Sevilla, Lagos, Lisbon

Post-Camino I was lucky enough to have a few weeks on my own to explore some cities I didn’t have the chance to during the semester.  It’s funny, I spent the entire semester worrying how I would get by alone for 4 weeks and how bored I would be….  Oh, how wrong I was…

Sevilla

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Plaza de España

After my train to Madrid, I spent the rest of the day with my friend Victoria.  We went to Tierra, Spain’s version of Chipotle.  In my very humble opinion, I think it’s more delicious than Chipotle and they have a margarita deal at 4 PM– so we spent the day nomming and drinking and catching up.  Some walking around the city and before I knew it, I had to get to the train station to board my night bus that would take me to Sevilla.

I arrived at around 7 AM and walked to my hostel.  Sevilla is an old town with narrow cobblestone streets and distinctive yellow buildings.  It is quintessential Spain.

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Plaza de España

I took a walking tour in the morning and this was my favorite place.

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This plaza was built for the Spanish Exposition in 1929. It has dedications to different provinces and cities of Spain. It was so special to come here at the end of my trip and see the little alcoves with paintings of famous occurrences from all of the cities I had visited in my time in Spain.
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Hala Madrid!
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It’s quite a beautiful, romantic city
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All solo travelers on the walking tour– we quickly decided to become friends and explore together.
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And of course, exploring meant going to the best tapas spot in town

Another walking tour later, and Sevilla quickly became one of my favorite cities I had been to.  It is unique, romantic, and has distinct moorish influences that makes the city so aesthetically beautiful.  I spent the day walking around completely mesmerized that I didn’t even really stop to take pictures!!  One day was simply not enough in this city.  I can’t wait to go back someday…

 

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Finished the night with a Flamenco concert
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Or so I thought… An American, 2 Canadians, and a Brazilian walk into a bar…
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Hostel life is the best life. I thought I was going to be spending my last few weeks alone, reflecting, discovering things about myself… HA. Instead I made so many new friends in my hostel and I spent my time with people more often than I was alone.

Lagos

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Praia Dona Anna- consistently rated one of the best beaches in the world

Lagos is a cutesy little beach town on the southern coast of Portugal.  I spent the next few days getting some much needed R&R.  I had just spent the past two weeks doing the Camino and doing some hard touristing in Sevilla.  It was time to lie on the beach for a few days…

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“Though she be but little, she be fierce” Lagos is a teeny town and you would think have some dinky food joints. NO. I had some of my best meals here. Nah Nah Bah gave me a fat juicy delicious burger. Cafe Odeon gave me the famous 3 Euro breakfast with what I swear was the fluffiest, most perfect pancake I’ve ever had. There’s every cuisine imaginable here. Whatever weight I had lost during the camino was quickly gained back here…
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Walking along the cliffs

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The beaches are beautiful, the food is on point, and the bar scene is NUTS. There are kids from all over the world partying here and everything is a stones throw away from each other. No worrying about cabs or packed megaclubs– just lots of bars to choose from that are bumping every night of the week.
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MT gets it
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With my two new friends who I had met in Sevilla, Natalie and Karen, I went on lots of mini adventures. One day was spent kayaking through all of Lagos’s hidden coves!
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Inside the Lover’s Cave

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The Green Room- colorful Mexican food which looks as good as it tastes
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Last night in Lagos

I had enjoyed my time so much in Lagos, I decided to spend an extra day there and make my Lisbon trip a little shorter.  It’s funny how I thought I’d be bored or feeling lonely, and instead I had never been happier in my entire semester.  I really did whatever I wanted to do, explored where I wanted to go, met new people and tried new things.

Lisbon

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One of the best hostels in the world!!
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I didn’t spend too much time in this city, I wish I had some more time. Beautiful architecture, interesting history about explorers and royalty, and terribly fun nightlife. Another spot to add to my list of have-to-come-backs!
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I took a train with a guy I met who had actually just finished the Camino…. We went to Belem to see the Tower of Belem.
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All sorts of explorers left from this port in Portugal…
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More importantly, I went 30 minutes out of the city to have one of these world famous Pasteis de Belem- warm gooey custard inside a crispy, flaky cup. I remember I was so tired that day and that little sweet was just the pick-me-up I needed.
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Sunny days
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Inside one the “wealthiest” church in the world… A lot of the gold from the Americas is sitting inlaid in the chapels here.
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Natalie and Karen met back up with me in Lisbon. I really was blessed to meet these silly, sweet, daring girls.  We had quite the adventures together from dinners with wine to playing flip cub in the streets with new friends…  I hope I return again someday soon.

 

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