11th and 12th OCTOBER, by Sandra Pinto Romano
On Wednesday 11th, we finished school, had a quick lunch and hopped on the bus. There we met our six teammates from Estella, who were travelling with us the whole trip.
On our way to Azambuja, we stopped over in Ciudad Rodrigo, Salamanca, and spent the night. After dinner in Ciudad Rodrigo, we went for a walk, which immediately made me feel tired, but it was really cool to see the city at night. Later, Lucía realised she had forgotten her pyjamas and panicked! When everyone had fallen asleep, Layla lay on my bed, and when she got up she bumped her head against the upper bunk bed – we had a good laugh, but we tried not to wake anybody up.
On Thursday 12, we took a guided tour around Ciudad Rodrigo and back to the bus. Very soon we were crossing the border into Portugal, which is my father’s birthplace and my second homeland. We stopped at Coimbra, and Layla was conned out of 2 euros. We spent an hour looking around for some pyjamas for Lucía – what a bore! In the afternoon, we finally reached Azambuja, and got together with the Poles, Irish and Portuguese (everyone so nice!). We all had dinner together at a restaurant which had a riding school at the back. While we were waiting for the Irish cyclists, we could go and see the horses and stroke them. It was a beautiful and exciting experience.
13th OCTOBER, by Alae Almi
We slept at Azambuja’s youth hostel, which is very spacious, has a foosball, rooms with bunk beds, a huge backyard, a dining room in the basement and a room with a big screen. After breakfast, we went to their school, where a group of volunteers (Ubuntu) had organized cooperative games. Next, we made a short visit to the City Hall.
We took a walk along one of the Tajo’s channels, up to where it flows into the river. There we were offered sandwiches and muffins, and we rode a swing. Then we took a boat trip and we were lucky to see, from very near, a flock of flamingos, wild horses, and some invading plants which are all around and leave the fish with no oxygen… The Portuguese partners prepared a delicious welcome dinner at a big dining room next to the bullring, and we could see a “sevillanas” class from there. We ended up all dancing the Macarena and other songs of the sort. What a day!
14th OCTOBER, by Zoe Fernández Laplaza
We all met at Azambuja’s railway station at 8:00 to catch the train to Lisbon. When we got to the station the 24 from Navarra jumped at the store because we didn’t bring any food, unlike the rest of students, who were staying at family homes (lucky them!)
Lisbon has sooo many slopes and cobbled streets. Everything was very pretty, but we got really tired. We visited Saint George Castle, where we could enjoy some free time to eat what we’d bought at the station. In the castle we could see peacocks and enjoy lovely views.
We went for a walk around Lisbon towards the Tower of Belem, where we picked our bikes. It was a beautiful walk, vith views to the Tajo estuary. The 25th April bridge is huuuge! Cars and lorries drove on the top (70 metres above us!) and it was humming like bees. On the way, we had the typical cream pastries, with and without cinnamon. We went back to Lisbon and had a snack while we were waiting for the train back to Azambuja. All the students from the four countries gathered at our hostel (Casa Juventude) and we had pizzas for dinner, played some songs and also played foosball.