matter, people came out. To say that we
had a great time in Lisbon would've been an understatement! The
hostel, called The Palace, was amazing as you'll see by the pictures.
We met a lot of great people, and even travelled with one to the
Tomatina and on to Barcelona! We also met an American named Russ who
legitimately kept up with our “F&%$'in crazy canadian” ways,
as one hostel staff described Parkes and I. We also met a great
German girl who might be able to get us a place to crash for
Octoberfest in Munich! Can't forget the crazy Brazilian Icaro, who
woke up the room one morning singing a Michael Jackson song and his
buddy Fillipe, who might meet up with us on the last leg of our trip
My favourite night so far happened in
Lisbon. There was a group of about 15 of us, and we decided to head
out to, you guessed it, old Lisbon for some drinks. It was an
awesome experience to party with such a diverse group of people, as
there were Australians, Brazilians, Portuguese, Dutch, German,
Scotts, and Canadians, and was like we knew each other for years the
way we partied and talked.
There wasn't a lot of sightseeing in
Lisbon, but I still wouldn't of done it any different. There were a
few beach days, and sleeping in, simply because we were a little bit
tired from the go-go-go tempo we set early on in the trip, and needed
a nice breather, and no better place to take it then there! I saw my
first castle there, the view was awesome, and imagining what it
would've been like to be up there 100's of years ago on the lookout
for enemy ships really set you back. The city itself isn't all that
clean, with lots of graffiti everywhere, and some very poor looking
and the next your in paradise.
The beach that we went to wasn't the
greatest, but in fairness we could only compare it to Nice. The
water was extremely cold, almost sent me into shock, and full of
floating debris like pieces of plastic, wood, and you couldn't see
the bottom. I know there are other spectacular beaches there, but
they aren't accessible by local transportation so we were kinda stuck
on that one.
Our streak of unluckiness continued in
Portugal as well. Our initial plan saw us leaving Lisbon on the 22rd
by night train, and getting into Madrid, spending the night, and
taking a train up to Bunol for the tomato fight. Our hopes were
dashed when the ticket agent advised us that the train was booked up,
but that we could travel the 23rd instead. A little
bummed out, we booked the train and headed back to the hostel. After
a couple of beers to cool the nerves, we looked up ways to get from
Madrid to the tomato fight, and still weren't sure if this would be
possible or not
Then the moment hit... Let's rent a
car, and sleep in it while we travel over there!
After some lengthy research, we found a
car with air conditioning and for 67Euro for three days, and a third
travel partner to split up the cost, booked it, and realized that the
next three days might be the craziest of our life...