A Glimpse of Belem Tower

What are some of the most memorable landmarks you’ve visited in your travels?

No Lisbon catalog is complete without some photos of the iconic Belem Tower. Designated a UNESCO World Heritage site, it serves as the unofficial gatekeeper of Lisbon. It was built to fortify the harbor, but it was left incomplete for many years when the original king who ordered it died.

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A Glimpse of Seixal

Where have you been able to stay with some cool locals?

During our travels, we sometimes come across some truly phenomenal couchsurfers.  We had one such host in Dublin, and we had another in Santiago.  Lisbon, Portugal was no exception.

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A Glimpse of Lisbon

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.

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Waves crashing on a sandy beach at Santa Cruz, Portugal

A Glimpse of Santa Cruz

What is the best place you’ve visited on someone else’s recommendation?

We’ve finished with South America, so we’re circling back to what we skipped before: the rest of Europe!

We had heard a lot about Portugal before our first visit, but most of the stories hailed from either Porto or Lisbon.  So when our Lisbon Servas hosts recommended a small beach town – Santa Cruz – we were excited to check it out.

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A Glimpse of Martial Glacier

How often do you go off-trail with your hikes?

We found a reasonably dry day while staying in Ushuaia to check out the resident glacier: Martial Glacier. While we could have hiked directly from town, we didn’t see the need to add the extra miles, especially since they were all uphill. Instead, we took the relatively cheap taxi to the official trailhead.

Martial Glacier trailhead

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A Glimpse of Tierra Del Fuego

What national park left you somewhat underwhelmed?

After incredible places like Torres Del Paine and Fitz Roy, we were excited to see what the Tierra Del Fuego National Park had to offer. After all, this is Patagonia!

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But when we arrived, it just wasn’t as blow-your-socks-off beautiful as the rest. This park is more about the location than what it contains.

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A Glimpse of Ushuaia

What is the farthest you’ve ever been from home?

Ushuaia is a cute little town on the very southern tip of Argentina. It is the southernmost city in the world, and because of this, it has been dubbed “El Fin del Mundo” – “The End of the World.”

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A Glimpse of Senda al Fitz Roy

What is the most difficult hike you’ve ever done?

We thought we had seen our biggest hike when we scaled the ridge to the Torres Del Paine lookout. However, we had our work cut our for us at Fitz Roy!

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A Glimpse of Sendo a Laguna Torre

How do you prepare for a major hike?

We entered a hiker’s paradise when we reached El Chalten. Trails abound – right from the edge of town! The town is right on the brink of Parque Nacional Los Glaciares, and the best part: there’s no admission fee here!

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We were excited to explore, and we knew we had lots of options. However, we were really there for the prime jewel: Fitz Roy. Knowing this would be a major undertaking, we elected a much gentler hike for our first day – something with which to warm up our legs for what was to come.

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A Glimpse of El Chalten

What kind of activities do you love to do in cute little mountain towns? Hiking? Skiing? Staying in with a good book?

We came to El Chalten for the hiking. After several days down in El Calafate, we were ready to explore the other end of the beautiful Los Glaciares National Park.

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