You went to Portugal?
Yes. Yes I did. That is a phrase I never imagined I would say, but last weekend we went to Lagos, Portugal and while the trip didn’t go quite as planned, it was beautiful and so much fun!!
Before we made our way to Lagos, we made a stop for a short history lesson in La Rábida. La Rábida is home to the church where Christopher Columbus worked to recruit men to accompany his journey to the Indies. There is also a monastery where Columbus stayed while he waited on the funding for his trip from King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella. It is still a functioning monastery but we were able to go inside and get an idea of what life as a monk there would be like. When Columbus there, about 90 men lived together in the monastery but today there are only four.
We saw the dining room, the garden, and a meeting room where Christopher Columbus shared his dreams and plans with Queen Isabella and asked her for the money to pay for his trip. The priest that she confessed to/was close with lived at the monastery and Columbus was able to use his contact with the Queen to make his dream a reality. #itsallaboutconnectionspeople
Out front, there was a large well which is where Columbus and his men filled the three ships with water for their journey. It was a beautiful setting and as we gathered around the well, I could only imagine the buzz of excitement and anticipation, as well as nervousness, that surrounded that same well 500 years ago as they prepared to set sail.
After another bocadilla lunch, we hit the road and headed to Lagos, Portugal!! Upon arrival, I could immediately see the crystal clear waters of the Atlantic Ocean and couldn’t wait to get off the bus and go explore.
We checked into the hotel and got settled (that was when we realized the hotel website was a little bit misleading and that we didn’t have wifi in our rooms like it had said #middleagesround2) before going to eat dinner and walking around the city.
Lagos is famous for their “piri-piri chicken” and I am not totally sure how to describe it other than that it is a very yummy grilled seasoned chicken served with crispy new potatoes. The chicken is actually pretty spicy and I’m NOT a spicy girl so I was a little nervous when I ordered it, but ended up really enjoying my meal. Our whole group of 20 people sat at one long table and the whole table ordered the exact same thing.
AMAAAZZZINNNG! As always… I still won’t ever be able to comprehend the ocean. On this evening, the water was so calm and serene. Abby and I sat and chatted and let the tide come and cover our toes while we watched the sunset. I have never been so content. 🙂
We woke up Saturday morning ready to take on the beach and were planning on kayaking through the caves. Well, the calm and serene waters we had observed the night before had been replaced with high and powerful waves and all of the kayak excursion companies were not taking groups out because the water was too dangerous. ://
Very understandable but also frustrating and disappointing… we were all really looking forward to being able to go out and see the caves up close, but had to quickly get over it and enjoyed the beach instead. And that really wasn’t a bad thing because the beach was incredible– holy smokes!! The water was so clear and blue and the rocks/caves around just added to the beauty.
Once we got in the water and swam, we quickly realized why the kayak companies were closed. The waves were HIGH and intense- we were all very careful to stay close to the shore. It was a fun and relaxing afternoon and we ended up having a great day on the beach, despite not being able to go on our excursion.
The day only got better when we went to Nah Nah Bah burgers for dinner at the suggestion of our cab driver. OH MY!! We owe that man a great deal. Some lovely people over at the Top 50 burgers in the world headquarters (what a sweet gig!) ranked Nah Nah Bah as the fifth best burger place in the world so we knew we had to give it a try.
Let me tell you, it lived up to all of my expectations and more. Complete with grilled pineapple and the best fries I have ever had, this burger was delicious and we are all so glad we went!
Afterwards, we explored the city and shopped around. I quickly fell in love with the quaint town of Lagos. It was cute and clean and the streets were filled with families and older couples on vacation- apparently a lot of British people retire here. It was a cool evening as the ocean breeze accompanied our walk around the city center. We ended the night playing card games and Heads Up in one of the hotel rooms before heading to bed.
On Sunday morning, we had to leave a little earlier than we expected which threw a curve in our plans to try and do the kayak tour this day- but we made the most of the time we did have. Before loading up on the bus, we spent some time at the hotel pool (had to get those last minute rays for our tans!) and ate crepes. We rolled back into Seville around 5:30 p.m. and headed back to our apartment to prepare for our final oral presentation in class the next day.
It was weird coming back into town and knowing we were about to begin our final week in Sevilla- it is crazy how fast this trip went! We were prepared to make the most of our final days and had a blast doing so- a post on that to come. 🙂
Adios for now!