On the side of studying I’ve been able to cross 2 more countries out of my list: the Czech Republic and Portugal.
My friends and I took a weekend trip to the beautiful city of Prague. Some of my friends who had studied abroad had recommended I visited Prague because it had been one of their favorite places to see, and after being there I can proudly join the “I loved Prague” club. If I could only describe Prague in a word I would call it whimsical because it was unlike anything I have seen so far. When we got to the city I felt as if I was in the live-action Cinderella movie, every building looked like a castle, every detail of it was unique and beautiful, just as if it was a castle. The streets were full of colorful buildings, that made the city look as if it was out of a painting, and added some color to the grey skies. To make it even better, Prague had the best pastry I’ve ever had in my life, trdelníky, a grilled dough filled with chocolate, strawberries, whipped cream, etc.
The beauty of Prague continued as we crossed the Charles Bridge, which took us to the side of Prague where more “tourist attractions” were. The views of the city from the bridge themselves stole my heart, I would go back to Prague just to stand on that bridge… On the other side of the bridge, we got to see the Prague Castle, the Lennon Wall, the Lady of Victory Church (where the Infant Jesus of Prague is), and many other amazing places.
After sightseeing some of the hot spots of Prague, we made our way to a Dali and Warhol art exhibit, and what was pretty cool was that in the Dali exhibit there were some Quijote inspired paintings… (Can’t get away from it). It was awesome to see them because it reminded me of how much this book has changed and impacted humanity!
When I say this was a quick trip, it really was. We spent a day and a half in Lisbon, but it was a day well spent. Lisbon is more of a “relaxed” city, although it has some “hot, must see places” it also has some hidden gems that allowed us to take a deep breath and relax. On Saturday, after an overnight bus, we woke up nice and early and started our day by going up a steep hill to the Miradouro da Nossa Senhora, where we had a beautiful oversight of the city, with the ocean in the background. We then headed to the Castillo de S. Jorge, the Lisbon Cathedral and the Praca de Comercio. What amazed me the most about Lisbon was how steep the roads were, and how beautiful the views were once we got to the top of each destination.
After walking around all morning, we found an “urban” beach. Where the city met the ocean there was a place where we were able to sit down and watch the sun set while relaxing and eating our favorite thing, ice cream.
Sunday morning before taking our bus back, we had breakfast at another view point, Portas do Sol. Not only were the views beautiful (again) and calming, but we had the traditional pastry, pastel de nata, a delicious custard cake.
- Don’t be afraid of overnight buses, they are cheaper and in my opinion pretty comfortable.
- If you stay at an Airbnb, cooking can often be cheaper than eating out, and it’s fun to cook with your friends.
- Get a box of cereal… Not only can this be your breakfast, but it also makes for a great travel snack 😉
- Plan ahead.
- Research the city before you go.
- Don’t be afraid to try new and exotic food!!