*more photos to come*
31.07.2012 - 07.08.2012
Here I am in Europe - the next main leg of my trip for a 2 1/2 month period.
Leaving Vietnam behind here I am in the big bad world of full few Europe - after having my daily allowance of $1.50 in Vietnam it was a rude shock when I got of the train in Heathrow and paid for a ticket to Luton that was almost £17!
I had a great flight from Malaysia to London as I had the entire row to myself...thank you Malaysian airlines! It made it really easy to get on London time and super easy to sleep.
Landing in London it was a long commute from one airport to the other and an overnight in Luton certainly reminded me I wasn't in warm Asia anymore - I looked ridiculous shivering at the table when having dinner wearing a scarf...I almost contemplated a beanie but thought that might have been too much.
The next morning it was off to Portugal to chase the sun again.
Portugal is fantastic. I flew into Lisbon and caught the bus into the downtown area and stayed at the highly recommended 'travellers hostel' which is an amazing hostel and well worth the couple of extra euro it costs to stay there. It's in the most amazing location right in the middle of Lisbon, a great jumping off point for anywhere.
I had the first day there by myself before I was meeting up with Vanessa.
The hostel was a great meeting place - was full of Aussies it seemed. No getting away from those from the motherland.
Lisbon is quite hilly so there are many beautiful lookout spots that you can walk up to in town. Here is a sneak peek of Lisbon:
Our trip was highlighted by all the good food we ate, we almost never ate anything bad...and the suggestions from the hostel were always very good.
We had one cafe that I went to 3 different times because it was so good. Anywhere that has chorizo on the menu is going to be a hit with me!
Another must eat of the trip was the pastries in Belem - a suburb outside of Lisbon. We got six small Portuguese tarts (pastese de belem) to share...and after 3 I was considering getting back on the tram to get more. They were so delicious. Here is Vanessa digging into one as we tried and failed to get Olympic coverage of the Waterpolo....
I even dreamt I went out at 5am and got more! As one of the workers at the hostel said...1€ of heaven!!!
We also visited Sintra which was a 40min train ride from the centre of Lisbon. We had a night there surrounded by the hills in an eco-hostel where you could enjoy the countryside.
My good travel luck continued when I sprained my ankle about 3 steps from the hostel door. Haha - these kinds of things only happen to me!
Sintra is known for its imperial palace where the royal family used to holiday. The palace is very colourful and vibrant...even if we did get lost in the surrounding property.
The highlight of sintra was a garden and property not far from our hostel. It really was like a chapter out of alice in wonderland. It had waterfalls, grottos, strange plantations and underground wells. Ironically ness was saying the whole time it was like Alice in wonderland and when we were leaving the theatre production was playing in the gardens...and ofcourse it was playing...Alice in wonderland.
Overall Portugal was fantastic - and definitely worth a stop on a trip to Europe. Any place where wine is cheaper than water is going to be ok by me!
Here is a photo to finish off of Vaness and I doing what we do best:
Like all travellers, I have seen more than I remember, and remember more than I have seen - Benjamin Disraeli