Portugal

What an amazing place! I spent three days in Lagos, and that was all I needed to decide that I will have my main house here and my vacation house somewhere else.

The food is cheap and delicious and served in large portions. The swordfish, for example, didn’t even fit on a platter. There is nothing more you could ask from food.

A table set with plates of fish and potatoes, cervezas, wine, and condiments.

Fish and potatoes in the old city center of Lagos

The weather is warm during the day and cool at night. In a word: perfect.

The scenery is breathtaking. Steep, multi-colored cliffs tower over dark and tumultuous waves at the End of the World. When the waves crash into the cliffs, spray shoots several meters high–and on this day, the weather was calm.

Waves crach against tall, yellow cliffs on the Atlantic Ocean

They call this the End of the World

Someday, I would like to return to this location on a stormy day. I will wear iron-weighted boots and tie myself by a rope to the car. On this day, it was good enough just to watch the sun melt into the ocean. Somewhere past the sun lies the United States:

The bright sun melts into a dark Atlantic Ocean

See you tomorrow, sun!

Elsewhere, the cliffs are striped in shades of orange and yellow. They are made of layers of sedimented seashells, which are sharp and cut your legs as you try to scale them. You have to be careful where you put your feet and hands because the sediment is porous and crumbly, and you don’t want to fall.

Tall yellow cliffs overlook a sandy beach speckled with sunbathers and a smooth, clear ocean.

This is the beach a few steps away from my hotel.

When you reach the top, you will look down and the water is so clear and greenish blue that you can see all the indentations on the rocks below and all the shadows in the sand.

You can see rocks through the clear water between the cliffs.

The water is like glass, and the rocks are like rocks on the other side of some glass.

This is good because when you jump off the cliff, you don’t want to jump into the rocks. This is the cliff I scaled and jumped off of:

Some cliffs in the water at night. The sky is pink, and you can see the lights of a city on the other side of the water.

The one I jumped off is in the foreground in the right center of the picture.

Elsewhere, the purple and red cliffs are forgotten, even though they are beautiful.

Red cliffs line the beach where all the surfers get ready to take to the water.

Just a few minutes to take in the landscape before we put on our gear and get in the water.

The focus instead is on the surfing. Here, at la pleia amata or “loved beach,” I learned to surf for the first time with my friend Mike. I went for 3 hours before I was too hungry and thirsty and tired to continue. Well before those 3 hours were up, I was already planning on surfing again. Surfing is officially my favorite sport to play.

Me and my friend stand with our surfboards on the beach.

Mike and I are exhausted after 3 hours of falling off our surfboards.

In summary, Portugal is a fantastic place to visit. I felt sad when I left, and that’s a good thing. It’s good to know you’ve experienced something so special that it’s worth missing. I know I will have to go back.

Here are some other pictures just to make you drool:

A view of the beach outside the hotel. Tall cliffs line the shore so far into the distance that they form a dwindling line to the end of the photo. In the other direction, the beach grows and two figures in the distance help put it all in scale.

It's less crowded during a morning walk on the beach after breakfast.

The view from a lounge chair by the pool on the roof shows the cliffs and ocean in the distance.

My feet are so happy here, lounging by the pool on the roof of my hotel.

Some people catch the sun beneath giant cliffs on the beach.

Dramatic cliffs on one side, dramatic ocean on the other. What to look at? Books.

A lighthouse sits atop a steep cliff overlooking the ocean at sunset.

The Lighthouse at the End of the World doesn't need a better caption.

Advertisements

2 thoughts on “Portugal

  1. Those salads with little piles of grated veggies looked great !
    Thanks for the beautiful photos too.
    Were these just weekend travels? Are the other people also teaching with you?
    It all sounds so much fun, well worth the worrying you did when you decided to go on this grand adventure outside your comfort zone!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s