Final Destination: Lisbon

January 29th, 2012 § 0 comments § permalink

Funchal | New Year’s Fireworks | Porto | Caramulo | Lisbon

Off to Lisbon We Go!
4 January 2012

Sarah drove us downhill and into Lisbon. We stopped at at gas station rest area for food and map up the Avis location and hotel area. Each of us had a dish of the beef and some coffee. Beef you say? Hell yes, at a gas station!

Bitoque at a Gas Station?!

Baixa House 1 is freaking awesome!!! Ben and Natalie returned the car at the airport while Sarah and I were left to scout for places to eat. We rested for a bit and then made our way around the area – we found a McDonalds! They got back and we enjoyed a feast of junk food. Fucking Americans!

Freaking Poser Tada!

Belem for the Day
5 January 2012

I immediately realized I left my GoPro in the car when they left to return the car. I tried to call Avis about nine times, but they didn’t pick up and they were closing soon. About six in the morning, Ben and I took a taxi back to the airport. Thank goodness they haven’t cleaned and re-rented the car. Bed time again, crisis averted.

All of us woke up around noon, had breakfast and coffee, and took a cab to Belem.

Monastery of the Hieronymites

This monastery was huge! With all of our technology and advancement in architecture, our generation won’t leave anything like this behind except for skyscrapers – no attention to detail.

Find the Shady PersonAcross the Courtyard Arches and Stained Glass Extensively Intricate Columns Admiring the Marvel Stop Playing Around Mini Flying Buttresses Aziz is Doing a Great Job

The Coach Museum

While walking around, we found this little place. I wish I had another piece of bread since they added a ton of meat. Adding piri-piri made it even more delicious. As for the Coach Museum, it’s not what you think – no purses or bags here. This place had some really extravagant coaches. I mean, c’mon – one of them was painted gold.

Pao Pao Queijo Queijo It'a Coach Museum! Belts Used as Suspension Ballin' Out of Control

Walking Toward the Water

As we got closer to the water, the sun was setting. So what did we do? Grab a beer and watch the sunset on the river. We caught a ferry to visit another place, but after walking around for about ten minutes, we immediately went back to Lisboa.

Belem Place Guess What This is Used For See You Later, Sun! 25th of April Bridge

Seafood Dinner

Dinner was at the highly anticipated seafood restaurant, but it wasn’t amazing as we thought. It’s good, but the service was horrible and the waiter seemed like he didn’t give a shit. Oh well, it’s seafood – NOM. Afterward, we went home to rest and played a game of spades – Ben/Sarah lost to Tom/Natalie. Great game, but time for bed an early rise to go gorging tomorrow!

Giant Grilled Prawns Portugese Seafood Soup More Graffiti What the Hell Are They Doing?

A Day of Repelling
6 January 2012

This is ridiculous. Everyone should go sometime in their lives. We had a total of three sessions of repelling, each got a little more difficult, higher, and more fun! Afterward, we stopped by to try some torta de azeitao.

Pit Stop for the View We're Going to that Beach SAM-CAM.COM Ben Crawling Out the Crevice Picture Time! It's the Beach! Photo Op Tortas de Azeitao

Dinner at Alfondega

I debated whether to color correct these, but the lighting was just too much. Anyway, the food here was really different than what I expected. Appetizers were awesome and the burger I was looking forward to having wasn’t of ground beef as I know it. It was a really weird texture I can’t even explain. Afterward, we ended up at the casino. Nothing like Vegas – quite depressing actually.

Alfondega Mushroom Tops Quail Eggs and Sausage Burger with and Egg!

Another Day in Lisbon
7 January 2012

Once again, we all woke up around noon and had lunch outside in a little cafe out on the street. I was really glad to have rice again, but I wish they gave us more chicken per plate. Afterward, we did some wandering around the places nearby and

Streets of Lisbon Caution, Under Construction Postcards for Tourists A Tourist Shopping Chicken and Rice Vegetables and Rice I Hate Pigeons

Wandering Around the Santa Justa Elevator

Santa Justa Elevator Roof Top of the Elevator Carmo Archaeological Museum The Cliche Picture City Down Below Moonlit Sky Don't Make Me Laugh He Just Looks Innocent We Found the Hipster Band A Bunch of Hipster Kids Confeitaria Nacional Quick Night Snack

Texans Watch Party – Portugal!

