I travelled with Teresa, a girl from Canada. We met up with two other people 1 day in Lisbon - Vitor (Brazillian) and Ale (Mexican). The couchsurfing went great - they fed us, showed us around the city, and took us out! The first stay in Porto, the people weren't even there - they had their friend give us the keys to their apartment - it was crazy!!
Teresa and I took a train Thursday from Bordeaux to Paris and stayed in Paris for the night - we did a little sight-seeing that night...took about 50 pictures of the Eiffel Tower - it proved difficult as it was dark!! We then took a bus early the next morning to a town near Paris to take our Ryanair flight to Madrid.
We were in Madrid for the weekend. The guy gave us the key to his apartment, so we were free to come and go as we wanted. But we ended up just walking around the town from about 9 am until 8 or 9 pm everyday, so he was usually there anyway!! Madrid was amazing - we got a great map that had all the popular sites on it,
the bear and tree are the symbol of Madrid
so we just wandered around taking pictures of absolutely everything! The weather was really nice for the first 2 days we were there - it was a little rainy on Sunday, but it wasn't too bad!! Xavier, the guy we stayed with, had friends over Saturday night - we played drinking games until 2:30 am then went to a club - we left the club at 5:30 and they said we were leaving early - it was ridiculous!! Teresa and I were a little dissapointed that it wasn't bull fighting season, but we went to see the stadium - it looks really old, but it was actually built in the early 1900s!
On Monday, we flew from Madrid to Porto. Porto was absolutely gorgeous and everything was so cheap!! We wandered around the town all day - there weren't really many sites to see, but the river is the main point of the city, so we walked along that for quite awhile - then some guy was handing out fliers for a winery that was giving free tours and taste-testing, so we went there. White port wine is really good - not so much the tawny port wine...just in
In Spain, they buy whole pig legs and just cut off pieces when needed! Pretty sweet!
case you're interested
On Tuesday, we did more site-seeing around Porto. There was a tower you could climb up and get a great view of the city, so we did that. Then we found out that pastries in Portugal are really delicious and cheap!! So we spent quite a bit of time testing different pastries as we walked around
Tuesday afternoon, we took a bus to Lisbon. We were supposed to meet up with Ale and Vitor before leaving Porto, but we couldn't get ahold of them. Then, the bus stopped at a town on the way to Lisbon, and Ale and Vitor got on the bus - it was so weird! We got to Lisbon after dark, so Teresa and I decided to stay in a hostel for the night instead of trying to get to Bruno's (the guy we were couchsurfing with) house because it was about 45 minutes away by train/bus. So we walked around Lisbon that night and saw the sites near the hostel. Wednesday, we went site-seeing around Lisbon. The ocean was so pretty!! (or bay...I'm not really sure exactly) There's a pastry shop there that we heard everyone has to visit
while in Lisbon, so obviously, we went there and ate their famous pastries (so good!!) Wednesday night, we met up with Bruno and his friend and he took us to his place. We stopped at a beach on the way to his place - and I automatically fell in love with it!!
Thursday, Bruno took Teresa and I to Sintra - it's where royalty used to go for all their vacations, so there were a ton of castles and palaces. We went to Pena Palace, the most famous one - everything was so pretty!! Then Bruno had to go to class, so Teresa and I continued on to Coba de Roca, the most Western point of continental Europe. It was a cliff, with all ocean!! I decided to be adventurous and attempt to climb down the back side of the cliff to get to the ocean, but I got to a point where I had no idea which direction to go, so I sadly didn't make it! We then continued to Cascais, known for its beaches and marina. We wanted to catch the sunset, so we pretty much had to run from the bus stop, but we didn't even
make it to the beach by the time the sun was down. But then Bruno called because his class was cancelled and he took us to an all-you can eat sushi bar. It was so good and we ate WAY too much!! Then I went with Bruno and his friends to a hip-hop club in Lisbon - it was a lot of fun...a good break from all the techno they play in France
Friday Teresa and I (wearing shorts) went back to Cascais so we could enjoy the sun, ocean, and beaches during the day. We ate at a seafood restaurant on the beach. She got sea bream, which came as a whole fish!! I got cuttle fish - not really sure what it was, but it kind of looked like an odd squid thing. Who knows. It was delicous! The ice cream there was 2.50 for 3 scoops, so of course we got some!! We were just beach bums all day
We then walked on the boardwalk to Estoral, about 2 km from Cascais and on the way we saw a little bit of a surfing competition, which was really cool! We then took the train back
to Lisbon to take a bus back to Porto. That night, we stayed at the same apartment we stayed at the first nights in Porto - the guys were there this time and were having a party, so we got to meet a few Protugese people! Saturday morning, we took a flight back to Madrid, then from Madrid to Paris. When we stepped off the plane in Paris, it was so cold, we wanted to get back on the plance and go back to Cascais!! That night in Paris we went to Arc de Triomph because we missed it the first night around. We then took the train back to Bordeaux Sunday morning.
**This isn't about the trip, but we just went to the movie Juno, and it was a hoot!! It was shown in English with French subtitles...very interesting to see how they translated everything. There were a lot of slang words that don't translate at all and I doubt anyone else in the theater understood. There were a few times where Teresa and I were the only ones laughing...mostly because I don't think anyone else got the joke!!
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