Weekend in Lisbon: or was it San Francisco?

Authored by:
Patricia Witzig

Patricia Witzig

Weekend in Lisbon: or was it San Francisco?

Six weeks after Spring arrivals and orientation the whole HSA Spain group met up for a weekend excursion in Lisbon! The Seville and Madrid groups were re-united with shouts of joy ringing through the halls of our hostel. What better place to catch up than the beautiful city of Lisbon?

Students who hail from the Bay area waxed nostalgic with Lisbon’s “Golden Gate Bridge” (aka Ponte 25 de Abril), cable cars, and 7 hills. San Francisco and Lisbon even have seismic activity in common. Oh my!

We got to experience the Great Earthquake of 1755 at the Lisboa Story Centre, an interactive technology-based museum that tells the history of the city. Names like Vasco de Gama, Ferdinand Magellan, and Infante Dom Henrique, or Prince Henry the Navigator, rang a bell from history classes.

On the first day we set out aboard a cable car to the nearby town of Belém to visit the Mosteiro dos Jerónimos, built to commemorate the return of Vasco de Gama, who also happens to be buried there. After a quick break for coffee and famed local pastries pastéis de nata, we crossed the park to visit the Tower of Belém and went to the lookout on top of the Monument to the Discoveries for a great view of the Golden Gate double.  

So what is different about Lisbon? Sidewalks, pastéis de nata and architecture, but that’s another story.

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