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A Lisbon Adventure! June 7, 2011

Posted by annasulimirski in Travel Log.
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Lisboa was craziness! What an adventure. en serio. I had no idea what i was getting myself into!

It began with a sprint to the bus station after class to get to Sevilla. We then bought our midnight train tickets to Lisbon and spent the afternoon wandering around the city. I’m giving a shout-out to my mom for the southern Spain travel book she gave me in my stocking for Christmas. We used it to navigate around the city and see some really neat things :) It is an absolutely beautiful city next to a river and has a lot of history. We met some neat people, and then headed to the bus station at midnight.

All I can say about a 7 hour bus ride that starts at midnight is that at least we didn’t have to pay for a hostel…. One of the pictures is of me, Ariana, and Allie (2 other PS’s) sleeping in the bus station.

We arrived in Lisbon at 6am their time and set out to find our hostel. We got terribly lost most likely because we were totally overconfident in the similarity of Spanish in Portuguese. It felt like we had the whole city to ourselves, though. Most tourists don’t come out before 8am…. 3 hours later we made it to our comfortable, beautiful, and friendly hostel :) it was 3 blocks away from the metro station we had started at.

We spent some time exploring and then went on a super interesting walking tour of the city. We learned a lot about the history and the culture, and I felt stupid for hopping on a bus towards a city that I literally knew nothing about. The highlights of the tour were some amazing views, cool monuments, and seeing tons of Norwegians wearing viking helmets cheering at the soccer game on TV. Then we got lost again, but we won’t talk about that.

Later we ate some amazing Portuguese dinner and even more incredible Portuguese dessert and headed back to our hostel for the night tour. The nightlife in Lisbon is complete craziness. The streets were packed with people for an entire neighborhood. I have never seen anything like it.

It was so good to come back “home” to Cadiz with our Moms and a language we can understand. It’s amazing how this place does feel like home already!

Yesterday we had a class excursion to a market and then to a tower in the city with a camera oscura. It was super neat, and I’m glad I’m getting to fully explore at least my home city in Europe. Today I went to class and then hung out on the beach doing homework. We’re going to a flamenco show tonight! I’m so excited!

Belem: The Start of it All July 14, 2010

Posted by kvrensburg in Travel Log.
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May 12: First things first. I don’t know if this is a common occurrence throughout Europe, but Portugal has some of the most interesting bathrooms that I have ever seen. Every place, be it restaurant or store has their own flair when it comes to their bathroom. Unlike the U.S. where bathrooms usually have very subtle, but forgettable artwork, here each place seems to strive to make you trip to the bathroom unforgettable.

Also, our hostel is really great, but there is one thing that I can’t get out of my mind.In the bathroom there is red Christmas garland ( the shiny metal looking stuff) that separates the showers from the toilets. Now, it is important to this story to understand one thing, space is tight. These are not American bathrooms that have lots of unused space. Every inch (or centimeter, I should say) is being used efficiently. Given this info, it is understandable that behind this red garland there is not much extra space to dance around with a towel to try to dry off.  So, every time I hop out of the shower, I can’t help but think how many bare bottoms have touched this garland… Don’t get me wrong, this hostel is very clean, but I am not sure how often this garland has been washed… Anyway, I guess as travelers, you end up touching bottoms with other people whether you want to or not… this way is just a bit more indirect, or direct… however you wish to see it. (more…)

Starting with a… volcano? July 14, 2010

Posted by kvrensburg in Travel Log.
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Meetup at the airport

May 10: I met up with most of the bio group in the airport in Atlanta. We hung around the terminal and played card games, expecting to have a normal flight. Boy, were we wrong.  Because of the ash cloud from the Icelandic volcano our plane couldn’t leave on time. Our flight was delayed until 7:30pm, which we all knew was a pretty common occurrence, so we were still just chilling. Then, our captain announced that our flight was going to be 10 1/2 hours instead of 7 1/2 because we had to fly over Greenland to avoid the volcanic ash. This concerned us a bit because we had a very short layover in Madrid before our flight in to Lisboa. The flight was great. We had really good pasta for dinner, and I watched part of the Blindside, but fell asleep. We landed late in Madrid and missed our connecting flight. Then, because of the ash, we couldn’t get on a

new flight to Lisboa. (more…)

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