Wednesday, April 20, 2011

The Charm of the Less-Traveled

For the weeks leading up to this trip, I tried to do as much research as possible on Portugal and the city of Lisbon. And I have to admit that although Portugal has beautiful coastlines, friendly people and great food, there isn't anything particularly famous about it, especially in comparison to its Eurpean neighbors.

I find that there is something very charming about that.

On Sunday, a few of us who had arrived early decided to take an open-air bus tour of the city.  The day was gorgeous and thankfully no wayward bird deposits landed on me during the ride.

SIDE NOTE: Did you know that once a renegade seagull dive-bombed my head when I was in Barcelona? True story. It was so disgusting and paralyzing. I just stood there trying to find a way track down that bird and barbeque it.

Anywho, I snapped some pictures of this beautiful city and some of the more historic sites it has to offer...

...such as Lisbon's oldest bull fighting ring.

One thing that is prevelent is the national pride of Portugal's many explorers, such as Vasco de Gama, Magellan and many others whose names I don't remember. Everywhere you go you see homages to these men who braved the seas in search of new lands. And as a result of these adventures, there are 9 countries in the world that speak Portuguese.

This particular monument is known as the Monument of the Discoveries.

Another fun fact is that the Portuguese love their pork.

Mmmm...tasty. Wendi and I even tried ham-flavored chips. Not too shabby.

But the most famous monument in all of Lisbon is the Torre de Belem, or the Belem Tower.

It was built from 1512-1515 and marked the starting point for all of Portugal's explorers.

It is situated at the mouth of the river and the Atlantic Ocean and became the symbol for the era of Portuguese expansion.

SIDE NOTE: The tower is not really that big...those are mini-sailboats helmed by children.

And that is my ginormous head. It looks like I have two black eyes but I just call them "jet" and "lag."

This tower is so small yet so detailed in its design. It is a must-see if you are ever in Portugal!

We have already finished our sessions for today so this afternoon we are taking a tour of the older part of the city and St. George's castle. I have no idea who George is.

And I also plan on eating a Magnum bar or two.

What are you up to today?


  1. Your life is exciting! :) Glad to hear you are having so much fun!
    The highlight of my day thus far happened when my co worker and I went to pick up lunch for some of us in the office. In front of us was a man wearing a "old man" cap, coveralls, a bowtie, a blazer, and bright pink converse shoes. It was prettttty exciting, let me tell you. And yes, I took pictures. :)

  2. Hi Sarah! Wow, Portugal! I can't keep up with you. Sarah, you must know, your blog is the funniest thing ever. Really. You should publish it, or charge all of us money. Anyway, since you asked, Wednesday morning started with cleaning poop out of the carpet (several spots) and then throwing all of the poop covered towels, clothes and my robe, into the washing machine while Jami gave the poop-maker an early morning bath. Poop becomes quite mobile when you fill your diaper with it, and then stand up and fall down on your butt over and over.

    I'm glad you'll be back from Portugal for the poop-maker's big party. We are eating giraffe cake! Yum. Of course, it's not made from giraffe, but it's in the shape of one - standing up!

    Enjoy Portugal, we are enjoying it with you.

    Wild Plum