Portugal, Spain · 22 Days · 108 Moments · July 2018

Jules’ dream journey


11 August 2018

The Portuguese are also famous because of their hospitality. They are very nice to visitors and show interest. The younger generations know English, but the older ones are monolingual. Speaking Portuguese makes them smile. Don’t try to speak Spanish or they will get mildly triggered. Salesmen and women are very talkative and nice to their clients. They often have a little chat or make jokes. 10/10
Food in Portugal Of course, keep in mind that I have only visited a small part of Portugal, and that I of course experience things differently than natives. Portugal is a country next to the ocean, so the main ingredient of the dishes is fish. Especially Sardines are very popular. The Portuguese grill these at noon outside of there houses on little grills and then have them as lunch. They are delicious and all the fish is of course very fresh! We must of course not forget the bacalhau! A delicious fish full of taste. They have many different dishes which include this fish. Vegetables are nice too. Most supermarkets only have the main vegetables. Vegetables like vennel are sometimes missing. Meat isn’t the strongest point. According to my dad, the meat is of bad quality and the butcher doesn’t know how to cut it. The Portuguese also have delicious pastries under which Pastéis de Nata and Tortas de Azeitão. Very sweet of course but delicious. I give the food 8.5/10
I have had one wonderful journey. I made lots of new impressions and memories, met new people and cultures, and learned things I did not knew before. I am so incredibly thankful for making this trip. So glad I could actually use my Portuguese skills and enjoy the beautiful weather... So, I will make a review about the food, the people, the culture, and prices of Portugal
When we were looking for our cab, we realized we were on the wrong floor. We needed to go one down. Problem: the elevator apparently only went up, so we had to find a way to go down. Apparently only the last elevator went down. We took it and waited at the spot. We realized the cab was not there, so we had to wait for like 20 minutes. A van came towards us. Apparently, this was our cab. Another Dutch couple got into the van. My parents talked a bit with them. The couple said they were from Zeist. My mother said her brother lived there. She told the name, and the couple recognized it. They were his neighbors and friends. We got to the car and just drove. It was weird. It didn’t feel like I had been away. We drove to Moergestel to pick up my dog from the kennel. She was so happy! She jumped and made weird noises. When we got home, everything looked like we had never been away. We ordered some fries and I immediately went to bed.
We started approaching Calais, and thus Belgium too. We started dropping. I saw all the clouds above Belgium. I wondered: why? Why are all the Nordic countries so cloudy? I guess I will find the answer somewhere. When we dived underneath the clouds, I started feeling really bad. The weather looked was awful. I expected it to be very cold. With a soft landing, we arrived at the Low Countries. The capital of Europe, although it did not look like that from the plane nor from the ground. Walking through the big hall, I heard one last message in the beautiful Portuguese language. A small smile appeared on my face and just thought by myself: I am at an airport. I love those! Let’s enjoy it before that gets taken away from me too. We bought some Belgian chocolates and headed to the Luggage rolls. It was very crowded and we got our luggage as one of the last.
We started boarding. I looked outside, still did not realize I was leaving Portugal after three full weeks. We started taking off, and then it hit me. As soon as the wheels didn’t touch the ground anymore, I realized I wasn’t coming back here for at least one year. I would have to get back to my daily live, negative people, school, boringness... I was quiet the whole flight. When my mom ordered a Belgian waffle, the thoughts began to drift away. I played a game on my brothers phone, looked outside. There, my second love, la France. I observed the coastline and with what I saw, I could coordinate our location. I started thinking about France, the language, the food, the culture. At that moment, I decided I truely needed to start revising my French again.
At the airport, I forgot to download my boarding pass. Luckily, we got a paper pass which was also just easy to use. We got at the duty-free stores. I was looking for something to buy, but there wasn’t really anything that appealed to me. Some magnets maybe? I bought nothing and we had some bread and drinks at a kiosk.
We had traffic jam when we got over the Ponte 25 de Abril. My parents got really nervous, because we already were a bit late. After the jam, which lasted 11 minutes,, we headed to the airport. First, we had to go to the tank station. When we were done there, we could hand in the car. It all went great and the cab brought us to the airport. We sat together with an Italian couple and their child. They were very nice to us.
I woke up with an incredibly weird feeling. I knew that I was going home today, but it felt so unreal. It’s like I did not quite realize it. The bad thoughts came when I stepped under the shower. I started thinking about home, the people there, the boringness... I kinda started freaking out, so I quickly turned of the shower and my mother told me to eat some yoghurt and bananas. That’s what I did. The rest was also woken up. We just cleaned the last bits. I, for example, ate the last Torta de Azeitão. I ate it very slowly, with my eyes closed, because I knew how long it would take before I could eat another one. It was time to leave the apartment. I needed to go back to bring back the key. I ran into the housekeeper/cleanster. She asked me how the stay was and if I wanted to come back. I heavily agreed. When I walked towards the car, I did not realize that that was the last time I would speak Portuguese.

10 August 2018

Today we started packing everything. I had been to the papelaria and supermarket to buy something, but there wasn’t anything. While I was packing, I noticed I didn’t have any souvenirs, so I hope I will be able to buy those at the airport. When we were halfway packing, my parents and I decided to go buy some gifts for the grandparents. It was kinda hot, and it took a long time. After 45 minutes we found a shop with hats, cork, socks and all other random stuff. I bought a key ornament (don’t know the name) and my mother bought candles, socks and some other stuff. When we came back, we started having lunch. After that, we went to the pool. The water was nice and cool. In the evening, we went to a restaurant called “portofino”. I ordered a hamburger of course. The food looked very fancy and the desssrt (fruit salad) was delicious. We walked back along the beach. I thought about once living here, waking up near the sea everyday. But then I decided that’s far away and I should enjoy now.

