SEPTEMBER 26-30, 2018
Looking back, 2018 was one of my craziest travel years to date. I’d just ended the last day of 2017 in Belize, spent a whirlwind long weekend in between Copenhagen, Denmark and Malmö, Sweden, a month later jetted off to Mexico with friends I’d met in Belize, spent two perfect weeks in June studying poetry in the heart of Dublin, Ireland, welcomed July in Colorado and ended it in Maine, spent my birthday in Puerto Rico, stepped back in time in Havana, Cuba in August, and that’s what brings me here: a slice of time from September to October when I was so lucky to visit two AMAZING countries: Liechtenstein and Portugal. (I ended the year by dipping into Panama City, Panama & then dipping my toes into the beaches of Curaçao, but that’s for another post.)
My friend Sarah, who I met through my friend & coworker Debra, was also a passionate traveler and was working and living in Europe at the time. We had talked about meeting up somewhere in the world, but it just felt like a far-off venture that probably wouldn’t work out.
Until, it did.
We both had been wanting to go to Portugal, and miraculously our schedules aligned! I took a couple days before arriving in Portugal to meet up with my friend Cathy, who I had met in my MFA program. Cathy lives in Liechtenstein with her family and had often told me of the gorgeous mountain views she saw on her early morning hikes, but experiencing it with her was another thing. Putting on our sweatshirts and shoes in the dark, we climbed up the hills, past farms and pastures, and watched the sun come over the town below.
While I was there, Cathy brought me to her son’s school to speak to the kids about poetry. I didn’t realize how nervous I would be- I have no clue how to be in front of middle schoolers, y’all. I know how important poetry is, and what it means to me, but how could I ever relate that to a group of eleven year olds? Regardless, I was so honored she had invited me.
Cathy took me to the Werdenberg Castle, showed me Vaduz and the art in Städtle, but my favorite place was her kitchen, right in the heart of her home with the big picture windows, sitting with a glass of white wine and laughing.
After our short time together, I caught a flight to meet up with Sarah, and we set out to see as much as possible in two of Portugal’s most beautiful cities, Lisbon and Porto.
We started out in Lisbon, one of the oldest cities in Europe, and it did not disappoint!
Ponte 25 de Abril suspension bridge
Torre de Belém
pastéis de nata
Mercado da Ribeira (market)
Alfama District (hill, old town)
Rossio Square/Pedro IV Square (peoplewatching, eating/drinking)
the Bairro Alto (nightlife)
the Padrão dos Descobrimentos
Check out all of the amazing street art, too!
OOH, we also took a day trip to Sintra/Pena Palace/Cascais, which is gorgeous and I would definitely recommend:
We packed a lot of fun into Lisbon, but nothing could prepare us for what the cobblestone streets of Portugal’s second largest city, (known for its port wine production) would lead us down…
We drank as much of the city in as we could ❤
The Cais da Ribeira/ Luís I Bridge
Avenida dos Aliados
Graham’s Port Lodge
Teleférico de Gaia – Estação Cais de Gaia
Funicular dos Guindais
Pillory of Porto
Igreja dos Clérigos
Igreja do Carmo
Praça de Lisboa
São Bento Station (beautiful station from the 1800s)
Câmara Municipal do Porto (city hall)
Full transparency, there aren’t a ton of photos from Porto due to the many glasses of wine you see pictured above.
Some memories you can’t capture 🙂 I had the time of my life with Sarah and I’m SO glad it worked out for us to cross off a bucketlist destination together.
Portugal, you’re more beautiful than I could’ve imagined. Your landscape, architecture, seafood, and of course, wine, are still spinning in my head.