It started with four Super Bock 40s and a bunch of chips at the apartment. Around half-time, we left to get some food and returned to find that we reached our Internet capacity. Good thing we found some Internet to borrow out in the hallway to catch the rest of the game!

Super Bock Tap at McDonald's Groceries at McDonald's Half Time Break Borrowing Internet in the Hallway

Portugal Trip

Time to go Home
8 January 2012

Ben was the first to get to the airport, then it was my turn. On the plane, I sat next up an older man and the lady in front leaned back, he freaked out and motioned her to move up. The lady in front rolled her eyes and under said, “oh, thanks is going to bee a fun flight.” Initially, he only spoke in Italian. Frustrated, I showed him how to lean his chair back, but he still wasn’t happy. Grumpy old man.

The taxi ride back was $70. I’ll avoid EWR flights from now on.

Funchal | New Year’s Fireworks | Porto | Caramulo | Lisbon

Rally Point in Caramulo

January 22nd, 2012 § 0 comments § permalink

Funchal | New Year’s Fireworks | Porto | Caramulo | Lisbon

4 January 2012

We stayed up pretty late playing Spades, eating more shoe string fries, and planned to wake up early to catch the sunrise. Everyone made it except for Sarah, hehe.

Dawn at Caramulo

And check out this little video, Sarah since you missed out.

After going back to bed again, we ended up waking up pretty late in the afternoon, just enough time to check out the Museum across the street from the hotel. We weren’t allowed to take pictures, so I took a whole video tour of the place, lol. Just as we were leaving, they ensured we visited another car garage filled with classic cars. Once every year, they take these cars out for a drive.

Freaking Awesome Classic Alfa Romeo Classic...I Have No Idea Old War Vehicles Monster Rolls Royce Tiny Little Fiat Never Heard of Wolseley

After some more walking around, we tried to find a restaurant to grab a quick dinner before heading to Lisbon. I was starving.

Funchal | New Year’s Fireworks | Porto | Caramulo | Lisbon

Pit Stop in Porto

January 17th, 2012 § 0 comments § permalink

Funchal | New Year’s Fireworks | Porto | Caramulo | Lisbon

Last Dinner in Funchal

After dinner, we had dinner. Yes, I’m serious. We had two dinners in a row. Definitely great, but also quite filling. Then we were off to the airport to catch a 2:15 flight, in the morning!

Dinner at Riso Olives, Rice Crispies, and Pate My Riso Dish And Our Dessert!

Psh, I Was in Porto Last Year…
2 January 2012

Livin’ Like Tom Hanks for a Bit

We arrived so early, we had to wait for the shops to open in order to get a SIM card and locks for Syp’s bags to leave them at the airport while we wandered around the city.

Whale Tail at the Airport Stars In the Coffee!

We dropped off our bags at Tiago and Ana’s place and they were so kind to make us coffee and showed us some hot spots to check out. After some relaxing, we headed to the “big” city. We were really just wandering around as we made our way to lunch.

Walking Around  Porto High Five that Angel! Tiled Church Is Amazing Who is That in the Window?
Another Old Tall Structure Sarah Was Here Busy Streets of Porto

Francesinha for Lunch

Cafe Santiago had francesinha and even what looked like homemade piri-piri. It was amazing! It’s all the crazy delicious things all in one dish. When we’re on vacation, health isn’t on our minds.

Piri Piri, aka Hot Sauce Francesinha Deliciousness

What a Feast for Dinner

After saying farewell to Syp, Sarah, Ben, and Natalie all passed out. I couldn’t sleep, so I ended up watching some show about NASA. It was way too cold and their space heater didn’t work as well since there was a draft from the single pane windows. They did have a ton of blankets for us to layer though! We had dinner at Abadia and what a feast it was!

Mussels and Prawns "Abadia" Veal Chop "Tripas a moda do Porto", Stew Ox Sirloin Cutlets with Bacon "Gomes de Sa", Cod Dish

Late Start and We’re Off to Caramulo
3 January 2012

We didn’t wake up until 15:00, so we wandered to look for a rental car place. Maps here suck. After finally finding an Avis and getting a car, we headed back to Tiago and Ana’s place. One thing I noticed is that Santa uses a ladder to get in the house, not through the chimney, HILARIOUS! Graffiti there also abundant – some political, some for art’s sake, and definitely funny ones.

