Finale

The last full day in Europe! It definitely went by really fast. We were able to spend some time in Krakow before heading to the airport to fly back to Paris for the last leg home. We went to the Pharmacy Museum and I really had a blast. There was so much history and they had such a pretty display of mortars, pestles, scales, dried plants, and everything. They had a huge monstera plant on the top floor and I was quite happy to see it since they’re one of my favorite plants.

We stayed one night in Paris before flying out the next morning. And I had booked an Airbnb for the night in Roissy en France which was close to the CDG airport that we would be flying out from. The hosts sat and chatted with us for about 30 minutes asking about our journey. It was a private room in a house and the hosts were unbelievably nice! They served us some wine and crackers. The host’s brother spoke English pretty well and even showed us around the town and gave us recommendations on where to get dinner. We ended up at a crepe restaurant. I thought it was a fitting finish to the trip.

Of course we had to go for the dessert crepe as well

After dinner we walked around the park and the town. It was March and they had some cherry blossoms and we even encountered some bee hives in the park. It was such a charming town and we really enjoyed walking around together.

The next morning we took an uber to the airport. Easy as pie!

On regards to Krakow…
PROS:
Walkable
Less crowded
Very affordable
Angie, she made it effortless for us to get around!

CONS:
Wish we had a little more time to explore

It was such a fun trip and I can’t wait to come back and visit other places. Everything in Europe is so close and it just so easy to hop around.

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Czesc!

One of the first words I learned in Polish was hello, which is the title. One of my best friends was going to school in Krakow so we thought we’d visit her and some countries in Europe (we actually spent half of our trip exploring with her). We were spoiled with to be able to stay with her and take us around. Surprise! We were greeted with a welcome breakfast plate by her parents.

Ang lives pretty close to some cool sights so she took us on a nice stroll by the Wawel castle and the fire breathing dragon. The dragon randomly has fire lit from its mouth! I thought it was a neat feature.

Walked towards the Jewish Quarter and found some food (of course). First stop was this hip cafe/bar that had a vintage theme and had Singer sewing machines in the front. Got our caffeine fix in, which btw sadly Krakow doesn’t have great coffee. Ang made us try zapiekanka aka open toasted faced sandwiches. The one we got had cheese, mushrooms, pepperoni, pickles, sweet ketchup, and onions. There were so many stands to choose from!

Walked around some more and saw some tons of street art. It’s quirky and interesting and really made it fun to just wander around.

After walking around, we got some delicious pierogis! They are essentially filled dumplings with savory and sweet goodies. They can be boiled or pan fried. Ang took us to Pirozki U Vicenta, a really cute Vincent Van Gogh themed restaurant, but also has really good pierogis. We got apples & sour cream and a meat one. The apples with sour cream were really good!

We then walked around the main square of Krakow and it was huge! One of the largest squares in Europe. It has a gorgeous cathedral and at the top of the hour, there is a trumpeter that plays reflects upon the history of how it was used to signal the opening or closing of gates or alarm the city of a fire or enemy. The end of the song is abrupt to mimic of how he was shot through the throat by an archer.

The square has street performers, stalls selling souvenirs and goods, and rows of shops. On our way back, we stopped by to get Ang’s favorite donut – cinnamon glazed jelly filled! We took the street train back to the apartment to rest before our next busy day.

PROS:
I can’t say it enough – how affordable it is!
Easy transportation/walkable
Friendly
Less crowded

CONS:
Language can be a little difficult

I wish we had more time to visit!

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Lisbon continued

We took it easy our second day in Lisbon because it was supposed to rain. We started the day with some coffee from Copenhagen Coffee Lab just a few blocks away. They were so busy they had to stop taking orders! We were in no hurry and caffeined up for the day. By the way – our whole coffee experience throughout Europe wasn’t particularly the best. It was actually kind of hard to find good coffee! Our next stop was for some food at The Mill, which also had a bit of a wait but it was worth it! Their fresh squeezed orange juice was delicious. Got the avocado toast with bacon and two sunny side up eggs. Johnny got butter toast with chorizo/ mushroom/ tomato combo and an egg.

After brunch, we walked around the city some more. Walked up and down hills, checked out some parks. This one had a cool tree support structure. The city is also known for all the orange tiled roofs everywhere.

Of course it was time for a snack after all of the walking. We stopped in for some decadent chocolate cake at Landeau Chocolate, which was rumored to have the best chocolate cake in the world?! Welp it was pretty darn good.

We took in more sights and our fair share of cable cars on our way back to the Airbnb.

And painted tiles… (second pic of our key for our Airbnb which had the cutest little backyard. It had a lemon tree!)

We got some wine nearby ($4 bucks!) to chill in the afternoon. Then Ang and I hit up a wine bar for some sangria and cheese for a little snack. We may look fancy.. but it was actually super cheap. I think it was less than $15 for all of this.

