I woke up on a train. I was in Lisbon. Its 7am. It was the 4th of July!
I gathered my stuff and walked to the bathroom. I put some water on my face, made my hair look presentable, and got on a metro headed to my hostel.
I arrived at my hostel around 7:45. The buzzer wasn’t working so I knocked on the glass door. One of the guests opened the door for me…. the employees were sleeping on the couches. I got out my computer and started planning some things to do during the day.
One of the employees woke up and I asked if I could leave my stuff there for the day since check in wasn’t until 2pm.
He said yes. I put my day pack together, put my backpack in a storage closet, and headed out into the city by yourself after getting some suggestions from the guy at the hostel on what to see.
I walked down the main street to the water and passed through the main archway.
After that I hiked up the streets to a castle on top of a hill. Then I walked around for a bit since I didn’t want to pay to get in.
There was a lot of graffiti here, but most of it was pretty good so I didn’t mind it.
After walking around a bit I decided to get on a train to go see Belem, which is another part of the city. First things first… I had to try the pastels de nata. I tried it from the most well known (and oldest I think) places in Belem called Pasteis de Belem.
After that delicious experience I headed to the Belem Palace.
Then I went to the tropical botanical gardens and sat at a bench there for awhile just relaxing.
I made friends with another peacock as well!
After the botanical gardens I came across a naval museum that looked interesting. I went inside and looked around for a bit. It was amazing seeing how far ships have come over the years.
After that I went back to my hostel and checked in. The staff was super friendly at check in and they mentioned a 2 euro dinner for noodles and then a super hero party/ trivia night. Looks like my night is all planned out!
I went upstairs, took a shower, and then went downstairs for dinner. I talked to a few of the people staying at the hostel and then after dinner we got split up into teams for trivia night. But first we had to dress up as super heroes! I had a white shirt on so I found some red and blue cardboard and taped it on me… red, white, and blue on the 4th of July… Captain America! Good enough for me.
Trivia night was a lot of fun! We had some physical challenges in between the trivia questions like relay races. Our team didn’t win, but we all had a good time and made some friends in the process.
The next day I woke up planning on going to Sintra, which was a local town with some really cool castles.
I grabbed some free pancakes on the way out of the hostel and headed to the train station. I made sure I could use my Eurail pass and then started walking to the train. Then I saw a guy that looked really familiar… we realized we met each other at the hostel in Cinque Terre a week or two back. We reintroduced ourselves and decided to check out Sintra together.
We got on the train and got there about an hour later.
We got off the train and started talking to a couple of girls that were seeing Sintra for the day as well. One was from Austria and the other was from Argentina. We helped one of them find the hostel she was volunteering at for the next couple of months and then the 4 of us headed out to the first castle.
We explored the place for awhile and then found this unfinished well. The guy and the Argentinian girl walked down to the bottom. I wanted to see the top so me and my new Austrian friend went to the top. We thought they saw us go to the top, but when we walked to the bottom we couldn’t find them for the rest of the day.
We searched around the place for awhile, but it was pretty big so after an hour we decided to move on to the next castle without them.
We got a ride on the bus and arrived at the next castle. It was pretty expensive to get in so we decided to check out the other castle, the Castle of the Moors, instead. It was less expensive so we paid to get in and started exploring.
It was really awesome walking around the castle. We walked up and down the various outlook posts and took some pictures of the scenery.
After that we took the bus back into the town, said goodbye, and I headed back to Lisbon.
Like usual, I was extremely hungry. I only had 3 small pancakes the entire day so I needed some real food. I looked up a great restaurant on FourSquare and found a fancy, yet reasonably priced, burger restaurant.
After dinner I walked down to the water and sat there for awhile thinking about all of the places I’d been over the past 7 weeks. Time flies by, but it was time to go home. Some people say that this is the adventure of a lifetime… I say I’m just getting started.