Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Our Backpacking Adventure! Part 2 - Lagos

We arrived at the airport in Lisbon and navigated our way to the train station.
Found a train to Lagos (3 hours away) and jumped aboard for Jesse's first train ride!
We arrived at the "Casa Beira Sol" late at night and were greeted by the owner's son, Rue. He made us feel at home right away, bringing us a bottle of wine and showing us a map with all the great local restaurants. He said, "When you stay with us, you're family."
We set out the next morning to the market for breakfast food.
Jesse cookin up some eggs in our "apartment."
Our private patio where we ate breakfast every morningSome views of the property. Rue explained that the concept of the "Casa" becoming a hotel began when his dad let friends frequently stay in the extra rooms. The place was in such demand that he decided to convert some of the extra space into rooms and mini-apartments and thus "Casa Beira Sol" was born. It's a great place to get away and feel at home away from home!
Because there were only a few rooms,
we felt like we were in our own private garden getaway. And, while the Casa was outside of town, it was only a 10 minute walk to the city-center at the marina. Plus the walk was gorgeous!

Lagos is known for it's beautiful cliffs and hidden beaches.
You can imagine our gasp when we came around the corner to see this!


The path led us around the cliffs to the Marina and town.
which we of course explored.
Sometimes just finding your way around and stumbling upon places is way more fun than using a map and going to the tourist spots.
After our town exploration we made our way to a cliffside local restaurant that Rue had recommended. Yummy fish and slow-roasted chicken!
By the restaurant we found this!
It led us to this amazing secluded beach! (ahhhhh)
It was so nice to relax in the sun after a whirlwind tour of busy London.
All that relaxation got our appetites up and we ventured into town once again to find a dinner spot recommended to us. After 30 minutes of navigating the streets we finally found it! BUT it was closed! We realized most of the typical Portuguese placed were closed on Sundays, so we opted for this British inspired pub. Turns out Lagos is a big hot spot for UK retirees. Lots of crusty, tanned British golfers.
After a really fun dinner with lots of laughing
we stumbled upon this park and decided to go for a swing. :)
The next morning we ordered the homemade breakfast, prepared fresh by Rue's mom. So yummy! We even had leftovers for a sack lunch for our upcoming road trip...
...and a friendly visitor who stopped by to see what scraps he could sucker out of us.
We then set out to rent mopeds.
On the way we discovered a once vacant field now filled with cows!
This is a very typical pattern to find on the streets of Portugal. After renting our mopeds we traversed the open countryside for 45 minutes until we reached a little fishing village called Sagres, conveniently located on these beautiful cliffs.
With our hands still vibrating we peeled ourselves off of the mopeds, Lyod and Harry style, to defrost in the sun (it was a little nippy through the pass) and take in the view!
You can seriously never get sick of looking at this.

We spent the day journeying around the rim of the cliffs, first stopping at this point:
To get to the point you have to walk through the fortress, whose walls start at the bottleneck part of the point. We walked around the entire edge,
stopping for a much needed picnic lunch,

taking in the breathtaking views,
interpretive dancing,
firing cannons,
and watching fisherman catch fish from 150 feet up! (they use these absurdly long poles).
Onward to Cape St. Vincent!
More beautiful views and a lighthouse.
I wish the camera picked up how blue this water was!
Heading back down the coast we stopped for a few more pics,
(More empty and ridiculously beautiful little beaches)
and then parked our bikes for a little R&R in the sun with our books.


Before sunset, we hit the road, back through the countryside, past the horses
making a quick stop for cafe on the cliff by our Casa
Here's the front of the CasaBecause we had the bikes for 24 hrs, we got to take one to dinner.
Two on one bike is much more thrilling:)
We went back to the local Portuguese restaurant that was closed the night before. We chose our uncooked dinner (fish) out of a glass case, and they grilled it up.
This is Turbot. Doesn't look that appetizing but it was really good!
Some complimentary port? Sure!
Followed by a little stroll through town? Yes please!
Our last day we took a long walk/jog around the cliffs
Go, honey, go! I'm right behind ya! :)
Something about amazing views makes calisthenics way more fun.
What a stud.
This one looks like Jesse's standing in front of a poster
We'll miss this!

After we got back, we were flipping through a book and found this picture:
Rue quickly told us they were a delicacy and that he had some in the fridge:
Of course we had to try them.
They actually we're that bad (and I hate most shellfish).
Rue insisted we take the plate back to our room, but we told him we wouldn't enjoy them as much as he was (they were his favorite).
We decided to stick to eggs for breakfast.For our last day in Lagos, we ventured back to the marina,
over the bridge,
past the fishing boat graveyard,
to the main beach which is 600 meters long.
Reminded me of something on the east coast.

Beautiful day for gelato!
Just after we finish our ice cream, it started raining. Luckily we made it back to our Casa before the downpour. Pizza and crosswords to end the night!
We'll miss you Lagos!

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