Not that my family trip to Portugal was bad, but the airport back was UGH. It was not fun, either when we left Portugal or when we arrived in Newark. I’m just getting over the nausea that resulted from the shaky landing.
But that’s besides the point, which is: I went to Portugal!
Yes, that’s a thing that happened. I said it would happen, and it did; and now it’s done. WHOO!
So, yeah, for the past nine days, from April 2 to this morning, my family and I were vacationing in Portugal. We stayed in the capital city of Lisbon, where it’s all high end and rather Midtown-esque–but, luckily, that’s not the only part we saw of the country. We visited a lot of places, mostly churches and museums (in particular, Fatima and the Tile Museum), and we saw some pretty awesome castles.
In fact, the castles were my favorite part of Portugal–even though I was a bit of a chicken when it came to walking up to a particular one–as well as seeing the ocean. Guys, if you’re ever going to go to Portugal, you have to see the coast. The water is so clear and blue, and the breeze is perfect, even on a chilly day!
In fact, here’s a picture:
That’s part of the cliff from Cabo da Roca, a cape located in Sintra, along the coast of Portugal. Along with clear blue waters, grassy plains, a statue dedicated to the area, there is also a huge red lighthouse that overlooks the landscape. This picture is only a fraction of the wonder my family saw on Wednesday.
I took many more pictures, but unfortunately, it’s a lot to put into one post. Some of them have been posted on my Twitter, though, if you feel so inclined to look on there.
I’m sorry that I wasn’t able to post much of my experience while I was there. See, I finally managed to get the WordPress app on my phone, but for some reason, it didn’t work, no matter how much I logged on. I assume it’s because it was in a different country.
So, here’s what I will tell you.
If you ever plan on traveling to Portugal, particularly Lisbon, it will not be an experience you’ll regret. You will be immersed in a city and land rich with history and spirituality–so much so, that you can’t walk without running into a church, a museum, or a castle. The people there are overall friendly, especially if you know Portuguese or even Spanish.
If you decide to do a tour, treat your tour guide well and s/he will treat you the same; they are guiding you around and informing you of your surroundings. Plus, they’re easy to talk to when you show how personable you are. Also, make sure your tour company provides you with a bus, because you will need it to go to all the places you want to go–especially if you have elderly or family members who have difficulty walking long distances, like my own family.
Overall, the weather is wonderful. Just make sure you stay informed of how it will be the days you will be staying, and be prepared.
As for where you should stay, I recommend renting an apartment. Some can be small, but there are big ones to house at least a family of thirteen. I cannot tell you how the price would range, however, so make sure to do your research. (The apartment my family stayed at was “Portuguese Soul,” rented by Ana; you can find more information about it on TripAdvisor.)
Now, for food. Unlike our trip to Rome last year, my family didn’t eat at many restaurants. The few we did eat at were often a hit or miss, but never really breathtaking; and these were restaurants that were on TripAdvisor as well. However, we did have a supermarket nearby with good pricing and good cuts of meat, especially pork and fish. We ate this stew one night with pork and the meat came out so dark, it almost resembled beef; it tasted delicious. Now, it’s likely your experience will be different from ours, but if you ever stay in Lisbon, you’ll do as well cooking for yourself as you would if you ate out (probably better).
I don’t know what my family will be doing next year, but I hope it turns out just as well.