Staci in Barcelona: San Francisco, I mean, Lisbon
    Staci will be in Barcelona, Spain, until December 2009.

    Woo! It’s about time for an exciting post!

    I just got back from Lisbon, where I went for a weekend trip, and even though I don’t have any insanely crazy stories to tell, it was still a great time — a great city and a new view of Europe. It kind of gave me the travel bug that I’ve been lacking — it almost made me want to go see something really different, like Africa or the Middle East or Asia. I’ve traveled a lot in my lifetime, but I’ve only traveled within the United States, Mexico and Europe.

    Regardless, Lisbon wasn’t too far from home. Two of the people that I went with are from San Francisco, and they said Lisbon reminded them so much of home that it made them homesick.

    If you ever go to Lisbon, you’re not allowed to stay at any other hostel than the Traveller’s House Hostel. Our only complaints were that the beds were too comfy, the staff was too helpful, and they gave us too much free stuff (free Internet, free breakfast, free tea/coffee all day, free towels). Not kidding.

    Four reasons why Lisbon and San Francisco are basically the same city:

    1. The hills. There were hills everywhere, which made for some incredible views almost everywhere in the city but especially at the Castelo de SaƵ Jorge. The Castelo also was wonderful for its exotic collection of peacocks and cats. Yes, I said peacocks. I wouldn’t believe it if I hadn’t seen it for myself.
    2. Cable cars. The metro system in Lisbon was tiny and mostly unhelpful, probably because of the hills. The bus system was rather amazing, complete with “your bus will arrive in ___ minutes” signs (something that even the El doesn’t have!) but the trams and cable cars really were our main method of transportation.
    3. The fog. See pictures. It was pretty funny because it was pretty foggy the morning that we arrived, and the San Franciscans in our group were really a little bit too excited about it.
    4. The Golden Gate Bridge. I kid you not, Lisbon has its own Golden Gate Bridge. Actually, I have no idea what it’s called in Lisbon, but it’s the exact same damn bridge, I swear. It was completely trippy to see it in another place, especially since I only saw the real thing for the first time about 4 days before I left for Europe. Again, I would not have believed it if I hadn’t seen it.

    One of the best experiences in Lisbon was seeing a live Fado show. Fado is a type of traditionally Lisbon-specific music/singing that has a reputation for being very sad but very patriotic. While watching the Fado singers, I couldn’t help but be astounded by the amount of power and emotion they put into each song. All of the singers were older and it was clear that each song was steeped in personal history. But enough of my rambling. Enjoy the video and pictures for yourself!

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