Semana Puente is this holiday in Spain – it’s basically a national public holiday. I asked nearly 10 people trying to figure out exactly Semana Puente was. I thought I maybe wasn’t understanding people (language barrier) but I kept getting the same answer, it really didn’t have any significance. It’s just an extended weekend/days off work and why question days off? This being my first time in Spain, so many choices where to go, where to go. And I still have 4 months!!!!! It’s so exciting. It was getting pretty cold up here in Basque County so definitely wanted to head south. Granada and the Canary Islands were high on the list. Then my friend Luke (who I met in Argentina see other posts) mentioned he was in Portugal. And there is that stupid desire to have another country under my belt and another stamp in my passport. But after some investigating and discovering this amazing thing called Coasteering in Lagos, Portugal and convincing the other girls that this was a smart idea, we booked our bus tickets and headed out.
The bus ride from Bilbao to Lisbon was a whopping 10 1/2 hours. The ride via FlixBus both there and back was overnight so it wasn’t like we lost any time. And the buses came with WiFi. Realizing that we were going to another country, it hit me that we might not have data. Which although useful, definitely not necessary. Especially with pre-travel research, screen shots, apps like CityMaps2Go and getting all the info you need at your hostel. But magically the phones and the data worked perfectly, no issues. YAY technology (though I suspect the fact that they’re both countries in the EU had something to do with it.
Lisbon was only a layover to Lagos. We had just over an hour to get our tickets and figure out where the bus took off from. But that actually wasn’t my biggest concern. Remember how I mentioned that Luke was in Portugal. Specifically he was in Lisbon and said he’d meeting up with me for the short while we were there.
He had been in Portugal for a bit so I had to ask him for the basics for our brief stint – what to eat, any important words that I should know?
I learned how to say ice cream in Portuguese from a Brazilian friend while in Argentina. Of course I did not have the pronunciation correct AT ALL
Ice cream = sorvete (sorveche) **I pronounced it sobrevichi <-very wrong**
Thank you = obrigado
He also taught me “you’re welcome” which I promptly forgot. Oops.
He also told me about Portuguese cakes. He said they were a staple in Australlia but his travelling companion who also lives in Australlia (originally from Portugal but moved to Australlia many years ago so he has a valid say in this matter) disagreed. So when Luke got coffee, of course I had to try this new treat. And it was only €1. It was like a custard in a pie crust that almost tasted like a croissant but it was soft. Don’t worry, I ate tons of these guys so we’ll come back to them later.
Now the 4 hour ride to Lagos – Southern Portugal.
The first picture, is my first glance at Lagos. I very much admire the public fountains that I have encountered a Europe. It makes everything so pretty. And I know it’s a waste of water. I hope it’s a closed water system. Yes that still has water waste due to evaporation and probably a multitude of other reasons…BUT IT’S PRETTY!!!!
First stop, dropping our stuff off at the hostel. We stayed at Gold Coast hostel which ended up being an even better deal than advertised. We got a 6 person room for just the 3 of us. Considering we 3 live together…we didn’t exactly have to worry about someone making off with our belongings or getting things mixed up. So you can imagine that things got thrown around. And Carlos, who was in charge was such a sweet guy. When I mentioned cliff jumping, he immediately tried to dissuade me. When he realized he couldn’t he advised to check out the water first before going up to the cliffs. I don’t think he realized we were planning on going with a guide. He gave us a map and we were on our way.
The picture on the right, where you can see me being ridiculous in the plaza is actually a statue of a King that died in a battle where Portugal lost the territory that includes Lagos. (I don’t want to say I’m sometimes a history buff…but I just like learning things) You can see me trying to put on his helmet that’s just chilling on the ground. Interestingly the statue looks amorphous as well as you can’t really tell the age.
One thing that Carlos mentioned to us is to check out the sunset next to the lighthouse. Only a 20 minute walk from the hostel. It ended up being a lot longer because we had gone into town the opposite direction FROM the lighthouse.
We ended up turning off the road just before the lighthouse because there were trails that led to cliffs with gorgeous view of the water and as we waited of the sunset. Me being me – I had to explore to the edge of the cliffs and get as close to the edge as possible.
After many a selfie and Kelli shaking her head too many times at me each time I ventured on a narrow ledge, the sun turned into a ball, literally you can see the ball of light that is the sun and set.
P.S. I never got my Portugal stamp on my passport. I have pictures though, so that’s proof, right?