Now I can say that this was one of the best summers during my life. Portugal is beautiful country, my friends (incomings and natives) and I traveled through all of this amazing country. Firstly, I will start talking about Covilha. Covilha is a small town in the center between Lisbon, Porto and Madrid. My flight was from Vienna to Lisbon. Then I took the metro to the train station and I went to Covilha. It was a better option because the train station was closer than the bus station. The way there was really nice because I got the chance to see the architecture of Portugal, and I met really nice and helpful people. From the first moment, I could actually feel the Mediterranean air.
Covilha is situated close to the highest mountains in Portugal, Serra De Estreela. I went there two or three times and it was amazing. One time, we went and watched the sunset and we got the chance to kaleidoscope four moons of Mars. In Covilha we were accommodated at the dorms, where you can find a TV, kitchen, laundry room and of course wifi. The hospital, Centro Hospitalar Cova da Beira, is awesome. I spent the whole month in the operation room, general surgery was my department. The surgeons there were very friendly; I got the chance to scrub-in during an inguinal hernia operation. I got the chance to watch different operations like laparoscopic cholecystectomy, resection of colon, hysterectomy, etc…
After our shift at the hospital ended, we had an amazing social program! We went gardening, we played paintball, and we visited some cities close to Covilha. We had some dinner parties and a lot of other amazing things. In the hospital, they offered us lunch everyday, but it was not too special.
During the weekends we had the chance to go to distant cities. We spent the first weekend in a city in the south of Portugal name Portimao. It was the weekend during finale of EURO 2016 and Portugal beat France. Portuguese people were so happy because of the win. Streets were full of screaming, dancing, singing, and enthusiastic Portuguese people with fireworks. After that, and because it was a Sunday we had to go back to our town but the bus was leaving at 2 a.m. We let our stuff in the hostel and we couldn’t find taxi, so we were running during the night to take our stuff and go to the bus station. It was really cool. I will never forget this night!
We spent the second weekend in Lisbon, but six of us went the day before to Coimbra to spend some time there. Coimbra is a really old town, where we visited a really nice library and campus of medicine. In Lisbon, we visited the castle of Belem and Sintra where Portuguese have really nice gardens and castles. You can see more in the pictures.
We spent the third and last weekend in Porto, and like the weekend before, some of us went the day before to Braga where we spent a really nice time. It is the city of churches! There were more than 50 different churches there! We slept in a really beautiful hostel in the main square there, and every single room had a totally different architecture. In Porto, we had a walking tour, we went on a boat trip, and we visited the port wine winery. During the nights, we went to night clubs, we danced and enjoyed our last days in Portugal.
I made a lot of friends there! I had the chance to get close to a lot of new people from different countries and I hope that I will get the chance to meet them again. My exchange in Portugal was an amazing experience and I am so happy that I had the chance to live it!