Ever wonder what it's like to travel to Europe on a whim as a doctoral student with a full time job? Well, meet Johnathan! For under $1000 he took a relaxing trip to Europe inclusive of a few guided travel tours to break up the monotony. If you've been, are planning to go or, after reading about his experience here, now want to go- don't forget to tell us about! Enjoy!
City: Houston, Tx
Traveling Destination: Portugal and Spain
Plane ticket: $450
Air B&B: $65 per night
Experiences in Portugal and Spain: Priceless!
I started off my trip to Lisbon, Portugal. What a beautiful city! It reminds me of San Francisco: rolling hills, great weather and a literal replica of the Golden Gate Bridge (25 de Abril Bridge).
Lisbon is a city filled with lots of history, especially for people of African descent. At one point in the 1700's, approximately 10% of the Portuguese population consisted of slaves from West Africa. As you can imagine, there is still a heavy West African influence on the Portuguese culture.
I highly recommend Air B&B's "Learn About Lisbon's African Roots" tour with Naky.
You'll end your day with some traditional Cape Verdan food at the delicious Tambarina restaurant (get the smothered chicken dish and if Naky offers you Grog (drink) be ready for it to knock you out lol.
My favorite part of the trip was another Air B&B experience (Cascais Day Trip: Cycle Along the Coast), which consisted of a bike ride in the picturesque little town of Cascais (pronounced Cass-kai). Words cannot describe how beautiful the area is (one word of caution; make sure you know how to ride a bike and bring some extra cushion for your backside!).
After a few days in Lisbon, I flew to Madrid for the final leg of my trip. I'll have to say that Madrid wasn't as fun (to me) as Lisbon. It's a nice city, but I did not get to do as much. Part of that is because I just started my doctoral program and had a few assignments to do. I certainly did not get to explore as much as I wanted to. The best part of Madrid was the olive oil and wine tasting.
I'll definitely be going back to Portugal and I would like to give Madrid another chance. Until then, happy travels!
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