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Study Abroad

Lisbon

Monday morning we were off to my birthday destination- Lisbon, Portugal! We stayed here for 5 days, which was a nice little break from our usual cramming an entire city into 2-3 days. On the 24th, my dad flew in from Moscow to join us for the rest of the trip!

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The next day was my 21st birthday. Though we are in Europe and that's not really a special age around here, I still had a pretty great day, starting it off with my "first" sangria of the trip.

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Since my stick shift driving dad was here now, we decided to rent a car for the day to travel around Portugal. Our first stop was Sintra where we hiked through Quinta da Regaleira, a beautiful area with a park, forest, caves, and castle.

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Next, we hit the beach in Cascai to cool off.

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For dinner, we ate a (huge) delicious seafood cataplana.

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Afterward we were planning to go see a Portuguese bull fight which luckily landed on my birthday (there are only 13 per year!). Unfortunately, we encountered a bit of a road block due to our little understanding of Portuguese along with a poor poster choice by the garage where we parked. Basically, there was a huge street festival/concert that night and the garage decided to print a large poster letting people know... entirely in Portuguese. Long story short we were stuck there until 1 am, but I can't complain too much- I mean, festivals are fun too.

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We were still sad to miss the bull fight though since it is supposed to be an incredible show and much more humane than a Spanish bull fight. We went to visit the Campo Pequeno the next day to at least see the arena.

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Throughout the next few days we walked around the city as usual, took a refreshing boat tour, rode the old fashioned tram, and found ourselves pretty disappointed in the food. While our dinner in Cascai was delicious, Lisbon was filled with far too many restaurants claiming to have "authentic Portuguese cuisine" but instead serving burnt seafood with a side of french fries and limp salad. 

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Aside from the food, I really enjoyed Lisbon. I would especially recommend going to Sintra and spending more time there than we got to.

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Now back to Spain one last time!

Julia Ainbinder