Reflections from Lisbon
I write this blog post as I travel on a bus from the South of Portugal back to Lisbon.
My time in Lisbon has come to an end and I have to say that this has been my favorite city on the trip so far. Why has it been my favorite you ask? Let me explain. (P.S. As I write this sentence, Blaze of Glory by Bon Jovi came on the Portugal radio station that is playing on the bus. I bought this single cassette as a kid, and rocked it a ton on my boombox. If you would have told the 8 year old me that I would be listening to this song as I ride on a bus in Portugal as I travel the world for a year at the age of 33, I would have probably laughed or said leave me alone and gone back to playing with my Legos.
Lisbon is a beautiful city. It reminds me of a small version of San Francisco. There is a trolley system that rolls through. There is a bridge crossing the water that resembles the Golden Gate bridge. The streets are tiny. They are made of cobblestone. There are buildings lined with tile. The people all hang their laundry out their windows to dry. The small local family restaurants are where you can get some great food. They bring food to your table, if you eat, you pay for it. If you don't, you don't pay for it. I walk a lot in each of the cities we visit. I like to do it. It is a great way to explore and see the city. Lisbon has some great streets that are very hilly, and turn said walks around the city into full leg workouts. The people are very friendly, and are proud of their culture and embrace the fact that it is becoming more and more of tourist destination.
I have spent a ton of time near the ocean this month. A trip to the beach on Labor Day, Surfing Lessons, a Sunday at the beach, a trip to Lagos, another trip to Lagos, and Algarve. I love the ocean, I always have. I always wondered what it would be like to live close to the ocean and this month gave me that opportunity and I took advantage of it as much as I could. The ocean here is beautiful. There were places where the water was rough, and it was hard to swim. There were parts where the water was calm and it was easy to swim. There were beaches surrounded by beautiful cliffs, and water as clear as glass. The sand was soft, and the water was a refreshing temperature for cooling off in the warm Portugal September sun.
You Need to Visit Here
I have not said that about any of the places we have visited thus far. Don't get me wrong, I loved the other cities, but Belgrade for example is not a place that I am going to rush to tell all my friends and family they need to visit. It is a great city, if you get the chance, go, it is awesome. Portugal on the other hand is special. I didn't want to leave, and look forward to when I can come back. Visit Lisbon, Sintra, go south to Lagos, Algarve, Alvor, and Portimao. There are places I didn't make it to, but are on my list for when I return. Those places are Porto, Azores, and the wine country of Portugal. Book a trip, explore it, go to the beach, eat some Paella, drink some Port, and listen to the beautiful sounds of Fado music.
Time Out Market
This place is cool and it is a large indoor area with tons of restaurants inside it with tables in the middle. The only reason I am giving it its own section in this blog, is due to it being the place where I discovered the best chocolate cake I have ever had in my life. I had about a dozen slices of this cake during my time here. I would go to absolute depths of hell, fight a fire breathing dragon, walk on hot coals, and anything else crazy to get a slice of this chocolate cake, it is that good.
Pastel De Nata.
These are a speciality in Portugal, and they are delicious and amazing. That is all I need to say about them, I will let the pictures below say the rest.
How am I doing?
All and all, I am doing great. This journey continues to teach me so much about myself and others. I feel like I can still do a better job connecting with the group. The opportunities are there and I don't always take advantage of them. The things I have always known about myself and things I say I need to work on have become more evident on Remote Year. I want to have more dinners with people one on one, I want to do more side trips, and I want to fully experience all that Remote Year has to offer me. I have done that is some aspects, and also have struggled with it. I will keep fighting the good fight. I am incredibly grateful for the opportunity and look forward to keep on keeping on. Morocco is up next!
Obrigado Pela Leitura