Lisbon, Cascais, Sintra, Santa Cruz. These are the places I have visited in Portugal. Unfortunately I have not had the chance to visit Porto, yet.
After I returned, I was glad to have been in such a fantastic country.
Portugal, like any other Mediterranean country in Europe; is warm, friendly, cozy and beautiful. I have heard a lot about the fantastic Lisbon, which resembles my city Istanbul in many ways actually, it’s amazing Fado nights and the beautiful ocean.
I actually came to Portugal for a conference, which was taking part in Santa Cruz in the form of a summer camp. 200 young people were at the youth camp from all around Europe (not an unusual setting for me). So our days were generally busy working and attending sessions, however, we were lucky enough to have a few hours to see Santa Cruz as well. Santa Cruz lies on the most western part of Portugal, with an amazing beach with the ocean view. When we swam there, I do not remember seeing such ferocious waves apart from the time I swam in India. 2-3 meter waves were easily dragging you and if you did not swim carefully, pushing you around. Once you got the hold of it, it is one of the most amazing things you can do.
I have visited Sintra, an old city that is currently a Unesco World Heritage. The city definitely deserves that title, with all its beautiful surroundings, buildings and areas. Walking around the city is similar to walking in a fairytale, a feeling that I was quite accustomed to while I was living in Brugge.
I have spent around 4 days in Lisbon, coming to the conference 2 days earlier and leaving 2 days after. A good friend of mine offered me his accommodation, so in that sense, I had no problems. Thanks Pedro.
In those 4 days, I have been to the places I have counted in the beginning of my article. Walking around Lisbon, enjoying the architecture, tasting Portuguese food and wine was more than enough, however, I did more. I have visited the church where Vasco De Gama is buried. I have visited the biggest aquarium in the world. I have eaten some seafood that I have never tasted in my life.
Portugal is a beautiful country with beautiful people. It is a country that I would not mind living in, eating sea food every day and definitely listening to Fado every night.
Loacal tip: Make sure to explore this travel addict's blog: https://livetheworldlikealocal.wordpress.com