Final post (lessons learned)

Hello Internet-Friends!

Yup, my Erasmus semester in Lisbon has officially ended and I still can’t believe how fast time flew by. But isn’t it always like that? I also can’t believe I will be finishing my Bachelor very soon and hopefully start the Master program I applied for.

Here are the two main things that I have learned during those 5 months in Lisbon:

1) Being tolerant. I thought I was always being a very open-minded person and very tolerant (which I definitly was) but this experience once again proved me wrong. Being tolerant has so many aspects and is not only restricted to those “typical” things such as race, religion, sexual orientation, you name it, but also to all kinds of little things you can think of. I don’t wanna get into too much detail here since this is not the main purpose of this post, but this should just be another small reminder for myself about what I have learned and how my mindset has yet again changed during this short period of time.

2) Time. I think I have mentioned this before, but here we go again: Do not take time too seriously. The Portuguese are totally different in their sense of time, but they still survive somehow! You could also use some of that attitude, Austria! Oh my, I had this surprisingly positive, but odd feeling popping up when I heard “Zweite Kassa, bitte!” (“Please open up another cash desk.” in a very rude manner) for the first time after I came back. hahaha

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Trip to Sintra + Cabo da Roca, Portugal

Hello my lovely Internet-friends!

As I have already mentioned in a previous post, I went to Sintra (small city with lots of beautiful palaces 😉) The first visit was not my last trip to Sintra, since it takes much more time than expected to see everything, which is why I went there again to see other palaces, as well as “Cabo da Roca”, the most western part of Europe with a stunning view of the Atlantic ocean. (If you look closely on my pictures, you can even recognize a curve of the horizon, so don’t you dare say the earth is flat!)

Aaaaand I have finally edited the very first video of my blog, which is very exciting for me, but don’t expect the ultimate masterpiece, since I am new to this. I recorded on both of our trips to Sintra and tried to capture the most interesting things to see. At the beginning you can see us (Yosi and me) walking through the garden of the “Castelo dos Mouros”, but we did not enter the castle, because it was too expensive and from the outside it did not look that exciting. haha. Moving on to the “Palácio Nacional da Pena” (where we did pay the entry fee), which is the most beautiful palace of them all, you can see that it is painted in bright yellow and red. (quick side note: We only paid to see the “park”, but in the end we could still walk through the outside of the castle, but were not allowed to enter an exhibition inside) The next one showing a walk in a cave is called “Quinta da Regaleira” and it also offers a lot to see, such as the circular staircase, a beautiful garden and some indoor views. Finally, Yosi and I also went on a 45mins ride from Sintra to “Cabo da Roca” and I really have to say that this is the most impressive view of the ocean that I have ever seen.

So if you haven’t checked out my video yet, I hope this short summary made you a bit curious about it. And without further ado, below are my video and my favorite photos of Sintra and Cabo da Roca. I hope you like them. 🙂 (Do not hesitate leaving a comment here or on Facebook! :D)

 

 

 

Vistor + thoughts on zoos

Better late than never! Finally I found the time to write about it and post my photos. So, almost two weeks ago, a good friend from Austria visited me over the weekend. We did this super-fast sightseeing tour through the whole city, starting off with showing her around the city center and getting on the tram at Praça do Comércio, which took us to the Torre de Belém. And believe me, we took loads of photos that day, especially since we were really lucky with the weather. haha. After that, we decided to pay a visit to “Jesus” (Cristo Rei statue in Almada), but we did not expect it to be such a long trip (boat + bus), so we ended up being there all alone, since it was already very late, but we had the most amazing view of Lisbon, especially of the “Ponte 25 de abril” (San Francisco bridge). Now that I think about it, it is very unusual to be “alone” at such an important sight. haha

The next morning we walked up to the “Castelo de São Jorge” castle which, again, provided us with a great view of the city from a different perspective. (Now looking at the city and Cristo Rei statue from the main platform. In fact it offers a 360° view of Lisbon.)