Santa On a Rope Ladder Towering Building in the Distant Another Grand Old Building Compounded Graffiti

Last Dinner in Porto

Since many restaurants don’t reopen for dinner until 19:30, we found a small cafe to rest at and grabbed some snacks. We were the first ones in the restaurant. It’s kind of weird and definitely shows how hard we Americans work – often seldom taking a break to relax, sigh.

First to Arrive at the Restaurant This Wine Has Karacter Whoa, Where's Sarah?

Time for a Drive

Even though we had another night in Porto planned through AirBnB, we packed up and made our way over to Caramulo. Check out this comically small chair.

Sarah in a Small Chair Ben in a Small Chair Our Room in Tiago and Ana's Place

What a Night Sky

Since we were in the middle of nowhere, the sky was filled with visible stars! We had to stop through the narrow zig-zagging streets in order to take a look. We overlooked a valley filled with lights and definitely made plans to wake up early to catch the sunrise.

Never Seen Orion Like This Before Hello, Caramulo!

Funchal | New Year’s Fireworks | Porto | Caramulo | Lisbon

New Year’s Fireworks!

January 17th, 2012 § 0 comments § permalink

Funchal | New Year’s Fireworks | Porto | Caramulo | Lisbon

Pre-New Year Espetada

Syp took us to her friend’s house party to celebrate New Year’s on a rooftop to see the fireworks. I wasn’t expecting food at all, but when I saw the grill, I was stoked. My mind was blown when I went for a closer look: espetada. It was freaking amazing to say the least. It was being served to us on the bay leaf branch it was cooked on.

Preparing the Espetada Espetada on the Grill

Best Fireworks Show Ever

After some relaxing, it was time for the fireworks, so we headed up to the roof and they passed out champagne glasses. When the fireworks started, my head exploded. Literally, I could see fireworks from my left peripheral to my right peripheral. They also passed around a small bag of twelve raisins to welcome in the New Year.

Post New Year Snacks

It wasn’t over yet. Pablo’s mom brought out homemade soup and sandwiches for us and others brought desserts and snacks. It was a really great New Year!

Soup and Sandwich Post New Year Party

And all of us won’t forget that Sarah’s candle-flicking skills dominate. How’d this all start? It was a hurricane that brought all of us together at Teresa’s house. We were bored out of our minds and they had candles to light up the house. Thus, the candle-flicking game was born.

Party Until the Night’s Over

The night has just begun. We made our way to a club, but waited around for a while outside until others met up with us and a few others got back from the ATM. After some bar hopping and street wandering, we ended up having what might be the best hotdogs and burgers ever. Try adding shoestring fries, it’s freaking delicious. Anyway, the night didn’t end until morning. After watching the sunrise, we went to bed.

Stone Beach and Doca Do Cascavas
1 January 2012

After waking up in late in the afternoon, we made our way to Doca Do Cascavas, the world famous pool. There’s a tunnel to take you to a stone beach. It looks really weird – no sand at all.

Sun is Trying to Push Through Natalie, Fish Gazing Tunnel to the Beach Wandering the Stone Beach Zen Stones at the Beach The Vibram FiveFingers Waves Crushing the Stones They're Really Not That High Up

Known for their amazing pools, there’s also a restaurant nearby with an great view of the sunset. We had grilled lapas, a favorite there. We tore them up!

Doca Do Cascavas One of Our Five Grilled Lapas Dishes Snails, Lapas, and Clams Beer and Sunset

Funchal | New Year’s Fireworks | Porto | Caramulo | Lisbon

New Year’s Eve in Funchal

January 11th, 2012 § 0 comments § permalink

Funchal | New Year’s Fireworks | Porto | Caramulo | Lisbon

Hurry Up and Make Portals Already!

I spent about 20 hours travelling from Manhattan to Madeira. Not really ideal, but who cares, I cut a layover in Lisbon by about twelve hours and caught an early flight to Funchal, thanks TAP!

EWR to OPO: Newark to Porto
29 December 2011

I left my apartment 3:50 pm and sat in traffic for about two hours (no joke), I finally got to Newark in a cab. Good thing the airport was empty! Security was a breeze and my flight actually left late – 35 minutes late. They were waiting for some lost luggage to be put on the plane, go figure.

Tiago sat next to me (he frequently visits Portugal for family) suggested to get the swordfish from Madeira and to avoid the touristy spots! He also mentioned that Porto is little older than Lisbon, so maybe Lisbon will be more fun for us.

I watched Horrible Bosses and some good ole’ Modern Family to help pass the time. After all, I usually didn’t sleep until one or two in the morning (Eastern time zone).

