Monday, March 26, 2012

Portugal: Lisbon and Lagos

Due to some errors in planning on the part of Gracie and myself, which were fortunately caught before they became an issue, we made the plan to fly from Barcelona to Lisbon, Portugal, and then take a four hour bus ride from Lisbon to Lagos, saving us A LOT of money (you're welcome Mom), rather than flying into the nearest airport to Lagos, in Faro. That meant that we had about 6 hours to kill in the city of Lisbon. We had no idea what to expect, and looked like major tourists for the day with all our luggage, but it was fun nonetheless. 
No idea what these buildings are, but they're in Lisbon!
Gracie and I at the park!
Gracie and the boys relaxing, waiting for the bus
Favorite picture I've taken in Europe thus far

Surprisingly, I ended up really liking Lisbon. It definitely had a more dirty, run-down feel to it, like it was in somewhat of a decline (whether or not that's true, I don't really know), but for some reason it was completely captivating and beautiful. The buildings were all different colors, and a lot of them were not painted, but covered with decorative tile, which I am now completely obsessed with. We decided to take a hop-on hop-off bus tour of the city, so that we could see the most possible in the shortest amount of time. We rode around and got to see a ton of different sites. The one stop we made was at a gorgeous park (don't know the name of it), but we looked around and then just laid in the grass for about half an hour until we got picked up by another bus. The weather was completely gorgeous, perfect for sitting on an open topped bus. Overall, just a nice relaxing view of a pretty cool city that I had never intended to see, so it was a nice surprise. There was a little hiccup when Bo and I were in our cab headed for the bus station and our cab driver (who spoke zero English) casually clipped another car and tore it's side mirror off, but otherwise, it was wonderful (don't worry Mom, I'm alive, completely intact)!
More of Lisbon (still no idea what)

Loved the colors and architecture of the city

There was a little mix up with everyone's bus tickets when we got to the station, but it got figured out quickly, and we headed on a bus from Lisbon to Lagos. I fell asleep for most of the time, but for the part I was awake, Portugal was so beautiful. Just a lot of empty space, fields and rolling hills, completely gorgeous. When we got to Lagos we had a cab take us to the house we were renting for the week. The cab driver spoke only Portuguese and got pretty lost, but we eventually found it, and he didn't make us pay (not like it would have mattered because taxis cost almost nothing there) while he drove around somewhat aimlessly. Nonetheless, we eventually made it to the house, and the wait was well worth it!
A few pictures of the views from our house! Only about a two minute walk to the beach!!

Such a beautiful family dinner from Paige and myself! Sharing mom duties for the week :)

 The only words I can say to describe it are gorgeous. Beautiful house, beautiful view, beautiful pool, just beautiful. We met the five others at the house (Katie, Paige, Nicole, Josh and Alec), and pretty much had one of the best weeks ever. The weather was perfect, we got to cook every meal, drink as much wine as we could think of, and all for practically no money (again, in comparison to London). I did absolutely nothing for the 6ish days I was there and it was amazing. I was not ready to leave when it was time to fly back to London. Such a great spot for a vacation, and a phenomenal time with some of my favorite people!

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