9 August 2018

Of course we first rode a circle to find the way, after that, we got in traffic jam in the center of Lisbon and I started to remember how much I would be missing Portugal again. I tried thinking about something else but I failed. When my dad got sick of the jam he rode to Belém and from Belém to the Ponte 25. I cleared my head and before I knew, we were in the apartment again. Eating sea fruit spaghetti. Because we needed to clean the fridge a bit, my brother and I were allowed to eat a lot of desserts. We watched the movie Michiel de Ruyter. It relieved the pain to go back, because the film was set in the Netherlands and they showed the most beautiful cities. The movie also had some sort of nationalistic scene about the Netherlands and the Dutch which made it less bad to return too. When we finished one Fanta bottle and lay’s bag, we decided to go to bed. Goodnight
When we met again, we went to the cellar and some sort of big Turkish bath. After this we went downstairs again. This route was far shorter. We walked along the house of Hans Christian Andersen’s which made everything clear. Of course he had came her. He collected inspiration around the palaces and castles which I think has been noticeable in a few of his fairy tales. When we were back at the city center again, we went to search for an ice cream shop. We found one and I ordered blueberry ice cream which was terrific! It was very nice and delicious ice cream. When we finished, we headed to a tourist shop, bought some water there and headed back to the car.
My mother and brother got enough of the crowds and the view and climbed down the wall. My dad and I stayed and explored all the towers and corners of the wall. The last and one of the biggest towers had a view to the Palácio de Pena.
We entered the castle and climbed the walls. In the first tower, a big room could be found and that’s where we all rested. When we were back at 100%, we climbed to the roof of the tower. It was way too windy and I could almost be blown off, so I quickly graded back downstairs.
(Some pictures of the previous moment)
We saw boards pointing to the moorish castle. It looked nice so we decided to take the route. It began green and small. Nice paths and fountains. The higher we came, the greener and less civilization. The path became some sort of jungle parcours to the top. We had to stand still a lot to let people pass. When we got to the top, we were surprised by all the busses and Americans at the card sell. My mother and I rested while my dad bought a ticket. We followed the big groups of people. We noticed we were following the wrong groups when we saw the entrance to the palace. We immediately turned around and climbed the path to the castle. Holes on the ground for silos, long walls, graves, coins and pottery and houses could be found around the castle.
We headed through a few alleys and stairs and arrived at a small tapas restaurant. The food was ready quickly and it was amazing. I got a nice juice and delicious tuna.
There was a huge traffic jam in front of the Ponte 25 de abril. While waiting, we saw a fluid smelling like benzine on the ground next to us. My mom kinda started freaking out. A few cars further, a car with a burned-out back could be seen. Firefighters gathered around the car. The traffic jam ended and we headed to Sintra. I could already see the palace lying on top of the mountain. When we drove into the village, I wasn’t sure what to expect. I did see a lot of tourists. We parked the car near the palace.
The evening before, I had decided to buy a newspaper at the papelaria next to the supermarket where my parents went yesterday. It was a nice weather. I walked through the park and got to the papelaria. I grabbed the thickest paper I could see and bought it. When I proudly walked out of the store, I noticed there was also a free magazine included. I walked to the baker. She smiled when I walked in and asked me if it was the same order as always. I confirmed and she got the bread. At the dinner table, we saw it was Thursday, which means we only have 1 full day left. I started thinking about how long it could take to get back to Portugal again, how long I had to wait to see the mountains again, how long I would have to wait to speak Portuguese again... I collapsed from the inside, but then my father said we were going to Sintra. That cheered me up and I kinda forgot about it. Until I was alone with my mind in the car. To see someone looking out of the car window is never a good sign

8 August 2018

When I got out of my pyramid, we decided to leave. At home, my dad made meat, asparagus and bread. After dinner, we watched a film and went to bed
When my brother didn’t want to do anything, I just started digging a big hole all alone. It became boring so I washed myself and went lying again. 5 minutes later, my brother wanted to check out on the channel and the whole which we did. We decided to bury me in the hole. We ended up with a lot of sand and decided to make a pyramid out of it.
We stepped into the car and rode to the lake. My father hadn’t told us yet where we were going. When we arrived, I saw a lake next to the beach and the lagoa de Albufeira popped up in my head. We put down our beach towels. The water wasn’t actually that cold. It was nice. My father and I went to the sea to check the water and watch the windsurfers. A big wave hit me in the back, so I felt very cold and headed back immediately. I lied for 5 minutes to warm up when my brother asked me to explore the lake. We saw two parts of water divided by a big sand bank. My brother and I decided to live our stereotype at the fullest and started making channels and dykes to let the water stream from the one side to the other. We started digging for earth water. We found it and made a very big hole. When it became cold again, we decided to get back to our towels. A woman was selling beignets. I walked towards her and ordered three of them. They were delicious.
I woke up and decided to take a walk again. When I came back from the bathroom to brush my teeth, I saw my mother was already awake so it didn’t have any meaning to go for a walk. We set the table and had breakfast. My dad decided to go to Lagoa de Albufeira.

7 August 2018

Back home, we ate meat. This was the first time in 3 weeks I ate meat again. I am not really a big fan of meat. More of fish, so I didn’t care about eating fish every single day, but apparently my dad and brother did. After dinner, we watched a movie and went to bed.
We went downstairs through the gift shop to find ourselves a place where we could drink. We did not succeed and went inside the building again where my father bought 2 bottles of water. We went upstairs to the temporary exhibition by a Japanese aquarium builder. Entering the room, I saw one long aquarium with tiny fish and beautiful plants and formations. The music was very calming and when I sat down and just looked, I felt so zen. The aquarium looked perfect. We went out again and made a small walk along the borders of the Tagus. We walked around the corner and saw our car. We headed back to Sesimbra via the Ponte de Vasco da Gama.
An octopus, blue jellyfish and big eels could be seen. Small eels which popped there head out of the ground were also fun to watch. We stayed a long time looking at the big aquarium and staring at the small otters playing. Fishtanks looking like mangrove Woods were beautiful, long rows of sardines and colorful anemones were everywhere. I wished I were a fish. Swimming up and down through the beautiful sea. No war, hating peoples or crime. Just peace and other fishes beneath the surface.
The next room was very hot and a big bassin in front of us was filled with colorful tropical fishes. Inside were big crabs. I would get a heart failure if I saw any of those animals why swimming or snorkling. Anemones and seahorses could be found. A sea dragon also made an appearance in a small fishtank. At the first floor, you could see the swimming animals from below.
Small colorful fishes could be seen in the fish tanks in the next room. It was beautiful. We arrived at the otter habitat. They were swimming in their backs and washing and playing. They were so cute. Big pink sea stars could be seen when you turned around. The next fish tanks had jellyfish and frogs. it was very crowded there. People were using flash in the dark against the fish tanks. Of course these flashes reflected and the people ended up with having big white spots on their photo. Two girls asked me if I could make a picture of them with their Polaroid camera. I got kinda nervous because had never used one before and I know that those rolls really expensive. I just clicked when I got a good view. I am sure it isn’t a bad photo.
Slipping through the crowd to get near the window, I just accepted the big crowd and that I should be grateful. The aquarium was huge. Big manta’s, sharks, barracuda’s and a lot more fishes were visible. After 5 minutes we continued to the first room. Birds flew across our heads. It was cold and we saw tiny penguins swimming in the water. They were so funny and adorable. We stayed there for 10 minutes and headed to a more quiet place where we could observe the big aquarium better. We kept at a standing at a great spot we conquered.
A cape verdian woman asked if we were with four. We were. The woman asked if we would like to join their group so we could get a group discount. We agreed. When it was our turn at the line, we had to wait for 5 minutes until we proceeded to an exhibition about water pollution and plastic soup. We headed to the restaurant. I took a nice bread with chorizo and a cold hamburger (I don’t know why, I think I just have too little braincells). When I started eating my hamburger, I immediately noticed the nasty meat on it. I just grabbed the meat and laid it on my plate. My brother got angry with me. “If you get so horny about hamburgers, then why don’t you eat this hamburger meat?!” I responded. He grabbed and ate it. We walked to a long tube with all sorts of information about the ocean. At the end, a man asked us to show him the tickets. We did and entered. The first thing we saw was a huge crowd pressed against a big blue window. My mom and I looked at each other and sighed. Crowds...
While we were driving, I noticed we were driving next to the Arrabida, which does not lie on the route to Lisbon. 2 minutes later, we got in Azeitão and I decided to tell my parents we were driving the wrong way. My dad got annoyed and he started swearing. We arrived at the Ponte 25 de abril 1 hour later. We drove through a nice looking suburb. It reminded me of Rotterdam. When we got at the parking lot, we got out and searched for the oceanario. We found it at a big entrance and joined the line for the entrance.
Stepping outside at 8:10 AM. Closing the door behind me, getting surprised by the darkness and coolness that I experience and deciding to go climb the castle. Walking up the hill, getting exhausted. I look back and see big dark clouds hovering over the village and the sea. I climb and arrive at the staircase leading to the castle. All alone. Exhausted when at the first stop, continuing and arrives at the big Sun gate. I entered the gate and saw the church and the big walls. I was alone and it was quiet. I climbed up the wall, looked over it and walked down the wall. At the end, I saw a big brown rat shooting in a hole. Going downhills on flip-flops is a very bad idea. I stubbed my toe so hard my nail just bend and got tored. I rushed home and did took a shower. At breakfast, I proposed to go to the Museu Nacional de arte Antiga. My dad got pissed and firmly said: no, we are going to the oceanarium. And one hour later we stepped into the car

