It was early morning when the MV Explorer made way into the beautiful port city of Lisbon. We sailed into the city under the Ponte 25 de Abril Bridge that has a striking resemblance to the Golden Gate Bridge; I could have sworn we were in San Francisco! Turns out, the Ponte 25 de Abril was constructed by the American Bridge Company just about 15 years after they built the Golden Gate…Go figure! There was a beautiful boardwalk by the bay that housed an outdoor gym! Traveling throughout Europe, I have continuously seen these gyms that are outside. They have all the same equipment, just without the electricity needed to run them. It’s a great way to save energy and building space…I have a feeling that the US will catch onto this phenomenon pretty soon.
Later on in the day, my friends and I journeyed to Cascais Beach to enjoy a beautiful day. It was a lovely beach and I even got approached by an Irish family an holiday who began asking me about the American Election! Needless to say, I was quite excited to finally talk politics with people not from The States. I think everyone who reads this would know who the Irish wanted to win the election to the large difference in how one political candidate cares more about out foreign relations when compared to the other party’s nominee. Anyways, later that night, we enjoyed ourselves in a hopping part of the city called Bairro Alto that consisted of multiple blocks containing lively restaurants, bars, and salsa clubs. It was a great atmosphere to be in and we just hang around in the streets using the great skill of people watching.
The next day, we visited the beautiful City Center of Lisbon and hiked up to Castelo De S. Jorge at sunset. This castle looks out on an absolutely breath taking view of all of Lisbon and really allows an individual to catch a breath from all the hustle and bustle that takes place down in the city streets. It was built in the 11th century during the Moorish period and it has natural slopes to the north and west leading to a perfect location for protection of the city. Overall, Lisbon was a beautiful city for which deserves a visit back in the near future. Hopefully down the road, Portugal will not be known as the country that puts the P in PIGS, but instead of a country that cherishes their rich history as a global power and looks to a bright future within the EU.