Tag Archives: Party

Ballin’ on a Budget: Lisboa!

Lisbon (CC - Aguas Livres)

The first thing that comes to mind when I think about Lisbon is an unexpected surprise.  The only reason I even ventured to Portugal was to cross another country off my 30-before-30 list and because a friend said they have cheap(er) flights back to the States.  It was an afterthought on my European excursion, but I’m definitely glad I made the pit stop.  I was only actually in Portugal for one full day.  I flew in one evening, had a day to sight see and jetted off back to California early the next morning.

The one best parts of this leg of my journey was definitely the amazing people at my hostel.  The eclectic guests I stayed with included a school teacher from Middle Tennessee, an Austrian student/soldier, a rugby player from New Zealand, and some European study abroad students.  I decided to randomly tag along with some of them while they toured the city.  I thought we’d only be gone for a couple of hours of sightseeing, but I thought wrong.  We ended up getting home as the sun rose the next morning with just enough time for me to throw my things in a bag and catch a cab to the airport.

View from my hostel window

The day started innocently enough with a tour of the local monastery around the corner.  From there we explored the nearby port and then hopped on a trolley to the city center.  By lunch time we’d hiked up what had to be the longest street in the city and we found a great little cafe in a park to rest in.  We explored some more of the city and then continued the hiking theme by trekking up to Castle of São Jorge.  The views of the city were phenomenal and the couple of beers we picked up on the way tasted even sweeter with the great scenery.  Our hodge-podge group watched the sunset over the city from one of it’s highest points then decided to grab some dinner.  A friend of a friend suggested we grab shots of Ginja, a traditional Portuguese pre-dinner liqueur then eat at a local family owned restaurant.  The shot tasted like cherry flavored rubbing alcohol, but the meal was the best thing I’d eaten since I left Greece.  I strongly believe there’s a direct correlation between the amount of English people speak and the taste of the food.  The less English they know the better the food tends to be!

After dinner it was suggested to us to check out a concert a few block away.  From the outside the place looked like an auto shop but inside was a cool multi-level mix of a bar, lounge, restaurant, and concert venue.  We spent the next few hours here swapping travel stories and learning more about each others cultures and beliefs.

Lisbon Night (CC by Frostis)

As the night started to slip away from us my European friends wanted to show me a good time for my last night on the continent.  They convinced me to go to some “erasmus” bars.  After a lot of confusion I learned that the ERASMUS Programme is the network of studying abroad for European students.  We made some twists and turns down some sketchy alleys then turned onto a street that instantly reminded me of home.  We hit the main Erasmus strip and thousands of European students swarmed out of seemingly nowhere.  I felt like I was walking down Broad Street in Athens, Georgia.  The more time I spent in Europe the more I realized that there isn’t much difference between students in the US and the EU.  I spent my last night on the continent dancing the night away with some great new friends!

HIGH: Had a whirlwind Eurotrip and Portugal was the perfect place to end it!

LOW: Not a thing.

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Athens, I Love You

I love traveling.  It’s a great way to expand horizons and meet new people.  I’ve met lots of people with different ideas, beliefs, and ways of life.  I saw some amazing places this summer, but there is no place like home.  Coming back to Athens was incredible.  Once I set foot back into Athens I immediately knew I was home.

Athens, Georgia is such a special place.  Going into my senior year I really need to take advantage of it because one day in the near future I’m going to be walking across the stage at graduation.

Top 5 Places in Athens:

The Arch – I love the Arch. It connects the historic part of UGA’s campus with Downtown Athens.  The past meets the present right there on Broad St. and I can’t wait to walk under it for the first time on graduation day.

Sanford Stadium – There’s nothing like going to a football game with 92,746 of your closest friends!  Being Between the Hedges on Saturdays in Athens as a part of the Bulldawg Nation has definitely been one of my best experiences in the Classic City.

Miller Learning Center/Tate Plaza – I normally will go out of my way to walk through the MLC and/or Tate Plaza just to see people that I know.  Both are great places to find friends in between classes and I love naps on those big orange chairs outside Jittery Joe’s.

Last Resort Grill – Jhaff’s #1 pick for Best Restaurant in Athens.  Cool atmosphere, great service, and better food! You can’t lose at the Last Resort.

Downtown Athens – The Prince Review ranked UGA the #1 Party School in the nation for one reason, Downtown Athens.  It’s reputation definitely precedes it but it offers so much more than bars.  It has great restaurants and cool eclectic shops.  The music scene is also a big deal in Athens. Home to R.E.M., Widespread Panic, and the B-52s, the Athens music scene has a long history.  More recently John Mayer got his feet off the ground here filming one of his first music videos in the historic Georgia Theatre and Bubba Sparxxx got his break in the Classic City as well.

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