Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Traveling from Portugal to the Netherlands on Aug. 8, 2011

Portugal will forever remind me of dirty toilets without locks and short hairy men. But besides that and a few sad moments about leaving the states for such a long time, it was a very nice trip. We stayed in a big villa who's rooms felt like a historical castle. In the yard there were grape vines and cages with at least twenty rabbits. The owners of the house apparently have so many rabbits because...well...they eat them. When we left, there were only 11 rabbits. 

Our villa was in a cute town called Viana do Castelo, and had a huge hill with a cathedral at the top, 3.5 miles from the villa. We biked up the hill on the first day to see the church. I also ran to the top one morning with Jef, making it to the top faster than the others who biked ;)

Another day we visited the beautiful city of Porto, where we walked around to some major sites, did a tour and tasting at one of the many wineries and took a boat ride along the river. 

Braga was another nice city that we visited, where there was a pretty flower garden and some shopping. In Viana do Castelo, there happened to be a festival going on while we were there, so we saw some classic carnival rides, music and fireworks at night. The other days were filled with nice bike rides and some relaxing beach time.

After a pleasant week with the Lemmens family, I'm ready to start my move to holland. After being without internet in such an unfamiliar place as Portugal, I'm so far really appreciating how much more comfortable I am in holland. Though I'm sure more culture shock is to come, I'm still excited to start building my life here. I don't know that I've ever been so thankful to have internet, so that a can pretty easily stay in touch with the tons of people in the states that I miss. 

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