COM0014 – Blog #1: My Summer Vacation in Portugal

I love travelling – do you? I was so excited at the thought of going to Portugal this summer. It had long been on my bucket list so I jumped at the opportunity to go with my parents when they told me where they were planning a visit to the country that has a rich history.

The day we left was actually the first day of a heat wave in Ontario and Quebec so we were pleasantly surprised when we arrived in Portugal at how pleasant the temperature was! Our first days were spent exploring the different neighbourhoods and sites of Lisbon. We also enjoyed many delicious seafood meals and the local desert called pasteîs de nata, lovely little custard tarts that make the perfect ending to a meal. Having eaten so much, we burned all the calories exploring and often walking up hills in the capital. After a few days in the capital, we made our way west, where we visited Pena Palace in Sintra. The palace was absolutely stunning with its Portuguese tiles and architecture as well as the accompanying ornamental gardens; where there were flowers of all sorts, shapes and colours! You can read more about Pena Palace here.  We also visited several beaches, including those in Oeiras and beautiful Nazaré.

No trip to Portugal, would be complete without an obligatory stop in Fatima, the site where many believe the virgin Mary appeared to three shepherd children in the early 1900s. You can read more about this fascinating story here.  While we were in Portugal, we thought it would be nice to visit another country, as travel in Europe is quite inexpensive compared to North America. We jumped at the chance to do a day trip to Barcelona as neither of us had been to Spain and we thought what better place to visit than Barcelona. During our one day stop in the Catalonian city, we visited a beautifully breathtaking monastery at the top of Monserrat, where the monastery is perched at the very top of the mountain. We also visited a few of the typical tourist spots including the Sagrada Familia, Park Guell as well as several Gaudi-designed buildings. I’ve already started looking into my next big trip and am hoping to go to Japan in 2020 for about three weeks as it is the next big  item on my travel bucket list. All in all, I had a great summer, filled with some travelling, barbeques and most importantly some relaxing. What was your favourite memory this summer?

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