6 August 2018

When we got back, my dad cooked delicious fish with rice. We watched some tv and went to bed.
We got in the car. We drove through a national park I think. We arrived at our first “beach”: it wasn’t a beach, just rocks with big waves and too many people. When my father wanted to turn around, he first had to go up a mountain. It was very steep and I got nervous. When we made a turn, I made sure I could escape fast enough from the car in case we slipped down the cliff (there wasn’t a fence, and the cliff was just 4-6 meters behind us). When we got to the second beach, we noticed the two Dutch vans we saw at the supermarket before. My father and I took a look at the beach and saw a huge amount of seaweed. It didn’t look very clean so we also skipped this beach. We gave up and headed to Praia de Meco. I did wave games with my brother, made some weird, artsy, creative sand sculptures, sunbathed and ordered ice cream at a restaurant.
I woke up at 8:00, checked my phone, and decided to not take a walk. I didn’t feel like it. My mother woke up and told me to get rid of the trash and get some bananas, tomatoes and bread. I first walked uphills. I wanted to know what was there. After 500m I found a container where I dumped the trash. It wasn’t really worth walking upstairs and discovering a new container actually. Then I walked down, and decided not to go to the nice baker lady, because I had to order to many things in Portuguese, while at the shop next to the bakery, I could just grab what I needed. I went to the apartment with the groceries and we had breakfast together. We still couldn’t do a lot of stuff because it was hot. We decided not to stay home or go to the Sesimbra beach, but find another, new beach.
My parents and I went to the supermarket. I brought some money myself too, so I could buy some Portuguese books. A new intermarché opened last week and we checked it out. At the parking lot, two Dutch vans were parked and 2 big group of Dutchies got in. Not sure how they survived such a long road trip with so many people, but they did. Respect to those guys. The intermarché didn’t have anything. No books, no desserts, no snacks... We had to go to the Lidl next to it to get the rest of the groceries.

5 August 2018

At the 5th, we did all the stuff I mentioned before, but we went to a restaurant instead of my dad cooking. We went to the same restaurant with the waiter who messed up. He was there again, but luckily forgot about us. Or at least about my dad’s face. There wasn’t any room, but we managed to find a place. It was in some sort of party tent which of course became very hot. A woman in front of us had 4 more places left. We asked if we could sit there, but they immediately refused. My dad called the waiter with his terrible English (sorry dad), and asked if we could sit somewhere else. This alternative place was inside. We were happy because at least there was AC. My brother and I ordered some crab dish. We got hammers and other tools. When we got our crab, my brother and I just began to smash him down. It was delicious, but of course took a long time to finish, but I didn’t mind. We headed back and saw that there were various fires in the country. Not near us. I went to bed.

4 August 2018

On the 3th, we went to the pool. Our parents joined us one hour later. We vastly left because of the heath and the noisy neighbors also hanging around at the pool. We first went to a beach after lunch. The beach is too hot or too crowded and my brother and I head back to the apartment and go to the pool. It is quite for 15 minutes. Then my parents will arrive and with them, a lot of other pool guests. My brother and I get baked and head back to the apartment where we watch a film or hang around at our phone the whole time (which I truly hate!) Our parents come back 30-75 minutes later. We have some chips and my father stars cooking. We watch some more Netflix and then go to bed. It’s really not what I had in mind when they said it would be too hot... But it was, we couldn’t do anything properly. Too hot to walk, too hot for sitting in the car, pool and beach overcrowded...

3 August 2018

The 3th, 4th and 5th of August were very hot, and looked a lot alike. I woke up at 8:00 AM and went for a walk in the village. I stopped taking morning walks at 4th when it became too hot. While I took my walks, I headed to the bakery to get bread so we could all have breakfast together. My parents would make a small walk or go to the supermarket, while my brother and I stayed inside hanging around on our phones or playing board games. I felt so bad about it. I am wasting my time here. I am in Portugal, I should be outside enjoying the county instead of being on my phone the whole time. When I would quit being on my phone, my parents got back from their walk or groceries. We all have lunch together and go to the beach or pool. My brother and I would stay inside for 30 more minutes. One day, my dad called us to tell us he had ice cream. We went to the beach. No ice cream, just beach. We had to take a dive our mom told us. After that we left because of the heath and ordered ice cream

2 August 2018

We decided to order some sushi. I helped my dad with the ordering (it was all in Portuguese). One hour later, my dad and I headed to the restaurant. They said they didn’t receive any order. My dad showed the restaurant the confirmation and they immediately began to cook and bake. In the meanwhile, my dad and I went to the Sesimbra fortress. It was very hot, even though it was very late. 15 minutes later, we came back and we got our sushi. It was delicious, but it was a little small. My brother, dad and I decided to go downstairs to the ice cream shop and I ordered a waffle and my dad a crepe. The waiting here took a long time too. It was just enough, one more bite would have been to much. We headed back to the apartment and went to bed
Today actually looked a lot like yesterday. The waves were just a bit less wild. Before we left to the beach, we made our own sandwiches so we didn’t have to go to the restaurant again. We swam, we read and relaxed. Around 3 ‘o clock, the waves began to become bigger and I took a one hour swim. At four, my brother and I decided to climb a big sandstone rock in the middle of the beach. The sand was very hot, so we immediately ran back to the sea and took a dive. I stayed for like 30 more minutes, when I got into a wave and I just made a backward salto. My back hurted and I think it wasn’t very smart to swim some more while my spine hurt. We left at 6:30.
I woke up at 8:00 AM. When I wanted to go for a walk, I opened the window and saw how grey it was. My need to walk faded away and we had breakfast. We all agreed to go to Praia de Meco again today and that’s what we did

