Thursday, February 5, 2009

Portugal :: 1st trip to Europe

Finally made it to Europe for my 1st trip. Portugal for 1 month. not your usual tourist trip. did psy-crisis work at drug emergency tent at Boom Festival for 9 days. Lisbon & south Portugal for the rest of the trip- about one month total. Loved walking along the cobblestone roads of Lisbon - my first time wandering around a city of the Old World. Went to the bar/club district & had a rare Adrian getting drunk night. good times!

comments after returning home ::

i'm back from Portugal 3 weeks of fun, adventure, hard work, sun, & new friends! what a trip. the Old World. finally!

things i liked ::

- the fact that you can drink in public, and even passengers in vehicles.

- Bairro Alto club/bar scene with 1000's hangin out in the streets

- the streets! so tiny, cobblestone, ancient labrynths of Lisbon that i got lost in many times. lost in a good way!

- the people. except for some Portuguese people (who i won't name) that were overworked, stressed, & therefore rude. or maybe they always are?

- Boom Fest. 50% was trance. the other 50% was very inspiring theme camps, art installations, huge bamboo hut for movies & workshops (my friends from Sunshine Coast actually organize this), a 24 hr. 7 day Chillout Zone for downtempo music (my fav), and a world music live band stage! this made the festival really cool!

We all worked real hard at the CosmiKiva Sanctuary psy-crisis tent & that was good experience. We are proposing to do this work at many other gatherings around the globe!

- the ancient Moor Castle, National Palace, & other things in Sintra (half hour from Lisbon). this place has been compared to Lord of Rings because of it's elfin mountainside charm.

- the beaches! Portugal is like the California of Europe. West Coast, baby! Hot sun, beautiful beaches, surfing. the good life!

things i didn't like so much::

- Europe is so expensive compared to Canada/US. eating out at restaurants 3x day didn't help i guess, but we didn't have a kitchen. i was missing all my favorite North American health food & home cooked meals. Plus, being a pescatarian (only fish) that eats mostly vegetarian was challenging. And...they don't eat breakfast in Portugal! just wine, pastry, espresso & off to work!

- The vibe in Lisbon feeling too cramped, dense, less space than my open young Vancouver or other North American big cities i'm used to. I hardly saw any houses in Lisbon. mostly ancient 1800's apartments & narrow streets. no backyard luxuries here, unless your one of the few lucky rich folks that own a castle or to up in the other side of the hill near Sintra.

- Driving like a maniac. People drive way too fast for comfort on the highways! Very dangerous, but it kept me awake & alert!

- Not knowing Portuguese sucked. Language barriers suck. Can't wait til we can download language software for our brains. I want to speak them all! Or maybe English should just be the Universal Language & to hell with the rest of them! They're all dying languages anyway, right?

Overall :: The trip was fantastic. I can't wait to go back to Europe & spend time in each & every country there, & find faults in every single one too!

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