This weekend we went to Lagos, Portugal, with the DiscoverSevilla Program. There were over a hundred other study abroad students that went on the trip, along with about fifteen from UNC. Basically, DiscoverSevilla provided us with transportation, a hotel, and activities throughout the weekend. It was really nice to have the option to do a bunch of different organized activities, but also the freedom to explore the city on our own. The mix of students and DiscoverSevilla guides that went on the trip was very interesting, to say the least. Some of the kids on the program sounded incredibly stupid (yes, I know judgmental). When we got on the bus to go to Lagos on Friday, I overheard some of the boys commenting on how excited they were to continue their current blackout throughout the weekend. That conversation, however, was topped by the girl sitting next to me in the hotel lobby who took the time to compare European and American strip clubs. (Not only did I find it odd that she went to strip clubs in both continents on the reg, but I also was surprised to find that she frequently texted her mom about her visits to such strip clubs…to each his own, I suppose). Definitely was entertaining and made me appreciate the UNC crowd.
We got to Lagos around 1:30pm on Friday afternoon. The beach was next to the hotel, so we went there right away. The water was super clear and there were a bunch of giant rocks/cliffs surrounding us. Quite the view to have when laying out throughout the afternoon. A hundred yards out or so from the shore, there was a giant rock that a bunch of people were jumping off of into the water. At first, I was unsure if I was going to do it because a) I’m an absolutely TERRIBLE swimmer and B) the water was really cold. But, with a little YOLO mentality, I decided to do it and I’m glad I did. The few cuts I got on my legs from climbing up the sharp rock were definitely worth the plunge into the water.
Friday night, the DiscoverSevilla guides showed us into the center of the city and recommended a couple of good restaurants. They suggested a burger joint that is supposedly famous throughout Europe for its burgers. I was a little hesitant at first because I wanted to be eating authentic Portuguese food while we were in Portugal, but I was SO glad that we ended up eating there. Elisabeth ordered a burger and I got a veggie burger. We then split them in half and did a little switch-a-roo. So, I had half of her burger and then the half of my veggie burger. Arguably two of the best burgers I’ve ever had.
After a little roaming around the center of town, we went out to a couple bars for the rest of the night. Laura, Leigh, and I ended up meeting a group of students from French and Slovenia that were studying in Lisbon for the semester who were fun to talk to.
My day on Saturday was split between time on the beach and a sailboat cruise. The cruise was really neat as we got to see all the cliffs and caves throughout Lagos, along with some complimentary sangria. Such beautiful views! But, these views were definitely topped by watching the sunset at the “edge of the world.” (where the Europeans thought the world ended before Columbus proved that the world was round).
We were lucky enough to find an authentic Portuguese restaurant to eat at on Saturday night, which was surprisingly hard to find given how touristy Lagos is (sometimes it felt as if we were walking through an American beach city because all the shops and restaurants seemed to be catered to English-speaking tourists). I decided to be bold and try some cod fish, was absolutely delicious! Our whole group was pretty exhausted from the day on the beach (again…rough life, I know). So, we just got some gelato and went back to the hotel.
One of the organized activities for Sunday was kayaking. As most of you know, I have been obsessing over doing kayaking the ENTIRE summer. But, no one wanted to do it with me, so I wasn’t sure if I wanted to do it by myself. I finally decided that I was going to do it and was really excited for it! Although, I thought it started it twelve when it actually started at ten…so, I missed it 😦 Guess that just means my kayaking adventure will have to be saved for the Guadalquivir river back in Sevilla. Instead of kayaking, a group of us spent the day relaxing on a private beach and exploring the town of Lagos. Not too shabby, huh?
Hope you all had a fabulous, relaxing weekend!