1 August 2018

My dad prepared the Peixe and made some Risotto. It was delicious. We went to the ice cream shop downhills and went to bed.
All wet and covered in sand, I went to the restaurant. I wasn’t very amused because I felt very dirty and the restaurant was all full. When our waiter came, we discussed what to eat in Dutch, and apparently, our waiter was a Portuguese with Dutch roots. He began to speak Dutch to us, which I felt didn’t was necessary because the more Portuguese I spoke, the better it would be. Anyway, I ordered a sandwich. It of course took a long time and when I was done, my brother and I just lied down at the beach until our parents came. We swam and read books until we went home.
We drove to the beach. It was not crowded and we headed to one of those places with parasols and chairs. The hirer came to us. She only spoke Portuguese and I told her that we would like to lie here. We payed and like that, got ourselves a beautiful spot. When I saw the waves, my jaw dropped. They were like 2 meter high. I had never saw waves like there before and my brother and I jumped in them.
I decided to wake up early today so I could go for a walk. I set the alarm to 8:00 AM, Checked my phone and started walking (instead of running because I really didn’t feel like it) at 8:30 AM. It was a beautiful morning, and there already were some people at the beach. I decided to walk back via the town center. Like this, I got to know more alleys and streets and could find my way better. When I came back at 9:00 AM, everyone was still asleep. It was 9:30 when my mother woke up. When everyone was woken up, my parents got angry because I didn’t go to the bakery this morning. I started arguing with them. I went back to the bakery. The woman selling the breads was very nice and funny and she made me happy. I went back to the apartment and my parents and I began our morning again the right way. We decided to go to Praia de Meco. I went to the fish market with my dad and we got some Peixe Esparda Preto. He wanted to make it for dinner. We also got some eardrop things for my brother.

31 July 2018

When we came back to the apartment, my parents were back from their walk. We had lunch together and went to the pool again were we stayed the rest of the day. My father made spaghetti with clamshells and we then went to sleep. It was a inactive day, but very nice.
I woke up and felt tired... At breakfast, we decided to do nothing. My parents took a walk and my brother and I went to the pool and jacuzzi. We stayed in the jacuzzi until a young French family joined us and we felt awkward. We decided to stay 1 more minute and left. After that, we ran to the hot showers and stayed there for like 20 minutes.

30 July 2018

When we arrived at the parking lot, my father got problems with the card dispenser, it took us a half hour to get to the Ponte de 25 abril and when we crossed it, it took us another 45 minutes to finally get to the Pinga Doce. My parents did some groceries and we headed back to the apartment. When we got home, I read the groceries ticket and it said we bought bacalhau. I took a sniff at the food (it was already seasoned) and I noticed the smell of chicken. I told my parents. I hoped it would be chicken because I didn’t want to eat fish at the moment. I was right, it was delicious chicken and we watched some tv and went to bed.
The tram was moving downhills. It was so nice and I wished that I could enjoy the feeling of being so far away from all my worries, hated ones and all other negative things every single day of my life. After just 5 minutes, the tram already arrived at its destination. We called an Uber to get back to the car.
We walked up the hill to the look out point. We were sad because there was a huge fence set in front of the view because of restaurations. The view was beautiful. We headed to a tram a bit further and decided to take this tram to her downstairs.
We arrived at a music store where my brother spotted a shirt he would like to have. We entered the music store, I played some piano, but stopped after 30 seconds because I noticed that I had to relearn a lot of things because of 5 full weeks of inactivity. I also checked a fado music book for fun, it looked hard, but I will take a better look when I am home. (I did not buy it, I will find something online). The shirt my brother wanted wasn’t available anymore and we ordered it and left the shop. We arrived at a kiosk near a big church where we ordered some drinks and pastries. I got “queijadas de coco” a pastry filled with coconut. While the rest enjoyed sitting in the sun on the terrace, I decided to take a look in the church. I was amazed by the bigness, silence and beauty of the church and silently took a look at the beautiful paintings and statues.
We drove through the luxest and most expensive looking street of Lisbon. We got dropped of at the Starbucks which also had some Moghul influences. My father went to a kiosk to buy some water, I grabbed a free sightsee guide in Portuguese. We walked to the elevator. It was very crowded. The line for the elevator was 1 hour and 30 minutes. We went to the end of the street to get a better look of the elevator. A Surinamese woman said in Dutch: “ I am sure this people will understand me”. My mother confirmed in Dutch. I felt insulted, but again, the camera and some clothing pieces are a real give away.
We walked to the other side of the park where statues of African looking people were located. There were small buildings and more statues. A long row of goose passed us the way back. Because I was the only one taking pictures and I wasn’t to be seen on any of them, my mother decided to make a lot of pictures of me. Now, when a camera is pointed at me, I always start pulling faces on accident. Out of the 50 photos my mother made, only 5 were nice. We headed back to the entrance and ordered an Uber that drove us to the center of Lisbon.
We entered the botanic garden. We were amazed by all the beautiful trees with their long tree trunks and low branches. We came across a statue of Hercules. I remember my Ancient Greek teacher told us about the statue, so I decided to be a nerd and explain the statue to my parents. We all were very enthused by swing a peacock. We took billions of pictures of it when suddenly a second peacock arrived. More and more peacocks followed and suddenly they weren’t that special anymore. We entered the gate to the Chinese/Japanese garden which said: “Macau”. Probably referring to the Portuguese speaking region in China. The garden was beautiful and we walked all the way to a big palace in the back of the garden. There was a goose and his chicks and a kitten. So cute! A few moments later, a peacock with his babies entered and my mother got some cuteness overload.
We had our lunch at “a padaria portuguesa”. While I checked the assortment, I noticed that this was a “healthy” restaurant. I pretended like I didn’t saw it and ordered a big hamburger. When I got it (of course longer than we expected), I was surprise by the huge amount of sweet potato chips. I tasted one. Not that bad, but I prefer the regular. My hamburger consisted out of a sweet bread, watercress, “sina” or “Gisa” cheese (idk what it’s called) and no mayonnaise and ketchup. It didn’t taste like a hamburger at all. More like a healthy sandwich. I pretended I was eating a healthy sandwich and it worked. When we got outside, we first got a huge slap in the face because of the heat, followed by a big surprise to see the huge amount of tourists that went to have lunch. You couldn’t walk on the sidewalk anymore... We found a small alley in which we fled and headed to the garden with filled stomachs.
We arrived at a modern looking big building which would be the museum of Belém. We walked through it, and saw a beautiful monastery. We walked towards it. It was so big and kinda reminded me of Hogwarts somewhere. We entered the chamber between the two main towers and saw a statue of Henry the Navigator. It was crowded, so we quickly escaped. At the most eastern side of the monastery, a large gate was carved out. You could clearly see the Moghul influences. It was beautiful. We headed to the botanic garden, we took a look at the entrance price, we first decided to go lunching because the park was too big.
We walked to the tower of Belém. It was very weird to see a building that’s on my notebook, textbook and other online Portuguese resources. I was amazed by all the small details. We walked to the east side of the building. It was crowded and full of people. You couldn’t just stand there normally without accidentally photobombing someone’s picture. It was disgusting that everyone was only focused on looking as good as they could on the picture instead of looking at a beautiful five centuries old piece of architecture. I didn’t mind too much, because it would ruin the atmosphere. When I checked the sign with information, it told us that on Mondays, the tower is closed. We headed to the Padrão dos Descobrimentoa when we noticed that we had to cross a small harbor to get there. We walked around the harbor and noticed a bridge to get to the other side of the railway. We grabbed our chance to get to the other side, but we lost the chance to see the Padrão dos Descobrimentos.
We walked to the monument. I saw two guards in their posts next to a big pyramid shaped sculpture with a flame in the middle. Behind the sculpture, more than ten thousand names were carved. The names represented the overseas Portuguese war victims.
Then we headed to the car. I got my ear plugs so I didn’t have to listen to that awful music anymore. Instead of that, I listened to my own Portuguese playlist. It didn’t take long to get in Lisbon. We headed to Belém. Over the Ponte de 25 abril to the left. We didn’t know we also had to cross the railway, so it took a quite long time to find a way to do so. We rode to a clinic and research center. It looked very nice and modern. We parked our car there and headed to our first attraction: the National Monument and the Tower of Belém.
I woke up, knowing I would go to the beautiful city of Lisbon again. I was excited and immediately jumped out of bed. We had breakfast and I took a shower. We didn’t rush. Everyone just read the news, checked the phone etc. It was nice.

