Posts Tagged With: portugal

My favorite order is out of order…

Today I bought plane tickets for my stint in Spain in October with the ‘rents. So what?, you may ask. You need those plane tickets. To which I answer, why yes I do, but I should first probably buy the ticket that is going to get me to Europe. Minor detail.  My proposed departure date is a mere 2 months and 3 days away and I still haven’t bought my flight over there.  I really need to get my ass in gear, but this damn concussion isn’t helping anything.  

I’m a week behind on my spanish lessons, I haven’t bought my flight to London, I need to finalize details of the France portion of my trip, I need to rework the Italy portion, I need to take a second look at the financial projection (which may lead to nixing Morocco and overhauling Spain and Portugal), I still haven’t opened a Schwab savings account (hello no ATM fees!), I need to figure out how to best utilize the airline miles I’ve been accruing, I’d like to compile a list of possible work leads for Australia, get a YHA membership, buy travel insurance and a dozen other details.

So yea, that’s what I need to do. It would be helpful if I would do things in a logical order, but I know that’s not going to happen. I’ll at least try to get things done by the time they have to get done…for the moment that means getting back on track with my spanish lessons, buying a flight to london, sending in the info for my schwab account and figuring out the first 3 weeks of my trip. Ok, yea, that’s manageable. Those will be my goals for the week.  Paying my rent should really be on that list too…and going the bank to deposit some checks so the rent check doesn’t bounce. Ok, now that’s my list…until I think of more things.

Now, I’ve got to go lie down and try not to think for a while.  If you’ve ever had a bad concussion, you’ll sympathize. 

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The Promise of Portugal

Today, I’m taking on Portugal.  I had hoped that I would have at least 2 weeks there, but after reworking my travel route and timeline to take into consideration when my parents will be in Spain and when the Moroccan tour I want to take runs, it looks like I’ll have no more than 10 days, maybe less.

To make the most out of my short time in this beautiful country, I’ll use 3 cities as bases from which I can take day trips to the surrounding areas.  Lagos, Porto and Lisbon.  Right now, the plan is to stay 2 nights in Lagos and 4 each in Porto and Lisbon.  From what I’ve read, these cities are fascinating in their own right and deserve time to be explored.

Lagos — known for its gorgeous beaches and awesome nightlife, it’s also a great jumping off point if you want to see Sagres, the most southwestern point of Europe with dazzling blue water and jaw-dropping cliffs.

Porto —  Porto is a beautiful mess filled with different styles of architecture, attitudes, and eras. It is the birthplace of port wine so, of course, a wine tour is in order.  A day trip to Braga is on the short list.  In Braga, I am sure to get my Baroque fix in the form of the many churches sporting the style. I also want to visit Guimaraes from here. It is on the UNESCO World Heritage List as well as being named the European Capital of Culture in 2012.

Lisbon —  I’ll be taking a walk through history as I stroll down Lisbon’s centuries-old streets.  Despite the city’s patina, it’s soul is youthful…I’m sure to find kindred spirits eager to enjoy a glass of wine as we listen to jazz in the Bairro Alta district or to dance the night away in one of the city’s many nightclubs.  For a quieter pace, I’ll definitely be taking a day trip to the nearby fairytale-like town of Sintra.

According to lonely planet, a serious shoestringer can get by on 30 euro/day in Portugal, which is good since the rest of Western Europe seems to be intent on emptying my bank account.  I doubt I’ll be able to keep it to 30 euro/day, given all the day trips I want to take, but even if I could keep it to 38 euro/day ($50), I’d consider that a win.

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