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

Advertisements

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. 🙂

First impressions of the Portuguese language

Bom dia!

Wednesday was an interesting day, because for the first time I had the pleasure having someone explaining to me what has been the most confusing thing so far: the Portuguese language. And I can tell you, it was amazing and scary at the same time.

So far, I have learned speaking English and also un poco de Español in school, but now I am sure Portuguese will be the biggest challenge. Of course, studying English as a 10 year old seemed like a piece of cake, especially since I have always been very curious and interested in languages generally. Compared to that, Spanish was a bit more difficult. But when I was attending that Portuguese class for the first time, I thought: “How am I ever going to learn to speak properly? The pronunciation is insane!” In one of my first Spanish lesson back in school, the teacher quickly explained to us how to say a few words. – and I am not joking – After that, I was able to read anything in Spanish, even though I couldn’t understand it. In Portuguese I don’t know if I will ever be able to properly say a reasonably amount of words or understand them. My mouth is not able to produce many of the sounds the teacher makes.

Imagine this: The teacher showing you a table depicting all the vowels and different ways how to say them. Believe me, this was one of the most confusing things ever. There are 4 or 5 different ways how to pronounce “a”. wtf? Same with all the other vowels.

I mean, I am totally aware of the fact that there are many other languages, which might be even more difficult to learn or to pronounce, but here I am faced with the fact that I have  to study it in order to communicate with most of the people here. Yeah sure, almost everyone here speaks English perfectly well, but let me remind you of that Portuguese-speaking taxi driver who was not able to understand the easiest words as “house”, “left” or “right”. Who knows where he would have taken me if I didn’t know how to correctly pronounce the metro station near my address. haha 😀

Claudia

 

Weird things in Lisbon

Hello friends!

Those of you, who have read my two-piece text about me dealing with the Portuguese culture (Thanks, I appreciate that.), might have already figured out that I am pretty confused by a few things. But I can tell you, there are plenty of other facts that make me freak out on a daily basis. Here is a list of weird things in Lisbon compared to my home country Austria:

weird/cool things in supermarkets

  • The price for colored noodles is the same as not-colored noodles. (yay)
  • I don’t know how to pronounce that brand, but I love pingo doce. (for my Austrian readers: equivalent to Clever and sBudget, but still cheaper than these)
  • Many product labels are in German.
  • Much more product labels are in Portuguese. (thank you, internet-god for online dictionaries)
  • Every time at the cashier: “amewoiweneoadjads = Do you need an extra bag?” (At least I think that’s what it means.) Me: no. (Hoping that the Spanish word “no” is also “no” in Portuguese.)
  • And my favorite: They sell colorful toilet paper!
IMG_1152.JPG
Admittedly, this is pretty cool.

closed metro stations

Now this makes me appreciate the naively trustful underground system in Vienna, where you don’t need to scan your ticket every f* time you enter the metro station. Thanks, Wiener Linien. (Austrian metro operator)

Oh.. and by the way: Great thanks to the Wiener Linien for operating the trains through the whole night during the weekend. 😀 –> Which brings me to the next point, since I have to take a taxi when staying out later than 1am:

taxi driver

A few days ago when I took a taxi home, the driver kept talking to me in Portuguese and after telling him twice that I don’t understand anything he is saying, I just went on replying to him “mmh :)”. I tipped him quite generously, because I guess he was saying nice things. 😀

“first name, last name” instead of “last name, first name”

Imagine someone asking you for your name, because they want to tick it off a list. What would you tell them first? Well, since on the list the last names are in an alphabetical order, I would say my last name first. WRONG! Believe me, this has already happened to me a couple times, when someone was NOT able to find me on a list because the people were listed with their first names first. WHAT? I mean, now that I think about it, it’s not that weird after all, since some people might have much more confusing last names than first names, but it’s just not how it is done in Austria.

This happened to me when I picked up my monthly ticket for the metro. On the form, that I filled out it said: “How do you want your name to be written on the card?” Of course, I write: “last name, first name”. It took the man at the office about 5 minutes (usually it’s done in 15 seconds) to find my ticket. During that time he also made 2 calls to whoever might have it. Same situation when receiving my student ID card, applying for the language course and at the student union’s welcome dinner.

slippery floors – EVERYWHERE

In many parts of Lisbon (at least in the areas where I have been so far.) tiles were being used to build the sidewalks. When you think about it, they put a lot of effort in it to make it look really cute, which is nice. BUT one thing no one thought about back then is that it is going to be a tiny, little problem when you 1) either walk fast/run or 2) you walk down or up the hills (of which Lisbon definitely has more than you can imagine) with shoes that have no grip . By now, I have managed not to fall, but since I know myself very well, falling down in the tough streets of Lisbon will surely happen during my exchange semester. When you plan a trip to Lisbon anytime soon, make sure you bring your hiking boots. 😀

 

Well, you never stop learning. Ok, bye!

Claudia

First blog post

Hello world!

You are here to witness my very first blog post! Some of you (well,.. those of you who know me in person) might wonder where my promised vlogs are, but I have decided to kick off my “internet career” by writing blogs. (Still trying to figure out how to Internet properly.) I am now spending my exchange semester is Lisbon, Portugal until the beginning of the year 2017, so this will hopefully bring along some exciting stories that I want to share with my audience.

Firstly, all you need to know about me and my blogs is that I am an open-minded person who is welcoming everyone and everything with and optimistic attitude. So far, my plans for my posts are to give everyone (who is willing to) the opportunity to take part in my daily adventures, even so they sometimes might not seem like the most exciting life. (Sorry, I don’t own a private jet yet.) So, if even there is only a single person out there who is entertained by what I say (or write), I will gladly go on with what I am doing. (Right now, I have no idea what I am doing.)

Let’s remember this moment as something undefinable and be curious about how it will develop in the near future. (Again, I don’t know what this will turn out to be. 😄)

Claudia

 

p.s. Yes, this is a picture of me in Lisbon. Sorry photography “experts”, I am still learning and I own my camera for about a month now.