29 July 2018

My parents told us that we were going to have dinner at a restaurant. It was cold, so I put on a big jumper and my jeans and we headed to the restaurant. My brother and I decided to take the salmon. While waiting (the waiting time here was also just too long), we looked at a big bassin filled with crabs. They looked nice and creepy at the same time... As dessert, I chose pannacotta because my parents recommended it. I also got a small glass of wine. My parents later regret it. I scared them like a 5 year old twice back home and they got really tired of it. I decided to go to bed early because tomorrow would be Lisboa
My brother and I were lying in the jacuzzi. It was nice. I decided to take a dive in the cold water and get back to the jacuzzi to get the real orgasm of the jacuzzi. And so I did. I climbed out of the pool. In front of me, I saw a young couple and their 5 year old approaching my brother in the hot tub. They put their ash tray on the side and hanged their towels. I quickly stepped into the hot tub (with a inner orgasm) hoping it would scare the couple, but it didn’t. They both stepped into the tub and also put their daughter in it. My brother and I stayed for like 1 minute when it felt awkward and we left. We headed to plan B: the showers that were actually hotter than the hot tub. We checked if no one was there and just stayed in the shower for 15-25 minutes. I came out and headed back to the apartment where my parents were
I got my towel, and heard my stomach rumble. I proposed getting an ice cream. The rest agreed and we went to get our refreshing treats. I ordered my icecream (of course) in Portuguese. framboise and straciatella were the tastes I chose. My parents went back to the beach. My brother and I stayed a little longer and decided to head back to the apartment.
We packed our stuff and went to the beach. The beach was pretty crowded, but we managed to find a spot. I learned from the first beach day that there was going to be a lot of sand and the see was gonna be cold. I got a rock to smack the windshield poles the ground in. It worked and we were protected against the sand. I put on the sunscreen and lied down. It was hot, so my dad and I went to inspect the pier. Not that interesting, since it’s just a ordinary pier made out of rocks and cement... I lied down again and fell asleep. A half hour later I woke up. It was nice, but then it hit me: I didn’t put on sunscreen. I checked my legs and they weren’t that red. Just a little. I was relieved. I noticed I was all covered in sand and there wasn’t any shower located on or near the beach, so I realized I had to take a dive. And that’s exactly what I did. While no one was in the water, I quickly ran to the sea and just dived into it. It was nice, but very cold. As fast as I could, I ran back
We were all pretty tired at breakfast. It was enough to notice that no one wanted to do anything. And that’s what we did. My parents decided to take a walk at 12. My brother and I stayed at home. When they came back (12:10) they decided to go to the beach together.

28 July 2018

Back in the area of Sesimbra, we made a small stop at the Lidl and went home. My brother and I went to watch “The Dictator” with Sachs Cohen for the second time. It was fun. The film lasted 1.5 hours, there was like a total of 5 minutes of akward scenes spread out over the whole movie, and those were the exact moments my mother kept walking in and it was so annoying. The movie finished and so did my dad: he gave us some delicious onion soup with baguette. Yesterday, my moms bathing suit fell of the balcony. It landed in someone else’s garden and when we finished they were home for the first time since this accident happened. Apparently I was the one who needed to go ask to get the bathing suit back... I knocked on the door and became red and nervous and couldn’t stop laughing. Luckily the man was nice and he understood me. He gave me the bathing suit and everyone was happy. Suddenly we heard a noise coming from the streets. It turned out to be Brazilian carnaval with nice ladies.
We walked to the exit and crossed the street. I saw a beach made of volcanic rocks and small cliffs. We walked on the rocks. You could hear the waves of the sea breaking against the wall through holes in the ground. The water goes under those holes and big splashes of water suddenly emerge from the ground. The further we walked, the more people we saw. Then we arrived, at ‘a boca do inferno’, “The mouth of hell”. Walking through a small market, we arrived at the cliffs. It was beautiful, but way too crowded. So many Chinese and Indians! (No offense there). We returned back to the park and walked through it. This time, the podium was filled with the van Morissen band. I don’t know who those folks are, but their music sounded horrible (it’s just me. I hate jazz). We stood there for like 7 minutes when we were asked to leave by the most nicest people. We understood and headed back to the car
We walked past another wedding and decided to enter a nice looking park. We walked past nice art sculptures and beautiful trees and bushes. We then saw that this park was the host of a jazz concert where Salvador Sobral and Sara Tavares and Van Morissen played. We walked past the podium and came across a big hole in the ground. First, I thought it was an empty zoo bear hole. Then I saw a few people swimming. I looked down and saw that this hole was just one small beach with people swimming and walking their dogs. We went back to the exit because my dad wanted to go to a nice look out point.
We walked further to a park, when my father suddenly realized he lost his parking ticket. My mother and I sat down and enjoyed the park and a wedding preparation with suited up people while my father was desperately looking for the ticket. We walked all the way back to the beach. I don’t know how my father eventually solved the problem, but at least he did.
We walked through a small street with lots of restaurants in it. Waiters outside trying to lurk you into their restaurants. A so called “tourist trap”. Various waiters asked us if we would like to eat at their restaurant. One waiter asked us if we would like to eat in English. I must give him, we indeed look like tourists... The camera is a big give away. We walked further, but not one second later, the waiter said in poor Dutch: “Ook Nederlandse Menu’s!”. Now, there is one thing that my mother and I hate the most (my brother and father don’t really care about anything actually) and that is being addressed to in Dutch, meeting other Dutch people, Dutchification on vacation. My mother felt very offended and I became angry and I just gave him a firm and angry “Não.”. We walked further and came across a quiet street with one restaurant with no one. It was a Moroccan restaurant. I ordered a Moroccan burger with Moroccan tea. The food was delicious and the waiter was very nice.
We drove through the city all the way to the underground parking area near the fortress. While I was looking out of the car window, I was amazed by how modern and big it was: long avenues with green trees and big houses. Like I said, we drove to the fortress. We parked our car and began to walk. We walked along the beach into a street. This street turned into a shopping street and my mother began to look for nice shoes. We walked further and came near a flee market. When we were done, we walked through a small park and looked for a restaurant.
When I woke up, we had an ordinary breakfast. We decided where to go, but failed... I took a shower and went to the car. We drove to Lisbon. I didn’t mind going to Lisbon again and I was excited. Then we suddenly went to the right and to the left and skipped Lisbon. I asked where we were going. My father answered: “Cascais”. I read some things about Cascais and was curious to it. The road was long...

