Today was our day to take it easy in Lisbon, we woke up and went to one of Lisbon’s famous beaches with our makeshift group from the hostel. It was a 30-minute ride out to the beach and a cathartic experience all around. John and I drank beer on the beach and walked up to the fort at the end while the girls tanned. On the way back we bumped into the other half of our hostel group, that didn’t make it out until later, thanks to epic hangovers. With the group all reunited at one beach camp, we chatted and lounged soaking up the sun and bonding. I really enjoyed our group of travelers at this hostel. Over the course of a few days, we all became a family and looked out for one another. I hope to find groups like this throughout my travels in Europe.
After returning to the hostel we all took siestas and prepared for a sardine festival feast in town the Alfama district that night. The Alfama district is the Moorish part of Lisbon, home to small windy streets and of course, the Sardine Festival. Some of the group stayed behind for the communal dinner at the hostel while about 5 of us ventured to Alfama for Sardines. Our group feasted on sausage, sardines, sangria, and bread for about 3 euro apiece. We ate on a picnic table in a little town square with several local Portuguese. Never in my life have I met a kinder more welcoming group of people than the inhabitants of Lisbon. We talked with the locals throughout our entire meal and they were eager to tell us all about the different foods, how to eat them, and about the festival. After dinner, we met up with the rest of the hostel group and returned to the Alfama district. Every block or so there was some combination of a stage with live music, sardine vendor, picnic tables, or homemade bar. The city was one big party that stretched on for miles kilometers. We settled into a larger square down by the water and sang and danced late into the night.