Day 1 in Fátima and Lisbon, Portugal

Hello friends and family!

As usual, I return with another update on things here in Europe. This past weekend I had the opportunity to travel to Portugal for the first time! I absolutely fell in love with the lush green scenery and colorful streets filled with graffiti. Once you read through all my blog posts you will understand why. Portugal is most certainly an underrated place to visit.

Let me start off with Friday morning. My friend and fellow housemate Ariel and I had a fairly early flight from Madrid to Lisbon. We got to the airport fairly early and had a little bit of time for a picnic and we ate sandwiches that my host grandma packed us.

An egg sandwich (basically a cold omelette on bread) and a cheese with cream cheese sandwich.

After a quick breakfast/lunch we boarded our plane and enjoyed the quick hour long trip to Lisbon. As a treat, the flight attendants offered us pastel de nata which is a traditional Portuguese pastry filled with custard. Man I couldn’t get enough of these while I was in Portugal.

pastel de nata
First look at Lisbon!

After our flight landed we took a bus which brought us to the main bus station in Lisbon because Ariel wanted us to to make a visit to the city of Fátima. Once at the bus station Ariel bought a container of popcorn for us to share on the hour and a half long bus ride.


So in case you were all wondering what is Fátima and how I ended up there- well my friend Ariel is a devoted Catholic (I myself am not) and she is the one who informed me of this city. Essentially, during the 1920’s there was a siting of the Virgin Mary appearing in this city of Fátima and she made some predictions and interacted with local children. There are many Mary sitings to have been said to have happened around the world including Wisconsin and Mexico (who knew?). Anyways, Ariel really wanted to make the trip to see the place where Mary appeared and she wanted a buddy to tag along. So your non-catholic girl made a trip to Fátima!

When we first arrived in Fátima it was raining pretty heavily but that didn’t slow us down. We found ourselves in an information and gift shop. Luckily the memorial area was only a three minute walk away, also luckily there were lots of rosaries and Catholic related gifts for Ariel to pick out for friends and family. We spent a good 40 minutes there and afterwards walked to the memorial to get our first few looks.


The memorial area was done beautifully and the rain added to the look.


Ariel had the opportunity to listen to a Portuguese mask in the building created to mark the location where Mary appeared.


The rain made the reflections so beautiful
Lighting candles to pray for loved ones
Fun fact is that I had a pretty easy time (for the mosts part) reading Portuguese as it is similar to Spanish but when listening to it had a difficult time because their pronunciation is very different.

Ariel and I left mass a little early in order to have time to go into the chapel that was made after Mary appeared. The decoration was beautiful.


Ariel told me that in Mary’s crown on the right there is a bullet that is said to have been shot at one of the saints of the church but Mary moved the bullet and saved his life.


A faucet for holy water.




My favorite photo from the day

We made good use of the hour we had to explore the area before returning back to the bus station for the ride back to Lisbon. Once we arrived back it was dark and we decided to take a taxi to our Airbnb. A funny story is that our driver went up a one-way hill and needed to turn left but a car was parked in the middle of the one way street. This resulted in him having to put the car in reverse and drive back down the hill safely. It was definitely a crazy experience.

Our Airbnb was a beautiful Victorian and traditional Portuguese home. Ariel and I took a few minutes to get settled before making a grocery list and venturing to the nearest grocery store to stock up for the weekend.

My quaint bedroom

Once we returned with the groceries we started prepping for dinner because the rest of our friend group arrived a little later and everyone was hungry.

I was tasked with putting away groceries (don’t mind the four bottles of wine in the fridge door)

Soon the spaghetti was ready, the table was set, and the rest of my friends arrived. We enjoyed sitting down for home cooked dinner together and cracking open a few (ok four) bottles of wine to go with it. What a great way to start off our girls weekend in Lisbon together!


Be on the lookout for my next post concluding our weekend in Portugal!

Worry less and smile more. 


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