Lovin’ Lisbon

I was having lunch with one of my friends in lower Manhattan during my fall break in October, discussing places I should visit while I was studying abroad. My friend, Alex, who has traveled to most of Europe, Australia and Asia, was giving me her insight on the best places to travel to in Europe, which I used to prioritize each place. We’d covered all of the main places, such as London, Dublin, Prague, along with a few others when she said to me, “you have to go to Lisbon.” She went on, saying Lisbon is a magical place that I have to go to and experience for myself. So here I am, sitting on a pier at a beach located on the coast of Lisbon, Portugal. Lisbon continues to become more and more magical to me as this weekend has progressed and I’m so glad that I decided to take her advice.

Here’s a summary of my first day in Lisbon (in pictures, of course):

I started off my day by visiting the Arco da Rua Augusta:

I’m convinced that you aren’t considered a major city in Europe unless you have an arc.

I’m convinced that you aren’t considered a major city in Europe unless you have an arc.

I then continued in a loop around Lisbon and checked out the Panteão Nacional:

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Followed by the Sé Cathedral:

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Before moving on to see the Castelo de São Jorge, which took me such a long amount of time to find, I’m actually at the point where I’m questioning whether I have even a general sense of direction.

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However, the extensive amount of time I spent trying to find it was totally worth it thanks to the view from the castle itself:

After seeing this view, the only thought to come to mind was all hail Portugal

After seeing this view, the only thought to come to mind was all hail Portugal

The next two days were full of Belem, a town located just 10 minutes outside of the center of Lisbon, and the beaches of Cascais, which took about an hour to reach by train.

I never knew it was possible that a castle could make me feel ugly until I saw the Torre de Belém:

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Which was only just a short distance away from incredible Padrão dos Descobrimentos:

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I ended my stop in Belem with the Mosteiro dos Jerónimos:

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Cascais, which is located on the southern coast of Portugal, has beaches that exceeded my expectations. I honestly have never been to a beach that has softer sand than those in Cascais—that along with the beauty of the beaches is more than enough reason to visit in my opinion.

In complete and utter bliss

In complete and utter bliss

Along with all of these great sights, the quality of art found in the streets of Lisbon is unreal:

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I’ll be traveling to Paris this weekend and to Prague the following weekend, so I’m sure I’ll return with countless pictures of more incredible sights to share with you all then. If not, I promise to stop harassing people into reading my blog.

“Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness.” – Mark Twain

Kendall Keefer is a student at Virginia Commonwealth University and an official API Student Blogger. Kendall is studying abroad with API in Barcelona, Spain.

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