27 July 2018

Dinner was chicken. When we finished, my brother and I went to watch Life of Brian. In the middle of the movie, we went to take a look at the moon. It wasn’t really that spectacular and we got back in after 5 minutes. We finished the movie and went to bed.
We had to do some groceries at the Continente and so we did. It didn’t take as long as always. When we came home, my brother and I decided to take a run to the castle while our parents went to the pool. It was very hot and I was exhausted when I finally got to the top. Downhills was far more easier and faster. My brother already had his swim clothes on. I needed to get mine in the apartment. When I came back, I saw my brother already claimed the hot tub. I first took a dive in the cold water and quickly ran to the jacuzzi. It wasn’t as hot as I expected. We got our faster then normal. I decided to take a hot shower at the pool. My brother joined the shower cabin next to me. There was no one else outside waiting for us, so we decided to stay there for like 20 minutes. It was our alternative to the hot tub
We walked down the way to Portinho. It was crowded at the parking place, but it didn’t seem crowded in Portinho itself. We went to a restaurant. The waiter was a bit clumsy and forgot to give us the menus and to note our orders. I ordered sardines the second time this week. As everywhere else, it took a century for our food to arrive. The food was okay and we headed back to the car. We made some more stops and pictures along the way and entered the municipality of Sesimbra
When we were in Setúbal, no one said anything. It looked grey, broke and depressing. We decided to get away as fast as we could and drove through the Arrábida. The road near the beach was inaccessible and we had to go through the mountains which the original route was. We came along a monastery and some guarding towers. We stopped and took some pictures. Then we continued driving. We took some more stops and pictures along the way until we arrived in Portinho
Someone gave me this beautiful road through the Arrábida National park. I told my parents and we decided to take this road and have lunch in Setúbal. The music my parents and my brother chose was just horrible and the complete opposite of what I like. I asked to change the music and they agreed. I noticed that we didn’t drive through Arrábida and told my parents. They got angry with me and my brother just began to hit me without any reason. Then I told my brother he was giving a autistic reaction, and my parents became so angry with me. When we arrived in Azeitão, my parents finally decided to check the road and they saw I was right but did not apologize. We drove further thorough the Arrábida and arrived in Setúbal.
I woke up and we had some breakfast. I was slightly annoyed because my parents woke me up in a rough way. Then my brother asked when we were going home. My jaw just dropped. I just don’t understand why one would be thinking about that. You have a beautiful landscape, no school, nice weather, the sea and freedom here, why would you possibly want to go home? My parents became angry with him and said that he was spoiled. Then they also became mad at me while I didn’t say anything. Mostly, when my brother does something which upsets one of my parents, they instantly involve me too...

26 July 2018

We ate shrimps with bread and I decided to do some more Duo and Memrise. I decided to go to bed early and hope to be fully rested tomorrow.
My brother and I arrived at the pool. There were 2 other groups: some French folks and two quiet Belgians. We wanted to go to the jacuzzi, but it was sealed with a lock. I searched for the woman who had the keys. I couldn’t find her, and when I came back, the three French already were in the tub... I decided to take a shower to release myself from all the sand. I laid down and closed my eyes. When I opened them 5 minutes later, my parents appeared. At the same moment, the francophones left the hot tub. We rushed to the jacuzzi and dipper ourselves in it. It felt good. Like really good. We left the jacuzzi 30 minutes later and took a swim in the refreshing water of the pool. I lied down for another 30 minutes when I decided to take a nap downstairs and that’s what I did. We just wanted to leave when my brother dropped a beer bottle. The glass was all shattered around the pool and I was so embarrassed by him, that I quickly sneaked away and ran downstairs and jumped on my bed.
I discovered my father brought his laptop and asked him if I could do some Duolingo and Memrise. And that’s exactly what I did for one whole hour. Then we packed our beach stuff (sun cream and beach towels) and walked down the streets. It wasn’t that crowded and we just lied down our towels. I didn’t even lie down for one full minute when a bunch of sand was blown towards me by the wind. It was much and it hurt. This repeated itself every minute and my dad decided to buy a parasol and a windshield. In the meanwhile, I tried the water, which felt like -3 degrees (it actually was like 11). I decided to bury my brother under a pile of sand . When my dad returned, he placed the windshield in a very useless way. My brother and I decided to be daredevils and dived in the cold water. Then we decided to bury me, but my dad told us that he did not want all that sand around his windshield (while we started with our sand burying). The windshield did not work and my bro. and I decided to leave.
It was a regular morning, except everyone was tired. We all said we wanted to do something, but deep down, we just wanted to do nothing. We had a small breakfast and decided what to do. The result was the beach. We did not even think about going to a specific beach. Just the beach 250 meters away from us.

