Field Tripping

This should be a really easy post to write because... I spent about half of this last weekend having no idea what anyone was talking about. Just a minute ago I asked Shad for the name of a place we had visited... His response: "I asked Silvia but I didn't understand." 

Problems of visiting Portugal with a bunch of students of Portuguese, I guess.   

But nonetheless, we enjoyed going on a field trip with the entire group of students that is either studying or interning with the program!  Most of them stay in Lisbon so we don't see them much, but we had fun getting to know several of them while driving in a bus for hours around the greater Lisbon area.  

(Cue no-frills travel log.)


We took the early morning train for an early arrival in the city. 

Here's Shad the Navigator keeping a focused eye out for the Uber.

We then spent the next 3 or so hours working on med school application essays at the McDonald's in the mall.  We can't escape those torturous things for long!  

Eventually we met up with the group and loaded onto the charter bus.

Ok.  Here's what I gathered from the teacher/tour guide lady's explanation at our first stop: 

Apparently after the Crusaders, there were these guys called the Templars, or Knights of Templar or something.  They built a convent somewhere in Portugal like an hour and a half from Lisbon, bus speed.  We explored this lovely gothic convent.  Yay.

Though the facts were a little hazy, it's impossible for me to do anything but swoon over gothic architecture and crumbling stone archways. 

A few hours later, another Templar (most likely) construction!

 A few hours and several rap songs later (a bus-seat neighbor showed me all his favorites), we sat down to the first program-sponsored meal of the trip where we were treated with traditional music!  These women are playing what's called an adufe; only women are traditionally allowed to play it, and only us women got the chance to try it later on (it's harder than it looks)!


First thing the next morning, we all contributed to making an adufe!

Then happily overate once again at the hands of several local Portuguese grandmas. 

After lunch we toured an old olive press.  These pretty trees prevail in this area; I appreciated thinking of someone I love very much every time I saw one.

These particular locals love Him so much they put him above the ice-cream-for-sale freezer.

A woman that works at a geological park acted as another one of our tour guides and took us high into some rocky foothills...

Before releasing us from the intense heat to swim!

Back to the village for snacks-- all kinds of breads, meats and cheeses I forgot to photograph and alcohol we didn't drink.  One fellow student heard Shad and me joking about trying the champagne, to which he said suspiciously, "Waaaaiiiit, I thought Mormons weren't supposed to drink..."  

Called out!

Finally, we spent the last two hours of the late night by exploring the watermelon festival!  

We found some freshly-squeezed juice with mint leaves.  Not bad.


Today we visited what is apparently "the most Portuguese village in Portugal," a place called Monsanto.

Our geological guide took us on another hike, this one above the village to yet another Templar castle.

And another amazing meal! 

This village is incredible in the way they have built around these giant boulders.  The one on the right protrudes right into the restaurant's women's restroom, fun fact.

And... that's pretty much it! That evening we took a detour to swim at a river beach before finally making it back to Lisbon and going out for Asian food with the other BYU students that recently joined the program.

It was awesome to get back to some sightseeing after settling down for a while!  And sad to think we only have a week or so left in Portugal.  Even though I'm not retaining as much information as I might in a country I'm more familiar with, I'm grateful for the opportunity just the same-- I know Shad is, too. 

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for sharing Portugal with us! I laughed out loud a few times while reading this post.