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5 posts from September 2014

09/30/2014

Semester Excursion to Porto

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This post was written by Jenna, Duke University - Fall Semester Student in Lisbon

10417490_10152395839106732_1588610794184016422_nOn our way to Porto!

This weekend, our group went up to the north of Portugal, to visit a city called Porto. Porto is a stunningly beautiful city built right on the Douro River, with colorful apartments, gorgeous architecture, and an awesome culture.

Friday morning, we took a three-hour train ride into Porto and dropped our stuff off at our hostel, Dixo's Hostel.

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City Tour

After dropping our bags and changing (it was very hot), we headed out for a city tour. We walked down along the river, and then climbed up to the top of the city, where we had the most beautiful view. We could see the river, the churches, the bridges…everything!

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Afterwards, we walked back down the hill and grabbed snacks to have a mini-picnic with in a park. We also went into Livraria Lello, a very famous bookstore where it's said that JK Rowling had some of her inspiration for Harry Potter. It's also one of the oldest bookstores in Portugal and was ranked as the third best in the world by Lonely Planet in 2011. Totally stunning. We couldn't take pictures of the inside, but definitely search google images.  10384906_10152395839901732_8854570762867829621_n

Dinner and Fado Show at Casa da Música

After our lovely tour, we returned to the hostel to get ready for the evening's festivities. We were lucky enough to get tickets for dinner and a Fado show at Casa da Música, a very famous building and concert space in Porto.

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Fado is a very well-known type of Portuguese music, which traditionally has a very sad sound to it.  We started off the evening with hor d'oeurves, and then had a lovely dinner while we watched the show. The last singer to perform was incredible. I think that we all had goosebumps. Her voice was so clear and incredibly moving.  Unnamed

Boat tour at Douro River

The next morning, we all had breakfast on the roof of our hostel, which had the most spectacular view. We could see the whole city.

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After breakfast, we went on a boat tour of the Douro River. There are lots of beautiful bridges on the river, one even designed by Eiffel! The apartments and buildings along the river are beautiful, too. They're so colorful and really add to the aesthetic of the city. 

After our boat tour, our group had the most delicious lunch at a little restaurant. I had baked octopus which was incredible. So, so tender and delicious.10653630_10202809211446637_677339893096893209_n

Port wine tasting

Following lunch, we all went to a Port tasting that we had scheduled with Porto Cruz winery. They set up a private room for us, and we had the choice of trying the port with chocolate or cheese. I chose chocolate, since I have an out-of-control sweet tooth, and they matched white, milk, and dark chocolate pieces with different types of port. We tried a white port, a tawny, and a ruby.

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They were all awesome. They were super sweet and flavorful, and the woman who worked there taught us how to really try wines (you swish it, chew it, and slurp it). Quite a few of us ended up buying bottles to bring back to our families and friends as souvenirs!  10403236_10152395839191732_2540978569881679240_n

The typical "Francesinha"

That evening, after a much-needed nap, a couple of us went downtown to try a Porto specialty called Francesinha. A francesinha is an incredibly unhealthy, but wonderfully delicious, sandwich. It contains two types of sausage, mortadella, steak, and cheese. The entire sandwich is wrapped in cheese and has a fried egg on top. It then sits in a pool of some type of beer sauce, and is surrounded by french fries.

At first I did not think this sounded appealing. I decided to try it though, and oh man am I glad I did. It was delicious. I feel like I may have taken a few years off of my life, but so, so worth it.

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Fundação Serralves

The next morning, we took a bus to a park with a big contemporary art museum in it, called Serralves. The park was stunning and had a huge, art-deco style house in the middle of it, which we were able to walk through.

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We had a delicious lunch at the museum (where Michaela accidentally tried pig ear) and then were able to wander around for a little on our own. Afterwards, we went back to our hostel to grab our bags and took the train back to Lisbon. I think we were all a little sad to leave Porto because there was still so much that we hadn't had the chance to explore. It was an absolutely gorgeous city and I know we're all hoping to have the opportunity to return in the next few months!

See you soon, Porto...

09/19/2014

Street Art Exhibition

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Alexandre Farto aka Vhils

Alexandre Farto aka Vhils is a young portuguese artist that got known by his groundbreaking carving technique. By scratching the surface of the wall, he produces images like this one:

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His Exhibition is being hosted in the Electricity Museum in Lisbon and we took our students to visit it.

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Check out some of Vhils work they were able to see ;)

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Vhils is also trying to create social awareness through his work. Here's a video from a social project he did in the favelas in Brasil. Click on the image to see it!

Vhils video

If you want to know more about Alexandre Farto aka Vhils check his official website here.

09/18/2014

Trip to Lagos

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Beach time

Lagos is a really nice city in the South of Portugal and our students decided to explore it on their first weekend abroad. Something tells us they had a lovely time there ;)

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09/17/2014

New Facebook Page

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CIEE Lisbon has a new facebook page

We've created a facebook page where you can now check out our news and activities!

Follow us by clicking on the picture above!

Facebook page

Fall Semester 2014 is ON!

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Orientation

After a wonderful summer in Portugal, our fall semester students are finally here.

They all arrived safe on september 7th and met their hosts at the airport. After they had a good night rest, we started Orientation the next day with a great lunch and some sightseeing.

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 Lisbon City Tour

Lisbon is a city of many hills and everywhere you look out there's an amazing view. We just cannot get tired of it!

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We went to the castle, Castelo de S. Jorge, to check out some more great views.

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And also to Miradouro das Portas do Sol, one of the most beautiful view spots, where the city walls used to be.

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