This weekend I went to Portugal with everyone from my program, CEA. We had two coach buses full of people so it was a pretty large group. While we were in the city of Lagos we went on a sailboat cruise, had a grotto tour, spent a lot of time at the beach and went to the "end of the world." Just a smidge of history about Lagos before I start: From 1578 to 1756 it was the capital of Portugal and is located in the Algarve region of Southern Portugal. The fortified city wall and coastal fortresses are left from the Roman Empire, Moorish invasions, and numerous pirate raids that have occurred in the city. One of the places that we visited during this trip, called Cabo Sao Vicente (AKA "the End of the World") is where they shot one of the Pirates of the Caribbean movies!
Friday morning we left Granada bright and early at 7AM. After a time change of 1 hour back we arrived in Lagos a little after 1PM. The first thing that we did was check into our hotel. We stayed at a really nice hotel called the Marina Club.
I was really happy that my randomly assigned roommates were three of my friends, Ashley, Sarah, and Kelsey. The rooms were ginormous. We had our own kitchen with a fridge, microwave, table, and fully stocked cabinets with plates, silverware, and anything else we could possibly need. We also had a living room complete with two couches, a coffee table, and a TV.
After checking into the hotel we went on a sailboat cruise and a tour of the grotto. We were extremely lucky during this trip because both Friday and Saturday there was an extremely high chance of rain but it barely rained the whole weekend. The sailboat cruise was a lot of fun! They played music and a few people even jumped into the freezing cold water. We took a smaller boat in smaller groups to get a closer view of the grotto. After the Sailboat tour we had free time before meeting up again for dinner at 7:15PM. Ashley, Amy, Rachel, Sarah, Marlee, Katie, and I walked down to a beach to hang out before going back to the hotel to take showers before dinner.
Since we had such a large group of people on this trip, we had two different dinner groups that depended on what bus you had taken on the way there. The first night our group went to a restaurant called Nahnahbah. This Lounge/Cafe restaurant is known for having one of the world's 50 best hamburgers. Each table got two appetizers; a huge plate of nachos loaded with all of the toppings and potato skins. After the appetizers everyone got a massive burger with fries. Since I don't eat hamburgers or french fries, I opted for the option which was a large and delicious plate of pasta with bread. After dinner I walked around the city for a bit with some of the girls.
Saturday morning Ashley and I woke up and ran along the beach before having an amazing buffet style breakfast in the hotel. I love how Spanish breakfast buffets have vegetables too and conveniently everything that you need to make a sandwich (since lunch wasn't provided for us on this trip). This breakfast buffet had delicious marinated and grilled tomatoes and mushrooms. They were perfect to eat with the scrambled eggs that they had. There was also slices of pineapple, kiwi, oranges, delicious Spanish melon, mango juice, cereal, etc. After breakfast we went to a spot with an amazing view to take pictures and such before heading to a beach where we had the option to "cliff dive" off of this large rock. It wasn't the warmest day ever since it was windy and cloudy, but a lot of people decided to brave the icy cold water and jump off the rock anyways.
We spent about two hours at the first beach and then went to a beach called Praia Dona Ana that was very close to our hotel. At 7PM we took a bus excursion to Cabo Sao Vicente aka "the End of the World" to watch the sunset. After watching the sunset our bus (which we called "the chicken bus" that day to distinguish between the "hamburger bus" that was going to the restaurant that we had eaten at the night before) took the half hour bus ride back to the city and straight to the restaurant. First they bought us plates of salad, chicken, french fries, and bread to share. Then for dessert everyone got a piece of flan. That night we all just hung out in one of the hotel rooms, since they were the size of small apartments pretty much.
Sunday was our last day in Lagos. We were pretty much on our own for the whole day until meeting up in the hotel lobby at 1PM to check out and head back to Granada. After a morning run along the beach and yet another delicious buffet breakfast in the hotel, Amy, Sarah, Alllie and I headed out to do some souvenir shopping. I brought postcards and a snow globe for my collection. The problem was that I couldn't find a plastic snow globe so I had to buy a glass one. Let's hope that I can safely transfer it back to the U.S.! The ride back to Granada felt really long because I was pretty bored and really anxious to just get back. It was also semi-annoying and unnecessary that we took two 30 minute breaks because by the second break everyone was ready to go within 15 minutes. Oh well. It's so crazy to think that this "last hurrah" is over with. The next trip on the agenda: back to the United States! But first I have to get through two more weeks of classes and then finals week.