I chose Portugal for my next adventure because I've wanted to go to Lisbon forever and have heard nothing but great things about it. I also wanted to experience how Portugal is similar and different to Spain in terms of language, food, and culture. We were originally going to be in Portugal for about 5 days and only go to Lisbon, Aveiro for a day trip, and then Porto, then head to Greece for a week, but instead decided to extend our time here for almost 2 weeks and really see the whole country and get a taste of its culture - it's about quality, not quantity.
We landed in Lisbon and took a subway right downtown to our Airbnb. Our host is the most down to earth guy, originally from Italy and now living in Lisbon, and told us about a few good places to eat and drink. We started walking towards the main squares downtown which are easy to locate because of the beautiful monuments and buildings surrounding them. Along the way, we stumbled upon a big park called Campo Martires de Patria in the Santa Justa neighborhood with trees, gardens, and benches, as well as food trucks and beer/sangria stands. This is what dreams are made of. Seriously in my element. Coming from more than 2 weeks in Morocco, we were ready for a different environment. It had a very hipster and young vibe and we definitely felt that we had hit the jackpot in terms of finding dinner.
One of the trucks, of course, boasted everything Middle Eastern including shawarma, gyros, and falafel plates...so happy! I ordered the plate and it came with tahini sauce, a side salad, and fries. I also got a sangria to drink as a pregame for the night out in Bairro Alto. Michelle tried to be sneaky and catch me in action (see below). Overall, 5 Euros bought me pretty good falafel, but not the best I've had. The sangria was great but I think we were just more excited about being able to finally have a drink in public without breaking any kind of social norms unlike the previous couple weeks. The atmosphere also played a role, it was Saturday evening and people were just beginning their night out to dinner and bars after. I just loved Lisbon as a city so much and I'm so glad we're going back for a couple more days before heading to India on Thursday, where I'll finally be reunited with a phone and my laptop! Hopefully I'll have a couple more falafel experiences to write about before then.