Day #3 we went to the Oceanário de Lisboa and honestly, even though I really wanted to go there, I did not expect so see that many different things as in any other oceanarium, such as the “Haus des Meeres” in Vienna. People always say that the zoos’ only purpose is to entertain humans, animals are being treated cruelly and that living in nature is always better than in an artificial environment. (Besides the fact that zoos evidently help endangered species, which is obviously a plus.) But especially two animal parks (L’Oceanogràfic in Valencia and the Oceanário in Lisbon) proofed that some animals do enjoy the area that was built for them by humans – at least in my opinion. I am no expert, but if you see animals playing with each other, doing silly things and just having fun in their “cruel” cages evidently shows that the zoos must be doing something right here. I watched penguins diving in the water playing with their toys and showing other obviously positive activities. Even the (amazingly cute and fluffy :D) sea otter is having the greatest time of his life there. haha

Summing up, I am an endlessly loving animal-freak (I mean, the cat videos are pretty hilarious. What would we do without them?) and it really makes my heart melt if I see such a behavior, that is not only triggered by giving them treats, but just by themselves. So besides protecting species from extinction, some zoos do a pretty good job in my opinion, Oceanário and L’Oceanogràfic being two cases in point. What do you think? What kind of experiences have you had so far? (In fact, in one of my latest posts I also mentioned a rather bad thing about a tiger in Lisbon’s zoo, but I do not know what exactly caused its behavior.)

So without further ado, here are my most favorite photos of this awesome weekend with Julia. 🙂

Claudia

p.s. If you would like to be updated more often, check out my Instagram (clanxart) or Snapchat (claudia.see) account.

Deadlines

Hello, long time no see!

Well, that’s because (and this time it is really true haha) I am suuuuper busy with meeting all the deadlines for university. First of all, I did not expect it to be THIS stressful and second of all, one group project needed a little more attention than others (Nicola, here’s a little thank you shout-out haha), because everything that could go wrong, which usually never goes wrong, eventually went wrong. hahaha (I could still cry/laugh about this. haha)

However, as you might have seen on my Facebook page, I visited the Oceanarium of Lisbon, and moreover I have been to Sintra again. Yes, this is the second time and there will surely be a third time, because even though, Sintra is a very small city, it offers a lot and, in case you are not hyper-motivated you will need more than one day to see everything.

Anyway, I promise, I will upload some photos soon and believe me, Sintra’s palaces are the most beautiful ones I have ever seen, so stay tuned,

Claudia

 

p.s. My mysterious visitor.

Winter in Lisbon…

… or should I say “Winter” in Lisbon, since we still have maaaany sunny days with mostly around 19 degrees and it’s almost DECEMBER. Oh wow.. I knew that day would finally come when I am able to tease my friends back in Austria with snaps on a sunny day, palm trees in the background and the temperature filter on my pic.

It was definitely a good idea to spend winter in the south of Europe, or maybe not? brrrr I totally forgot that all the Portuguese houses were build only for summer temperatures!!!!!111eleven (At least, that’s what it feels like. haha) whaaat? The walls are so thin it makes the degrees fall to the same level as outside, oh and don’t get me started on the those super-isolated windows. Picture yourself camping outside in a tent and now imagine the (almost) same scenario inside a house. haha The past few days were still okay, which means I was doing fine with long sleeping pants and a t-shirt, but last night and I think tonight as well, I will need at least an extra cuddly jacket and my two thin blankets. (Thank you money-saving-Claudia for thinking a thin blanket from *insert Swedish store* would be enough.) Maybe I was so delusional and I didn’t want to admit that lying on the Carcavelos beach during the Christmas holidays is just not possible. *sigh*

Anyway, it’s still warmer than in Austria, ha! And all my Portuguese friends tell me it’s not going to be colder than this. I like the feeling of not having a freezing face everyday. haha

Over and out,

Claudia

Jardim Zoológico Lisboa

Here we go again: A new blog post and it has not been more than 2 weeks already, ha! (only 10 days, but who is counting..) haha

As promised to my loyal followers on Facebook, I will finally show you the photos I took in Lisbon’s AMAZING zoo. That week I also received a special visit, which made this trip even better: Dr. Steel aka Captain Cool aka Bernhard. 😀 (I am not the one who came up with those names, I would have preferred the cute ones. hihihi)

