Where did you visit where you first had a language barrier?
After a long haul in the UK and Ireland, we had grown somewhat comfortable. Sure, we encountered some thick accents, and some terminology differed, but locals there still spoke the same language. It barely felt like we were still traveling.
But with a single flight, that all changed, and we were suddenly thrust into once again not knowing what others were saying. It pushed us out of our comfort zone, and we were truly traveling again. Welcome to Lisbon.
We’ve heard a lot about Portugal, and it’s long been on our list. But most people who visit rave about Porto, so we weren’t sure what to expect going to Lisbon. What we found was a city rich in culture. We didn’t need a plan or itinerary; we were happy to just wander and see where the winding maze of tiled streets took us.
And fortunately, Portuguese is quite similar to Spanish. Though we couldn’t speak it, we could pick up a few similar words to guess at the message.
We saw dilapidated buildings decorated with drying laundry from every window and quirky painted rock sculptures along the waterfront. Ornate churches begged visitors to look up, and patterned sidewalks drew our attention toward our feet. We climbed along funicular tracks and found some of the best lookout spots in town.
And we explored the center of town more than once, seeing new things each time!
Those hills were quite a workout, and we avoided several tourist traps (pro-tip: you don’t have to pay for the Santa Justa Lift in the center of town; just walk up to the Convento do Carmo and walk past the little cafe to the lower deck. The view is almost identical – and it’s free!).
We even made a few friends there, so it became like home just a tiny bit, even if we didn’t speak the language.
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