Month 3 Recap: Lisbon

Ahhhhhh. Lisbon. A smile instantly comes to my face thinking about my month in Lisbon and goes as quickly as it came realizing that I already have to leave and am headed into the cold.

I am going to miss the sunshine so much. Out of the 4 weeks I was here, I think it only rained or was cloudy for 3 days. Otherwise it was blue skies and all smiles from me! I didn’t realize how much I missed this in Prague (where it was cloudy and gloomy what seemed like every day) until I got to Portugal.

Reflecting back on this month, I feel like I didn’t do a whole lot. I didn’t leave the country this month, didn’t venture too far from Lisbon and did far less “touristy” things than the previous two months. But it felt good. It felt great, actually. For the first time, I feel like I’m getting into a routine. I joined the gym. I started cooking real meals. I spent quality time with people in smaller groups. And I had a more consistent day to day during the week.

And while I reread my words saying I didn’t do a whole lot, I still managed to do all of this…here’s a little photo recap of my (probably favorite) month so far in Lisbon, Portugal.

This was my sunny, warm, beautiful and gorgeous welcome to Lisbon.

The first weekend in Lisbon, we went on a much needed girls trip to the mountains (about an hour train ride outside the city), to a small town called Sintra. Sintra is a longtime royal sanctuary, with forested terrain and pastel-colored villas and palaces.

On our first day there, we went to Quinta da Regaleira, as estate located near the center of Sintra and considered to be one of the main attractions. The property consists of a romantic palace and chapel, and a luxurious park that features lakes, hidden passages, wells, fountains, and a vast array of exquisite constructions.

The next day we went to Pena Palace, 19th-century, Romanticist palace on top of the hill and former monastery site, surrounded by parkland. It is a national monument and constitutes one of the major expressions of 19th-century Romanticism in the world. Not to mention, the colors are absolutely breathtaking!

Matimba, Jimena, myself and Anya

On the way back from Sintra to Lisbon, we stopped at the small beach town, Cascais for a seaside lunch and some incredible views.

One of my absolute favorite days this last month was driving the coastline of Western Portugal on a jeep tour. We uncovered some of the best landscapes, secret off-road spots and went to the most Western point in Continental Europe, Cabo da Roca. I found myself just smiling and thinking to myself, “is this actually real life?” constantly throughout the entire day.

Cabo da Roca — the most Western point in Continental Europe.
Enjoying the views at Cabo da Roca.
Coastline views outside of Lisbon.
Our Sonderito jeep tour group.
Sunset ocean views, drone photo courtesy of Josh Homann.
A perfect sunset along the coast to finish the day.

This month I also celebrated my first major holiday away from home, Thanksgiving. Although I missed home and my family extra that day, I felt welcomed and blessed to be with my fellow Sonderitos all together. We started the day with Bloody Mary’s while we cooked for the potluck and our group rented an amazing and cozy space with large living room to watch football and a spacious dining area to enjoy our dinner. It was definitely a special Thanksgiving I will never forget!

How we spent Black Friday — recovering with a gorgeous rooftop view and some Rose, all day...okay maybe not all day. :)

Lisbon forever has a special place in my heart. I felt good while I was here and I can’t wait to come back and visit sometime in the future! This was my final farewell sunset on my last night in Lisbon, from the roof of our apartment building. #Santos16forever

Well, now it’s time for me to head to the airport, get on another airplane and say goodbye to this gorgeous sunny city.

Next stop — Sofia, Bulgaria. Where the snow is already on the ground and I’m staring at my suitcase trying to figure out how my 14 outfits of clothing are going to help me survive this month.

BRB, going to go freeze for the next month.