I shall now continue to blog about my final leg of my travels i.e. Portugal. College has kept me so preoccupied that I didn't have time to blog till Portugal seems so distant and hazy now. I went to Lisbon and Porto to visit my Portuguese mates since I had promised one of them to visit her in Portugal. I couldn't go back on my word and I'm glad I didn't since I had a lovely time there. Through her, I have gotten to know this group of Portuguese that were really nice and hospitable. They took time off work and their busy schedules to bring me around Lisbon and the outlying areas of Sintra and Cascais. Cascais is a very scenic place that is catered for the rich. Haha, I feel that it's my kind of place, a haven that I wouldn't mind having a humble abode in. It has its own beaches and even a casino there despite it being a small town. It feels like the whole county is landscaped and it reminded me of Singapore. Perhaps that is why I feel a connection to it. I did miss Singapore then when I was being driven around Cascais. Well, the impression that I had was that most of the well-heeled Portuguese work in Lisbon and live in Cascais as it’s only about a half hour drive away. Sintra was nothing short of breathtaking and amazing. I had a picnic there with two lovely Portuguese ladies and after that, I went to the palace at the top of the mountain. The view from above is indescribable; one has to be there to witness the magnificent view. The architecture of the palace was also unique and the windows were the highlight. They were akin to art pieces and not just mere transparent glass to allow sunshine through into the palace. Finally, the last place that I went to in Sintra was the Western most point of Europe in which beyond lies the Atlantic Ocean! It was spectacular being there; the sound of the waves crashing against the cliffs, the sun against the horizon and the rustling of the strong winds. It’s such a shame that I don’t have any pictures of Portugal as my trusty camera was stolen =(
Porto was my final destination before returning to Singapore. Porto is a city which is very different from Lisbon. It seems much older and messier as a city although its transport infrastructure is decent and comfortable. The first day that I was there, I spent my time in one of the most luxurious cafes in Porto. It had a lovely ambience despite the heat and I met an Indian couple there. We ended up having a short conversation about India and Singapore, much of which I can’t remember at present. I was also lucky enough to see a filming occurring at the cafe while I was sipping my cup of cooling ice coffee away. No doubt I didn’t understand what they were speaking but nonetheless, it was still interesting. The highlight of my time in Porto would be my first evening there. I went out with a group of American girls, two Spanish birds and two Brazilian guys, all whom I met at the hostel. Haha, in order to save money, we decided to take a risk and boarded the metro without buying tickets. Luckily, we weren’t caught red-handed by the train conductors or else it would surely be such a hassle and embarassment =P After "hitching" a ride, we ended up at this place whereby there was a gig going on to celebrate some music festival of sorts. However, it turned out to be quite boring and we took to drinking instead. Eventually, we landed at a club in an area which looks like an industrial estate. I may be wrong though since it was dark by then but it was a popular hangout as many people were heading towards there as well. I had a pretty decent time that evening considering I was initially alone in Porto. I was so glad to have met this group of people whom I had a wicked time with. It’s a shame that they were leaving Porto the next day. Hence, I had no one to kill time with and ended up walking to the beach. I guess my map reading skills were blunt as I mistook each grid for 1km instead of 2. I ended up walking 12km to the bloody beach! Coupled with that, I alighted at the wrong bus stop on my way back and I had to walk back to the city area. Goodness, I reckon I had walked about 20km that day. It was horrendous!
Thinking back, I had a lovely time in Portugal although one of my closer mates from Portugal wasn’t around to host me. My only gripe would be that of losing my camera as the only pictures I have of Portugal now are memories, which are failing me slowly over time. Even now, I can’t write much about Portugal as I am unable to recollect my moments in Portugal. Due to my hectic schedule in college, all that is on my mind constantly is work and more work. Factoring in the fact that I’m typing this post at two in the morning, it surely doesn’t help me in reliving my memories... Haha, I guess I now have a reason to contact the American girls to ask them for pictures of Portugal!