Europe, Selfie Trips, Travel

My First Selfie Trip! Portugal Edition

This was very first trip that I went on and paid for entirely by myself! I came back alive, on time (more or less) and with everything I left with besides all that euro I spent.

A little background info before I dive into the trip…
When I lived in Germany the first year was spent with me in high school. The second year my mom was changing her name on her documents so she didn’t have a passport for 6 months. And the third year my hubby (boyfriend at the time) was reluctant to travel much because of having to take leave from work. So when we moved to England I decided I wasn’t going to wait on anyone for me to travel. I had been given a second chance to visit places in Europe and I WAS going to take advantage of that opportunity. No it isn’t safe and no I am not well equipped in the self defense area but the world isn’t safe and I can get hurt or die anywhere anytime so I wasn’t going to let that fear stop me.

With that said this trip to Portugal was meant to be more of a group trip through a service on base that allows you to travel to the location with a group of people from the base, stay at an accommodation with these people and do some type of tour with these people with some time to explore on your own. I had signed up for this trip planning to go without the hubby but the trip got canceled since not enough people signed up. I had my heart set on going so I decided I was just going to go! My hubby was NOT happy about my decision. He didn’t want to talk to me about it, asked me not to go and got really upset with me if I asked him questions about traveling alone. But I am really stubborn and it didn’t matter what he said. I was going!

Before I left I planned everything. And when I say everything I mean EVERYTHING! I had the most detailed itinerary telling me where to go when and how to get there, when and where to eat, I had looked up restaurants in the areas I would be at when I was supposed to eat and I translated the menus so I knew what to order when I got there. I made copies of documents and shared all of my travel information with my hubby. I printed out all of confirmations and made a checklist for everything I needed to bring so that I could make sure I wasn’t forgetting something on the way there or on the way back. I was READY! It helps that I LOVE to plan things especially trips. It’s almost as satisfying for me to plan a trip as it is to actually go on the trip. Yeah I know. Weird!

So my inattentive, self-defenseless, stubborn self set off and here’s how it went…
{P.S. I only had the camera on my phone for this trip so don’t mind the picture quality!}

Day 1

I stayed at the HF Fenix Lisboa hotel off the Marques de Pombal metro stop. The room was so nice! I arrived pretty late in the day and didn’t want to be wandering around at night so I stayed put until the morning.

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Day 2

I went on the Lisbon chill out tour, which was “free” but you pay what you felt the tour was worth at the end. Aside from the fact that the website said it would be 2 hours and it ended up being almost 5 hours, the tour was awesome! We had a really informative and entertaining tour guide that took us through Lisbon and the Aflama district.

Igreja de São Roque. From the outside this church looked like the plainest government building I’ve ever seen. Thankfully our tour guide took us inside to show us how covered in gold it was from all the conquests Portugal had made!

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A statue of a typical older portuguese man. People love to take pics with him leaning into his right arm. they only notice later though that his creepy huge left hand is positioned to grab the butt of howevers posing with him.

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So I might be the only one who didn’t know this but the lion head fountains are tap water and the fish head fountains are like recycled ocean water or something.

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The church with no roof. On the 1st of Novemeber, during the celebration of the day of the dead, Christians were in churches and had lit a ton of candles in their homes. When the earthquake happed, the roof of this church and many others collapsed and all the candles caused fires to break out all around the city. It was a hard time for Christians after because most of the people who survived were non-religious since they weren’t in churches and had no candles lit to celbrate the holiday.

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A statue mocking King Jose I and the church after the massive earthquake. Oh and did I mention there was a tsunami that happened right after? Yeah! Apparently a lot of people came to the square being one of the open places in the city when the earthquake hit. However, the tsunami came soon after and…yeah.

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Since most people living in the Alfama district don’t have washing machines in their homes they have free publuc hand washing places for people to go to like this one.

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I have to give Lisbon credit because alothough most of the city still hasn’t recovered from the earthquake and tsunami it is still an extremely artistic city!

Our tour guide told us that most of the people leave Lisbon to get an education and/or don’t ever come back to Lisbon once they have an education so a lot of the population is poor, old and uneducated.

Day 3

I went outside of Lisbon to the city of Belém where I took another tour with Discovery Walks. Not as great as the Lisbon tour but at least the tourist areas were more concentrated than in Lisbon. My legs literally turned blue from all the walking I did yesterday!!!

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The Coach Museum. The queen back then didn’t know what to do with all of her coaches so she put them in here. They wouldn’t all fit so just recently they built a very modern, parking garage-type building across the street to hold the rest. My tour guide told us that the people weren’t happy they built it in the economic crisis and joke that now they can’t afford the key because the “garage” has yet to open.

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This is the palace where the president now lives. When King Jose I was king he had this palace built so he could be with his mistress outside of the main city. After the earthquake however, he was too afraid to sleep in a building with a stone roof so he slept in a tent outside for 10 years until they built him a new palace made of wood.

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The Monastery!

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The Discoveries Monument. The Lisbon area was a major port way back when and once people started exploring the world, a lot of new goods would also come through the Lisbon area, which would have been the first place those new goods would have landed in Europe.

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Apparently when Christopher Columbus came back from the Americas he landed at Belém tower.

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Outdoor, free, public workout areas! I saw at least 3 of these just on my tour.

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The first Starbucks to open in Portugal.

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Day 4

On my last day I went wandering around my hotel before checking out and found this spot and a few other things right by my hotel!

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Metro Art

And finally, the metro art. I have to be honest and say that aside from the two Angolian men who talked me up for what seemed like an eternity, the metro was sometimes nicer than the city above. It was clean, there was music playing and there was artwork everywhere! I wish I could have spent more time exploring the metro to find more art but I got a little paranoid after being questioned and followed by the creepy strangers.

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If you liked this post make sure to check out my European Selfie Trips and don’t forget to like, comment and follow 🙂

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