On Tuesday evening I returned from a fabulous trip to Portugal where my friend and I spent some time in Lagos, in southern Portugal, and a few days in Lisbon. The weather was magical, the food was delicious and the landscape was extremely picturesque everywhere we looked.
In Lagos we stayed in Chez Blue Rentals where our host José was extremely friendly, helpful and knowledgable about the town. From the start we felt very welcomed and at ease in Lagos. This coastal city is a small one so everything was within walking distance: bars, restaurants, stunning beaches, museums and other notable landmarks, and the local fish and fruit market. As a whole, I felt extremely relaxed and completely free, and it was definitely the perfect escape after a rather hectic term at school.
Although Lisbon is the capital of Portugal, it was surprisingly very beautiful and captivating. It is a city located on the Mediterranean coast so naturally there are some fantastic beaches worth exploring. Due to insufficient time in the capital we were unable to explore many of these beaches, but the views onto the sea from the city centre were still breathtakingly beautiful, nonetheless. As we were staying with one of my good friends from school, she was able to give a private tour of the city. The tour included the town of Belém which is renown for its unique pastel de nata (Portuguese pastry) and the ornately-designed monastery – naturally we took a ton of photos.
Whilst in Lisbon we also went on a free walking tour of the Moorish neighbourhood which was especially interesting because our tour guide took us through a brief history of the Christian crusaders and the Arab occupation in Portugal, the wars fought in North Africa, Fado music and its origins, the architecture of the neighbourhood and the overall effect of the Moors on Portuguese culture. Given that this was mostly new information, I found the tour fascinating despite it lasting close to 3 hours. (Time flies when your having fun…)
We also went on a day trip to the little city of Sintra which is truly a magical place. There was a rather steep, uphill hike in a extremely large park that led us to the Castle of the Moors and fairytalesque Palace of Pena from where we could see the entire city.
I’m very happy that I had such an awesome experience in Portugal – I laughed a lot, meet some wonderful people along the way and finally spent some quality time with the sun (see glowing skin below :D). And, of coure, I’m looking forward to the next overseas adventure.
Voici some cool snaps from the trip. Enjoy!