Monday, February 7, 2011

salamanca & portugal.

Okay sorry it's taken so long to post on here, I kept feeling like nothing special has happened but then I remembered....I'm in Spain!  Everything that happens here is important.

So first of all, two weekends ago, we went to Salamanca!  It was such a fun trip.  We were exhausted, of course, but I loved it.  We toured lots of cathedrals and monasteries, enjoyed the views, and found the frog on the wall of the Universidad Salamanca which is supposed to mean I will now ace all my exams!  Oh, and we also managed to get in a little late night clubbing.  Thank goodness for long bus rides to sleep on!

Okay now on to the most exciting news....I just spent this last weekend in PORTUGAL!!!  By far the best weekend of my LIFE.  We left Thursday evening and arrived in Lisbon tired and starving.  Michael-Ann (using her excellent navigating and map-reading skills) took us down the streets of Lisbon and to none other than the Hard Rock Cafe!  Okay, I know that's American food and it was ridiculously expensive but I'm not gonna lie, it was one of the best meals I've had in a looooong time!  

Anyways so on Friday we got up early and headed for Sintra.  We ate breakfast by our hotel - some ham, egg, and cheese sandwiches.  Kailie and I asked for apple juice and were getting really excited when they told us they had some!  But when it arrived at our table, turns out it was freshly crushed -- LITERALLY.  Hahaha it was seriously just a cup of crushed didn't taste bad but it was not good to drink...needless to say, we left that on the table.  Anyways, after our train ride to Sintra, the guy at the tourism office told us about this company we could rent bikes from and ride up to the castles and get free admission.  I was SO excited for this...only for all my hopes and dreams to be CRUSHED in an instant once again.  The tourism guy called the bike guy and apparently he was out somewhere and "couldn't make it back in time".  I mean, what the heck I was so upset!  So that kind of put a damper on my mood, but we were still able to go to Quinta da Regaleira and the Moorish Castle on foot/bus.  They were both absolutely gorgeous.  And from the Moorish Castle, we were able to look out and see Lisbon -- absolutely breathtaking!  For lunch, we found this cute cafe called Cafe O Torque where we had the best restaurant experience we've yet to have (besides the Hard Rock, of course) in all of Europe!  It was absolutely delicious!  Tortilla Española, delicious salad, cheese sandwich, and a cinnamon sugar crepe.  Best.  Meal.  Ever.

On Saturday, we headed to the coast and saw the beautiful beach I've been dying for!  It was absolutely gorgeous.  We ate lunch on the beach, took lots of pictures, and just enjoyed warm sun on our faces!  How spoiled is it that we were so sad to leave Portugal to come back to Madrid??  But the best part was probably when we rented SEGWAYS and rode them up and down the coast with a gorgeous view of the beach.  Um, most "legit" (that was for you Michael-Ann) thing ever?? YES!!!  Oh, and also, my bartering skills are getting really good.  I bartered with a store owner for the cutest Portugal mochila and with a different one for a dementor-hooded striped pullover!  I knocked like 2 or 3 euro off of each purchase....despite my not knowing a lick of Portuguese.  

Anyways, this was pretty much the best weekend ever and now I'm so excited to go to Sevilla and Granada this week and Paris in a few weeks!  I basically love my life right now.


There's la rana! (the frog)

Plaza Mayor Salamanca

Our first night in Lisbon and we're eating like Americans!

Squint your eyes and look really can see Florida!

From the Moorish Castle

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