25 July 2018

We walked down the beach to find a nice restaurant. Our waiter was kinda nervous and my father began to fool with him. (None of us thought he was funny). I ordered a bread soup. The food also took a long time here. When I got my food, my father was the only one who didn’t. The waiter came back to tell him that they forgot his meal. He started whining the whole evening until his food arrived. At the same moment, we heard a woman screaming. When we looked at the other restaurant, we saw a fight. It seemed like a woman was hitting a guy, but I wasn’t sure. When the fight was over, my dad proceeded eating and I realized there wasn’t going to be a jacuzzi today. We headed back to our apartment and I immediately lied down on my bed
We walked to the food hall, didn’t eat anything and walked back through Bairro Alto. I wanted to go to the hot tub because it was so cold, but my father wanted to see everything. I told him we could do the rest another day. We walked back to our car. We only visited the station and drove the wrong route where a 15 minute traffic jam occurred. After the jam, we drove to the Vasco de Gama bridge. I was totally fine with that, but not with the fact that there was another huge traffic jam at the other side of the Tagus. We finally arrived 1 hour and 15 minutes later.
Walking along the cruise ships, we approached the Praça do Comércio. 6 months long, learning Portuguese every day, I saw this square. And now, I am there. I walked towards it. Suddenly my mother shouted me. Poof! Gone enchantment. I waited for my dad and then we proceeded. We walked to the Praça, and I saw that the right wing was fully embraced with scaffolding. Every time I am at a famous landmark, it’s surrounded by scaffolds. Gettin’ really tired of this ?@&/. Still, I was amazed by the bigness of everything. We bought an ice cream and walked along the “boulevard”. We sat down and did a game called “spot the Dutch tourists”. It is really easy and I almost got everything right. Then we saw a group Dutch tourist approach and they called my father’s name. Then I realized it where our Tilburgian friends. I wanted to hide, but I couldn’t, so I decided to don’t be autistic and say hello to them.
We walked to the top where the Igreja e Convento da Garça was located. A man was playing guitar, people where speaking Portuguese... I walked to a balustrade and what I saw there was one of the most beautiful things I have ever seen. I felt happiness, because I was happy to be at this wonderful place, but also sadness, because I felt sad that my home wasn’t this beautiful and that I had to wait so long before I could get a chance to live here. Anyway, we ordered some tea and sandwiches. The food took a long time to serve, and it wasn’t really that great. We entered the church. A big ballroom like room appeared. Next room was filled with blue tiles, telling the story of the Moors and the Christians in Portugal. The next section was a beautiful courtyard. It was very quiet and had such a nice atmosphere. We walked down the hill to portas do sol. It was very crowded. Then I heard people speaking Dutch. I walked away as quickly as I could. Hearing other Dutch people on vacation is bad
We walked to the cathedral. I was shocked when I saw the amount of tourists. But then I thought about my trip to Dubrovnik last year and realized this wasn’t that bad. We entered the cathedral. It had a less nicer atmosphere than the chapel of Cabo Espichel. It was darker, not silent and very decorated. We decided to leave quickly. At the square in front of the cathedral. We waited at one of the trams. The first one was overfilled and the other one did not stop. A Portuguese looking guy walked towards us and said that we had to make hand gestures to the tram in order to let him stop. He asked if we would like to ride with his tuck tuck. We declined and chatted some. Apparently, he studied in the Netherlands, did Erasmus, but his second choice was Tilburg. He was from Milan and not from Lisbon like we thought. He gave us a free ride to the Graça hill. Along the way, I smiled and waved at all people. To see that they waved back and smiled gave me such a nice feeling.
We walked along the museu militar. We walked through a long street. We stopped st the street when we saw the cathedral of Lisbon. We ordered some pastéis de nata and coffee and water
We passed the Tagus by the Ponte 25 de Abril. I thought we were going to Belém, but instead we turned right to downtown Lisbon. We took a wrong way and saw some of the suburbs of Lisbon which seemed very nice. When we got in downtown Lisbon, we parked our car near three big cruise ships, the military museum and the Apolonia station.
My brother woke me up to go running. While I was putting on my shoes, I noticed a pain around my ankle. My mom was also already woken up and asked:”Do you guys still want to run? It’s cold and late...”. My brother apparently agreed with her and put of his shoes. This is the second time I did not go running while I wanted to. I ate a full bowl of yogurt and we decided to go to Lisbon. It was cloudy, and I wanted my first impression of Lisbon to be perfect, so I did not really want to go to Lisbon, but to Belém to visit the museums. Apparently, my parents did not want to visit museums and said that they would like to go to downtown Lisbon. I searched for a few hotspots, and when I was finished, my parents did want to go to Belém. When I told them what we could do there, they decided to do a route in Lisbon. A few seconds later, they finally decided to just see where we would go when we arrive there. And thus, we drove to Lisbon while it was 23 degrees and very cloudy

24 July 2018

We went to the pool, which was very cold. When we climbed out and wrapped ourselves in 2 layers of towels, we decided to go to the hot tub. When we arrived, a Portuguese lady was enjoying the jacuzzi all alone. We did not want to disturb her and waited til she came out. Luckily, it did not take a long time. We first jumped into the ice cold water and quickly ran to the hot tub. This would be the second time I almost got an orgasm. It felt so good. A board said that we should only be there for 15 minutes, but we did not want to come out, because every time we tried, a cold breeze made us dive back again into the warm water. 15 minutes became 30 and our skin got all wrinkled. We decided that we should get out. We counted down and ran to the warm showers. When we came home, my parents were making some beef and aspergus. I took another Torta de Azeitão and watched some Hora de Aventura. My brother and I decided to run again tomorrow.
The unknown destination turned out to be the very small village of Moinho de Baixo. We walked to the beach and came across a nice looking restaurant. I ordered some sardines, because where else would the sardines be better than in Portugal? (Perhaps Sardinia?) The waiter took a very long time and gave our Portuguese speaking neighbors urs their food while we arrived earlier. My mother began to think that the waitress didn’t like us because we did not speak Portuguese. I was thinking about the fact that I could have ordered everything in Portuguese, except for my brothers meal, which turned out to be squid. Sadly, I don’t know how to say squid in Portuguese. 15-30 minutes later, our food arrived, and it was delicious. I will definitely order more sardines in the future and we decided to come back to the restaurant later our holiday. When we drove back to our apartment, we did some groceries at the Aldi.
We decided to go to Cabo Espichel, which apparently was the most western point of Eurasia. We first went to the lighthouse which was closed. Then we just hiked a bit along the edge. It was very high and my mom began to panic. We walked to another cliff and my mother became angry with my brother because he was teasing her with coming to close to the edge (which I understand because I kinda panicked too). I was glad when we returned to lighthouse. We drove to the monastery on another cliff. It was somewhat crowded there. We walked around the monastery and the cliffs. This time, my mother was calmer because my brother wasn’t doing dangerous stuff. I looked at the north and discovered that Cabo Espichel isn’t the most western part of Eurasia. But I decided not to tell the rest to ruin the magic. We entered the chapel of which I wasn’t allowed to take pictures of. It was beautiful and very detailed. Cabo Espichel has a Lourdes like pilgrim background. We drove to a unknown destination
Because my endurance is decreasing, my brother and I decided to run every morning to the castle. I woke up at 7 am, but fell asleep again at 7:30... When I woke up again at 9, my brother was already back from running. I was a little mad at him for not waking me up, but I understood. We had some breakfast and decided where to go today.