Wandered around a little more then we were off to our last meal in Lisbon. We dined at Petiscaria Ideal and ate some classic Portuguese food. Reservations were required when we came and we didn’t have one.. so I had made one online after talking to them haha.

Pear, goat cheese, honey, endive, pecan salad (probably the highlight of the meal)
Sweet potato chips with mayo/lime aioli
Tenderloin and mushroom sandwich
Polenta with tomatoes and clams

I also have to share this… I love Haribo and had such a great time trying all the different kinds in Europe.

PROS:
Less crowded – although I feel like it’s an up and coming destination
Slightly cheaper than other places
Beautiful art with all of the tiles
Very nice people
Lots of transportation
Laidback

CONS:
Hills (if you do a lot of walking)

I really enjoyed Portugal! It has a lot to offer and I can’t get enough of those egg tarts.

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The San Francisco of Europe

Next stop on the trip was Lisbon, the capital of Portugal and a different type of coastal city than Porto. I noticed the striking similarities quite quickly between San Francisco and Lisbon…
-Hilly
-Street cars
-Rust colored suspension bridge (Lisbon = Ponte 25 de Abril bridge)

We got in late the first night in Lisbon and decided to get some sleep because we were actually going on a day trip to Sintra. Sintra sits on the coast of Portugal and is about an hour away from Lisbon and known for its castles and palaces. We woke up at the break of dawn to get on the train out to Sintra because we knew it was going to be crowded. Missed the 8am so we got on the 9am. We really only planned to the the Pena Palace so we opted for an Uber versus taking the bus that takes you in a loop around all of the palaces. We also opted for the garden ticket, which lets you roam around outside the palace and all around but does not permit you to go inside the palace. We were fine with that because we spent plenty of time outside! Plus the line to get inside wrapped around.

After wandering around for a couple hours, we ubered back to the main area of Sintra, grabbed some quick lunch and made our way back to Lisbon. We walked around the central area and even happened to find this random pink street.

By now we were hungry again and made our way to Time Out Market, which is a large food hall. A pretty fancy food hall too! It had lots to choose from. We opted for some squid ink pasta with seaweed salad, pork belly with green puree (forgot what it actually was), and fries with spicy mayo (not pictured).

Our adventure continues! After full bellies, we made our way on the train to the Belem area and walked along the water. It’s located on the west side of Lisbon, along the water. It’s iconic for the tower of Belem, built as a fort to protect the city. We also saw a huge monument that commemorates maritime explorers – notice all the beautiful tiling on the ground.

No stop is complete in Belem without a visit to Pasteis de Belem! More egg tarts. Yum.

After that, we headed back to our Airbnb. We did lots and were completely pooped for the first night in Lisbon.

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Ola!

I was excited for this next part of the trip because I had never been to Portugal before. Ang and I were split between seeing Porto or Lisbon because they’re both quite so different. We decided to just do it and see both. We first stopped in Porto, a smaller laid back city that’s by the water and known for their port wine and bridges. We got in the morning, checked in at our Airbnb and started off the day with some food. Breakfast sandwiches and a drink were only about 6 bucks! Portugal is a super affordable country compared to its neighbors so we were glad for this break. We decided to also do a tour of Portuguese egg tarts.

One of the attractions we stopped at was this beautiful bookstore called Lello & Irmao that is rumored to have inspired J.K. Rowling for Harry Potter. As you can imagine, the place was packed. There was also a huge line to get in.

Portugal is known for their beautiful tiles and artwork. The Sao Bento Railway Station was gorgeous!

The next day, we got some brunch nearby at Zenith. It was packed and we had to wait a bit but I can see why.. Love me some shashuka! Johnny got the avocado toast with a fried poached egg and a side of bacon.

We took a stroll towards the water and across the Ponte Luis bridge to do some wine tasting. We walked across the bridge on the bottom and on the way back, we went on the top! We went to this family owned winery called Augusto’s. Port wine is a dessert wine and was incredibly sweet and strong, especially the tawny that we had sampled. Great tour to learn about the aging process and they were very knowledgeable! Walked around and got to see some really cool views of Porto.

Last stop in Porto included dinner before our flight out to Lisbon. We asked some locals where to get grub and they directed us to this bar called Taxca. They had hunks of cured meats hanging from the ceiling. My meal with Johnny came out to only 10 euros! (Sparkling wine, pork sammy, salami & cheese sammy, and squid salad).

PROS:
Small city where you can get around everywhere by foot
Friendly people
Cheap food
Gorgeous scenery by the water
Laidback

CONS:
Didn’t know the language at all
Only stayed for one full day, but I feel like we got the gist of it all

Really quaint city/town that’s chill enough but still bustling with people. I’d definitely recommend coming here, even if it’s just for a day! I think it was really worth it.

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