Portugal by NyEmma Drakes

I have been in Lisbon for a little over a week and sometimes I still can’t believe it. It’s been surreal waking up in another country and being able to walk around the city or take the metro to surrounding towns nearby. Although it’s only been a week it feels like I have been here longer. I’m still not sure if that’s a good thing or not but nonetheless I’m enjoying my time here. Monday, June 13th was St. Anthony’s day, which I’ve learned is a big deal here. The Portuguese celebrate all weekend long with parties, music, and food. During these night-long festivities, locals in Alfama, an old town in Lisbon, set up tents or stands in front of their homes selling various street foods, pastries, and lots of beer and sangrias (which are really popular here). The most popular thing to eat around this time for St. Anthony’s day is sardines. On a walking tour we took early last week, we learned that sardines used to be known as the “poor man’s food”. It was cheap and plentiful in the surrounding waters. Now it’s more expensive but still as plentiful and just as loved by locals. Nearly every restaurant and stand in Alfama were serving fresh grilled sardines for St. Anthony’s day. Although I am not a huge fan of sardines, I felt it was only right that I try at least one, since it’s so popular. I ended up really liking it, which made me feel a little more like a local. The streets of Alfama were filled with loud music and lots of dancing for this holiday. Needless to say, I am very happy I was able to experience St. Anthony’s day in Lisbon. I had a great time and look forward to many more adventures and experiences in this beautiful country.

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