Starting off with the entrance…You can already see a lot of cute ducks, peacocks and even monkeys jumping around before even paying the entrance fee. (Quick note for those fast food addicts out there: They even have a McDonald’s on the zoo premises. I have never seen this before. haha) However, the 20€ are totally worth it, because this is one of the coolest zoos I have seen so far. (And since I love animals I have been to quite a number of zoos, so I know what I’m talking about. :D)

What I really liked was the area with the tigers, because of the glass walls, which provides a pretty good view. One thing I really have to mention is the weird behavior of one tiger. It kept running against the glass and backed up in a very weird way. I don’t know what that tiger has been through but it must have been something disturbing. After a while it calmed down and I was able to take this cute photo. 🙂 Other than that it had a nice and big place to chill with many opportunities to hide. 😀

The best thing of this zoo was by far the cable car that takes you all over the premises with an amazing view of the animals. I don’t know who came up with that idea, but this is GREAT! For one, you get to watch the animals from this unique spot from above and I think it might be less stressful for the animals, since you only get the chance to look at them for a few seconds, since the cable car keeps moving without stopping and moreover there are still some great hiding spots if it’s getting too much for them.

So if you ever come to Lisbon and you are an animal lover as I am, this is the place to go! Below you will find my pictures. (click on each of the photos in order to make them bigger) Enjoy. 🙂

See you soon!

Claudia

14 Places to visit in Portugal

Hello Internet-friends!

Since my last post (Lisbon Erasmus guide) I really got into that mood of telling you about what you could/should do if you choose Lisbon as your exchange semester location. Well, I guess not too many of my readers are considering that, though. hahaha. Still going to keep writing as long as I am inspired. Deal with it! Imagine me wearing cool sunglasses while preparing this guide for you on a rainy day. (Yes, rainy season is about to start. Noooooo.) So without further ado, here is a list of places that are worth a visit:

  1. Belem: area that belongs to Lisbon, Mosteiro dos Jerónimos (monestery), Torre de Belém (very famous tower), Centro Cultural de Belém (looks very nice from the outside, about the inside I don’t know, because I have only seen in from far away haha)
  2. Cascais: it takes about 40mins by train to get to this small town (leaving from Cais do Sodre), very touristy place, Farol da Guia (lighthouse with a nice view)
  3. Carcavelos: about 25mins by train, nice beach and easy to reach
  4. Sintra: about 40mins by train (Rossio train station), known for its very old palaces, very beautiful landscape (Google it)
  5. Óbidos: about 1h by car, I would not recommend the train since it takes waaaay too long compared to the car, know for its Christmas town (also middle ages market in summer)
  6. Coimbra: about 2h by car or 2-3h by train, one of the bigger cities in Portugal, according to wikipedia many students are living there, maaany sights you should definitely see (one of the cities than many people recommended me to go)
  7. Setúbal: 40mins by car and much longer by train, one of the trips organized by the language course faculty (FCSH), known for the good wine
  8. Nazaré: known for its HUGE waves –> take a look at the pictures on Google haha (up to 30 meters)
  9. Caldas da Reinha: near Óbidos, famous for its thermal water, also organized by the language course faculty
  10. Évora: 40mins car ride, Temple of Diana (Roman Temple of Évora), language course faculty trip
  11. Batalha: near Nazaré, Batalha Monastery
  12. Algarve: region in the very south of Portugal, know to look like a “paradise”, very nice beaches, etc
  13. Porto: Stop talking, just go there! Either by plane or by bus (both starting at 10-15€), Look in my previous blog posts, I uploaded a lot of pictures from my trip. 🙂
  14. Madeira: (kind of) near the Canary Islands, if you are lucky you can find a flight for about 50-60€ round trip, very well known for its wine

Hopefully you find some places worth a visit after my brief summary. I have got all the information from 1) being there and telling about my own experience, 2) remembering what others told me or 3) doing a little research on Google. I am very open and would also really appreciate it if you find some mistakes and tell me, or if you have anything to add to this list. Thank you in advance! 🙂

Cheers!

Claudia

p.s. I took that photo in Porto. 🙂