i spent an obscene amount of time trying to figure out how to start this post, it is now almost a week later and I have yet again deleted what I had already written, faced with a blank page and the feeling that: ‘I don’t know how to write’. The rate at which this summer is progressing, I find myself having to remember and recollect every moment and just breathe. Life can go a little slower if you need it to (do I want it to)? But Portugal did provide a little slice of relaxation amidst the madness of this summer.

There was an ephemeral quality to the week, with it being far enough away from results to avoid being stressed but near enough to university to know that this will be the last proper time I’ll be spending quality time with my mum for a while. The days were punctuated by starting and then finishing a new book, trying my hardest to avoid buying a plastic bottle and just generally abstaining from using my phone because since exams have finished the main contributor to a decrease in the heightened happiness of post exam freedom has been social media. Not even for any particular reason, just wasting time.

There are moments when you look back in retrospect and say ‘I would’ve done this differently’, like the fact I should’ve learnt more Portugeuse than just ‘obrigado/a’, but we spent our lives in a state of flux that it would be redundant to do so. The biggest thing to take from this summer is just to live in the moment, which I think this trip kind of taught me that. To cherish the present state. Most of the photos I took are on film as to avoid the 100 or so photos it takes to get the ‘right’ shot. They’re waiting to be developed so will no doubt be appearing here at some point.

some things worth seeing if you’re in/near Lisbon:

  • spending the day in Sintra/visiting the Pena Palace. The Pena Palace is well worth visiting and we paid more so that we could go inside, if you just fancied taking pictures outside the Palace and visiting the Park it’s worth buying the cheaper ticket (€7.50 compared to €14). Sintra itself is well worth visiting and although we didn’t visit it there is a National Palace. A full day visiting is very easily achieved. Where we were staying in Estoril there was a bus that took us to Sintra train station and then a tourist bus (number 434) to the main sights from the station, of which the ticket altogether cost €15.
  • Cascais was a beach town right by Estoril but considerably livelier and incredibly easy to get to, either by walking or 4 minutes on the train. We spent a morning here exploring, visiting various parts of Cascais like the Marechal Carmona Park and the art district. Evenings were spent wandering about the town, eating the best vegetarian Pad Thai I’ve possibly ever had and soaking up the different cultures.
  • Lisbon – we only spent a day in Libson which meant we didn’t see absolutely everything but we wandered to the Praça do Comercio which is the main square, went up to Alfama which is such a stunning district, spending quite a while up there and then just jumped on a tram and went on a ride around the city before getting the train back to where we were staying.
  • Recommendations from other people for Lisbon have included:
    • Visiting Belem which is slightly outside Lisbon, it is famed for their custard tart at the Pasteis de Nata as well as the Cathedral (and they also have an art gallery).
    • The Chiado area of Lisbon
    • The Gulbenkian Museum – an art gallery that also has large grounds to walk around
    • places to eat – Taberna da Rua das Flores and The Mill (Lucy has informed me there are waiting lists but the food is very good).

So I conclude this post, on the brink of results day and finally knowing where I’ll be spending the next four years which is equally exciting and incredibly nauseating. Good luck to those of you awaiting your results, I may or may not be posting a UCAS journey post on Thursday so you may want to watch out for that.

lots of love, eleanor xx


  1. Indi 13th August 2019 at 12:47 pm

    These photos look amazing!!! It looks like such a gorgeous place, I’m going next month and I can’t wait x

    1. eleanorclaudie 13th August 2019 at 1:08 pm

      Ah you will love it – it seriously is a gorgeous place! Have fun 🙂 x

  2. Shivani Raja 13th August 2019 at 3:42 pm

    Okay Portugal looks GORGEOUS! Just wanted to wish you the best of luck for your exam results Eleanor (though you don’t need it 😉 ) x

  3. Erin Grace 13th August 2019 at 7:09 pm

    Looks like you had a fab time! Portugal was the only foreign country I had ever properly visited until last year, and even then it was just the Algarve so it was so interesting to see another side of the country that I feel familiar with. Lisbon is definitely somewhere I would love to visit in the future! Hope you had a good relax and good luck on Thursday, I’m currently terrifed of what is going to happen so I really hope to read your post! x

    Erin // Everything Erin

  4. Dalal 14th August 2019 at 10:59 am

    I’m yet to visit Portugal (I just seem to like its neighbouring country way too much ;)) but Lisbon is definitely high up on my travel bucket list. Cascais looks wonderful too! I’m glad your trip to Portugal was relaxing and that you got to spend some time unwinding. Good luck with your results tomorrow, my love- I have all my faith in you!


  5. Katie Hunter 15th August 2019 at 7:13 pm

    omgg the pics are this are so stunning!!! as you know Libby and I are goin in September and everything you write in this I had already jotted into my ‘Lisbon to do’ google doc (wow im SUCH a control freak!!!) but the fact you are soo enthusastic means its all going to be crammed in!!! Starting and immediately finishing a book, attempting to refrain from buying plastic bottles and not using my phone typified my whole experience in Italy (especially the plastic bottle thing!!!). Congrats on today, hope you’re celebrating hard xox


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