Monday, October 1, 2007

Viaje a Lagos

So, the Portugal plans worked out and the weekend was awesome. After some difficulty getting started, we got the cars rented and hit the road for Portugal. The border is a piece of cake, like driving from California to Arizona--the girls were upset that we didn't get to stop and have our passports stamped. We got a sweet deal on an apartment, and after spending the afternoon on the beach we cooked for ourselves and hung out on the roof of our building chatting and drinking wine.
We spent the next morning checking the tourist shops downtown in Lagos and waiting for the second car to show up (they came a day later because of some other thing Friday night). It was a little rough finding them, but we got it figured out after about two hours and a lunch of bread and cheese from a supermarket. We took them to check out the apartment and then the real adventures began.
We tried to find parking near the beach, but parking in Europe is a pipe dream. We saw a sign and turned in only to realize we were in a driveway next to the actual parking lot--so, being the daring driver (only driver), I hopped a curb and parked, then repeated the process in the other car because the other driver hadn't ever driven stick before. As we walked away we realized that we were in a paid parking lot--which is why all the locals on the road were pointing at us and looking angry. This made me rather nervous because I don't think I could deal with a towing service in Spanish, much less Portugese. So we left the girls on the beach and went back to hop the cars out again. There were tons of people watching and not looking happy, but I pulled both cars over the curb and we high-tailed it out of there with my heart banging its way out of my chest. All said, we got away clean and found way better parking about a mile up.
The beach was beautiful--full of cliffs and rocks and nice sandy areas for chilling. A couple of us spent all our time climbing up the cliffs and exploring the rocks and stuff--it was definitely a highlight of the trip.
We had planned to eat out, but everybody opted to cook in the apartment again. It took some patience with 6 girls trying to figure out dinner (I'm still surprised we ate), but it all turned out pretty well. We all stayed up late after that singing songs and dancing on the roof of the apartment--even after it started to rain.
Day three was boring for those of us who had gotten there first--the second group wanted to shop so we just waited for them and walked around aimlessly while getting soaked by the rain. But, all things considered, it really wasn't so miserable and it certainly didn't change the fact that the rest of the weekend was amazing--not everybody gets to take a weekend from studying and hit the Portugese beaches.


Michelle said...

First scalping tickets, now reckless driving....what's happening to you? =) Glad you're having a good time! The beach looks awesome!

Chris Offringa said...

Your story made my day when I read it. I'm glad you're having so much fun!

Elijah said...

i was talking to a dutch guy who was telling me how to do a mediterrean tour sometime. basically he says the region you're in (and southern portugal) is one of the best, so consider yourself blessed