The flight was great—pretty decent food and easy to sleep since we were in Economy Plus (thanks to Lauren’s dad). Even though we were delayed, we only got in about 40 minutes behind schedule and we were able to pick up Michelle’s backpack without any trouble.
The bus into town was effortless, and we took a silly little funicular up our hostel (which is on the very top of a hill with a beautiful view).
We settled into our room and changed clothes, then pretty much immediately went on a free walking tour offered by the hostel. The weather wasn’t ideal, but Lisbon is still beautiful. The city looks very different from other parts of Europe I’ve visited—it actually looks an astonishing amount like Puerto Rico.
The buildings are large and colorful but fairly worn down. The walking tour showed us everything we had wanted to see from the guidebook and took about 3 hours. Plus, the tour guide was pretty funny!
By the time it was over, we were STARVING, so we ducked into a little café we had passed earlier on the tour.
An appetizer, three delicious sandwiches and some espresso later, we were ready to keep tooling around town.
We took a giant elevator to a stunning viewpoint, where we proceeded to take about a million pictures. Cities in Europe are so different from ones in the US. In the states, you take an elevator to the bar at the top of a building and take pictures of giant sky-scrapers with lights that seem to go on for miles.
In Europe, you take an elevator to a beautiful square and take pictures of countless tiny white houses with red roofs, surrounding squares dedicated to historical figures. We headed to a roofless church that was next to the viewpoint and took another round of photos, then decided to get another coffee.
We met the rest of the people from our morning tour at a café terrace on the 7th
floor of a hotel and found yet another wonderful view. All in all, it was a very relaxing afternoon.
After the café, we headed back to the hostel because we were completely exhausted. We took a two hour nap, cleaned up, checked emails, and headed out for dinner around 9:30.
After walking around for a while, we settled in at a restaurant on a very busy street in the center of town. The waiter immediately brought out meats , cheeses, and olives and told us we could simply "pay for what we ate." We annihilated the appetizers and ordered lobster with seafood rice (pretty much paella with a big lobster tail) and squid cooked with garlic and potatoes.
We also had a few Caipurinas, which are made by mixing Brazilian rum with sugar and garnished with a lime. Delicious! Then we walked back to our hostel through the huge party happening in the streets—we were way too tired to stay out any longer. As soon as we got back, we fell right to sleep.
Friday was an absolute blur. We finished exams at 11 PM, had a few drinks with the class, did some last minute packing at noon, ate lunch at 12:30, left for the airport at 1, got to the gate at 2, boarded the flight at 3 and landed in Newark at 7 PM. We found our connecting gate without trouble and boarded our flight to Lisbon. Then things went a little bit downhill. We sat in the plane at the gate for over an hour because the central communication at Newark was down… I can't even fathom the number of flights that were affected by Newark shutting down for an hour. But they eventually got their shit together and we took off!