23 July 2018

After lunch, we headed to the castle. Walking. The castle was located on a mountain and it took us exactly 15 minutes to get there. With one red head and big drops of sweat, I arrived at the gate and entered. We walked along the wall until we arrived at a chapel which we entered. I was amazed to see that the chapel was also filled with beautiful tiles. We explored the rest of the castle. I could see Lisbon from the mountain. We headed to the main building which was filled with information boards in Latin, Portuguese and English. I was surprised I could also understand big parts of the Latin text. We walked all the way to the beach to get some ice cream. My father tried to order in Portuguese, but it was too cringy, so I ordered instead of him. I felt so stupid when I noticed I was ordering in Brazilian. We headed back to the apartment where my brother and I played one full hour of monopoly. My fathe made risotto. I ate the torta and chatted with my friends before I went to sleep.
We headed to the supermarket. During the trip, we had some trouble finding the way, but we managed to find the hipermarché. I saw a few books. I wanted to buy them, but I did not bring my money. So, we continued our groceries. My parents constantly came to me asking things like: “Jules, what does this say?”, “is this chicken or turkey?”. I liked that. I saw some “Tortas de Azeitão”. I was told yesterday evening to try one of those. I put them in the shopping cart and continued helping my parents and learning new vocabulary. The supermarket was very cold and m mother and I wanted to leave, but my father really likes supermarkets. I don’t know why though. So it took us a long time before we arrived at the cashier. He scanned so slow... He called the manager multiple times and his computer did not work. In the meanwhile, I went to the book shop next to it and studied some newspapers and a Donald Duck. I was thinking about buying it, but the news was not very interesting. We left the shop
When I woke up, I opened the windows and dived back into my bed. I got a message from the girl again, she said that it was a prank. I was so relieved and happy to hear so. I did some Memrise and set the table. Yogurt and eggs were today’s menu. We decided what to do today and the results were: visiting the moorish castle of Sesimbra and doing groceries.

22 July 2018

My father and I decided to get some pizza. The restaurant was near the beach and when we walked in, we ordered 4 pizzas. We were told that the pizzeria was next to their restaurant. My face became red like a tomato so we quickly headed to the pizzeria next to it. Arriving there, I ordered four pizzas. The waiter asked if it was for take away. I told him it was and he gave us the menu of the pizzas. The Portuguese one, because I was speaking it with him. Then my father asked for the English one and the waiter decided to speak in English :( I ordered a pizza tropical. I thought it would be something like pizza Hawaii. It was, but there also was a lot of banana on it. Not what I expected, but it didn’t taste that bad, it just didn’t taste like pizza. We went to the pool upstairs and ate some pastéis de nata. After some reading I decided to type my daily jornal and go to sleep
We headed to the harbor side of the beach. It became very hot so we made it a quick walk. We walked along the beach. I listened to the crickets and I was happy when I saw a big mountain. When I looked closer, I saw a castle on top of it. My dad said we might would visit it tomorrow, but I don’t think so. We headed back to our apartment and rested
We got to a restaurant. We ordered our lunch in English, because I felt like my pronunciation wasn’t very clear enough at that moment. 30 minutes later, our food arrived. The waitress said she was sorry because it took so long. I told her the food was nice. “It could be better” she replied. “Não te-preocupes.” I told her and she smiled. I think my pronunciation was forked up because she kept smiling and laughing.
We decided to go to the old city center. My brother got a headache because of the “warmth” and we had to go to these touristy shops where fat white people without shirts walk in to buy him a cap. 10 minutes later, he left the shop with a blue cap and a happy face. We made a nice and long walk through the city. I was amazed by all the colorful tiles and beautiful architecture. It’s still hard to believe that this isn’t the Mediterranean Sea instead of the Atlantic Ocean. Everything looks so similar. When my parents were having a nice photo shoot, an old man said that he just loved this street in Portuguese. My parents always respond in Spanish/Italian and said: “si! Mucho bueno!” I translated them in Portuguese and the man smiled. At that same moment, another old lady walked past us and she kept staring at me. I wished her a “bom dia” and she got a very big smile on her face and said: “e tu também.” We walked some more in the center until we got hungry and searched for a restaurant.
We headed to the beach. Because it wasn’t very hot, we didn’t feel like swimming and decided to go to the old fortress at the end of the boulevard. It was a nice big building. My father went inside because of the tourist info point. I decided to grab as many pamphlets that contained Portuguese as I could. So now I have like 7 pamphlets about Sesimbra and the region. I had a small photo shoot with my brother at the fortress. I was surprised to see that the beach was so full. I don’t hope it’s like this every day!
Waking up and realizing I am at my dream destination, I opened my window just like yesterday in Tilburg. I saw the sea, the palms and the beach. I just wanted to do my Memrise session when I got texted by a girl. She (sort of) said she liked me. Problem: she lives in Birmingham and I do not like her, and I started freaking out. What the #%@€, I don’t want any girl from The UK now! When I got my breakfast, I totally forgot about it. Reading food receipts and packages, I tried to learn some new vocabulary. When I was done with breakfast, I got a new text and started texting with the girl again.

21 July 2018

We headed to Sesimbra. When we arrived, a non-English Portuguese woman came to us. My parents started speaking some sort of Spanglish with her. They told her none of us could speak Portuguese. I felt ignored, but they were right that I didn’t speak Portuguese fluently. She told my parents that all kind of things were broken, but my dad did not understand her and tried out the broken stuff. Then I suddenly started translating what she said and my parents were confused. Later, my parents asked for chairs for the terrace. I replied to the woman in Portuguese and she understood me. We had a lot of other problems which were solved with my Portuguese. My parents were proud of me. We went to the supermarket, and it was just one big textbook to me. All this new vocabulary. I was like a child in a sweet shop. I helped my parents finding turkey instead of chicken, salted butter and sparkling water. I replied to the cashier in Portuguese and she replied back. I am so happy right now!
We were flying across some hills and mountains, when I saw a river. I thought it was an ordinary river. I followed it. Every second, I got to see a few kilometers more of the river. Then I saw a lot of buildings. I thought we were flying above Porto, when suddenly the Vasco de Gama bridge appeared at the river. This was the Tagus river. I got a feeling. It was excitement like I never experienced before. We flew across Lisbon and I saw everything : the Tower of Belém, the 25th of April bridge, and the padrão dos Descobrimentos. I nearly got an orgasm when I saw it all, and when we landed, all I wanted to do was just leave the plane as fast as possible. As soon as I did, I saw Portuguese boards everywhere. It may sound stupid, but a board saying “Saída” made me so happy, and I walked around with the biggest smile I’ve ever had. We waited for our luggage and headed to the car rent office with a cab. It took a long time, but after 45 minutes, we were driving to Sesimbra. Across the Tagus
Calling grandma from the car, we drove across Antwerp and arrived at Brussels airport. The last time I was there was two years ago (to Greece), but it felt like just one year. Nothing changed and my excitement grew. We drank some coffee while listening to this pianist at the airport. Entering the airplane and saying “Bom dia” to the stewardesses, we left with 30 minutes delay.
It was 6 a.m. I got up and put on my clothes. I stared out of the window. Knowing I would be in Portugal at the end of this day. Looking forward to this moment for 6 months. Learning Portuguese, day in and day out. My first time to Iberia. I closed the window and headed downstairs. My mother was awake too. “Here, some bread. Oh, don’t forget to eat the vanilla yogurt too!” she always says when we leave. I did what she said. The rest got downstairs a few minutes later. We did the finishing touches, ate some more, told our cat goodbye, and headed to Brussels airport while being sick because of all the food.