Surprisingly, we arrived in Porto ahead of schedule due to some tailwind. Good thing since my connection was just forty-five minutes and I had to go through customs!

My First TAP Meal Checkou that Tailwind! Where's the Jetbridge?

OPO to LIS: Porto to Lisbon
30 December 2011

This airport was completely futuristic looking. I felt like I was at a spaceport, not an airport. I got to the gate fifteen minutes before boarding and hopped on a bus to board the plane. I felt a little douchey thinking, “they can’t even build this new airport with jet bridges?!”

Everyone was hesitant to get on after getting off the bus, but I looked up at the flight attendants and they nodded and waved us in – I was the FIRST to board, woohoo! I felt so boss.

Right when we got to cruising altitude, we were notified that were were ready for decent. I didn’t realize this flight would be so short!

Pretty much no customs here, there wasn’t even a line. I had to get my boarding pass to FNC and took a short bus ride over the terminal.

Spaceport or Airport? Is This Thing On? FOKKER 100

LIS to FNC: Lisbon to Funchal
30 December 2011

This terminal is freaking tiny as hell! I was not prepared for a twelve hour layover, so I went to try and an earlier flight. I asked the lady to get an earlier flight and she immediately said no with a straight face, but then smiled and said the next flight out was full. She kept grinning and the printer started spitting out a ticket. She got me an 11:35 flight out (note: times will be military, it’s so much easier and less confusing than AM/PM).

I scrambled to get wifi and let Syp know I was arriving early, so I grabbed a coffee to get free wifi and thank goodness everything worked out just before boarding! Keep in mind, I’ve never met this girl and I have no idea what she looks like.

Buy Breakfast, Get Free WiFi Tiniest Terminal Ever Backtracking Over the Atlantic Just One Runway

I snapped a few pictures of the airport while waiting for the bus too arrive. What a great start and I’m only at the airport!

Roundabouts are the Best Mercedes Cabs The Madeira Mascot Another Espresso, Of Course

A Quick Tour While Waiting for the Stragglers

I hopped on the bus to town and got off to find a warm smile from a girl I could only guess was Syp. Thank goodness she waited for me there, otherwise I’d be completely lost and it’d probably take me an eternity to find my way to her place by myself.

She gave me the tour and one of the porches looked over the ocean – RIDICULOUS VIEW. I sat outside to enjoy it for a while, despite the scorching sun. We walked around and I got a brief tour of the city while waiting for Ben, Sarah, and Natalie’s flight to arrive later in the evening. I decided to leave my camera and phone and just take in this new place.

The Bus Ride In Ryce is Everywhere View from the Porch

We caught a bus to the airport to meet the stragglers and tried to greet them as they got off the plane, but they arrived early. We found them waiting for us outside, boo. I’m so glad I caught that early flight, I would have had seen them in Lisbon as they left for Funchal and have to meet them up again at the airport, whew!

After dropping off all their stuff, resting a bit, and settling in, Syp took us to dinner. After a few drinks, I think we were the loudest group there. Everyone kept eyeing us, looking over, but we just kept having fun!

New Year’s Eve on an Island with FIREWORKS
31 December 2011

It’s New Year’s Eve and I woke up to the smell of coffee. That’s the best way to start the morning. We then just wandered around Madeira, most the same places I’ve already been, but it was much more lively since it was a Saturday.

Morning Coffee Poncha Time! Old School Land Cruiser Walking Around the City

We kind of zig-zagged our way to a lunch and the wait was worth it. This was probably one of the best places we’ve been to throughout the trip.

First Appetizer Coral Beer, Only in Madeira Mean Steak with a Peppercorn Sauce More Expressos

Next up, the Gondola ride. The view was great and we even saw a naked man on his balcony looking over the streets – HILARITY. Somehow I even spotted a cat crossing a ledge off a pretty high cliff. After reaching the top we wandered around and ended up walking down some stairs that took us to someone’s house. It’s amazing and really tiring to walk around steep slopes for such long periods.

Sarah's Cartwheel Up the Gondola We Go View Over the City Funny Faces

We took a cab ride down and he opened up the sunroof for some us to stick our heads out! When he saw a straight away, he’d gun it, even if someone was hanging out the sunroof, hehe. The sun started to set and we knew it was time to get back and prepare for the fireworks.

Walking Down a Narrow Road Oh, the Tourists

Funchal | New Year’s Fireworks | Porto | Caramulo | Lisbon

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