Our Last Day Back in Portugal

Lisbon Travel Blog

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We woke up early for yet another croissant rich breakfast. I feel I may turn into a croissant soon!

Every single bite of the croissant I had was delicious. I want to now learn how to make croissants.

Anyway – we finished breakfast. I hugged Cecelia good bye and wished her good travels.  Then I slept the entire bus ride back to the airport in Toulouse. We had another smooth and quick 2 hour flight to Lisbon, Portugal. Upon arrival, we exited and I was excited to see a familiar face waving hello to us.

Hannah, our tour guide the first few days was there to greet us and take us around Lisbon. The weather was ABSOLUTELY stunning!!!! It was so warm and sunny. I felt awake! Like I had been in a wet and dark cave in France, and all of a sudden I was set free!

On the bus ride to the first Cathedral, she gave us a history of Lisboa (official name in Portuguese). I leaned the Monarchy ended in 1910 and that Portugal took part in the First World War I also learned that Lisboa only has about 600,000 habitants as many people have left the city due to the high cost of living in the city. The architecture of many of the buildings throughout the city was beautiful. The downtown area of Lisboa was absolutely stunning. It had a modern yet historic look to it. Many old structures stood among the new shopping areas.

We stopped at the Church where there is a shrine for St.

Anthony. It has statues and honors the birth of St. Anthony. Father Simmons gave a mass there and we attended the mass. We took pictures and learned a little about St. Anthony. I did not know he had been born in Portugal. We then went to the Church of Santa Maria Maior Lisbon Patriarchal Cathedral, which was built in the 12th century. It was an old and beautiful structure. The detail of the building was stunning. I wonder how long it took to build it back in those days without the machinery available nowadays.

After visiting the Cathedral, we took another bus tour of Lisboa. The tour guide Hannah, showed us a bridge that looked very similar to the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, because it was designed by the same person. Traffic was a bit hectic during our bus tour.

We passed through the waterfront, and through the Belem section of the city.

We were headed to the monastery of Jeronimas. We also passed through the President’s house. It was a big nice pink building. I loved the color! I wonder if Larry would let me paint our house pink. I think not! I learned that the public universities in cost approximately 900 Euros per year. While private universities are more expensive, students also have to qualify with good grades.

After driving past the Monastery and getting off the bus to take pictures in front of famous landmarks we got to shop a little bit. Then we headed to the hotel. We had a great meal at the hotel for dinner. I ate pretty healthy stuff and even skipped the bread. Go figure… last day I decide to skip the bread. We sat at the bar for a few minutes for coffee, and then my mom and I walked to a nearby mall. It was like a jumbo sized Macy’s instead of a mall, like what we think of as a mall in the US. My mom and I had a good walk. When we arrived to the hotel, Father, Mary, Kathy and Peggy were in bar still drinking.

Kathy and I decided to venture out, figure out the Lisbon subway system and take a ride to the Hard Rock Café in Lisbon. She wanted to purchase something and I wanted to experience the Lisbon local way of getting around. My mom opted for a shower and sleep instead.

Kathy and I took a quick ride and she did her shopping, then we came back. The metro was similar to the DC metro, except at a much smaller scale. It was easy to get around and I enjoyed seeing the mix of old historical monuments and new building structures.

I enjoyed all the walking around in Lisbon today. I especially enjoyed the warm and sunny weather. I loved it! It was more pleasant than walking around in Lourdes, though I’m sure Lourdes would have been just as amazing had the weather been nicer.

Overall, this was a great trip.

My mom and I got along well for the most part. I enjoyed talking to her, laughing with her and spending time with her. I feel we have created memories neither of us will ever forget. I liked learning about each of the cities we visited. I truly enjoyed and learned a lot about faith, religion, spirituality and Catholicism and plan on spending more time reflecting on what I’ve learned. I also have made some decisions about my faith and spirituality that I am proud of. The neat thing now though, is that I have made those decisions based on knowledge I gained here, instead of saying I choose to believe in this or not believe in that without really knowing why I had made those decisions.

I especially enjoyed eating and tasting all the good foods, learning more about friends I had had back home, but had never spent enough time with and I enjoyed practicing my other language skills.

This trip was a wonderful experience and I could not have asked for a better group to travel with.  

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photo by: Johnpro