Because I am ever so responsible, where did I spend my first week in Europe? At home, getting life organized and setting up my immigration papers? Nope, that’s boring. Portuguese Road Trip it is!
After finding a sunny spot to nap in Faro (and getting annoyed by Random Portuguese dude who kept trying to talk to my sleepy self), I found tasty treats and random old buildings. Basically I had half the day to kill while waiting for my partner in crime to land in Portugal. I discovered that southern Portugal attracts a ton of English and German tourists. To the ridiculous extent that most people were speaking English around me all day. Oh yeah and I got regularly asked for directions by said tourists. Because apparently I look Portuguese, even when hauling my backpack around!
When the sun started to set, I decided that lurking around Faro had gotten old and hoped the bus back to the airport, to be jet-lagged somewhere with a roof. Naturally I passed out on a convenient bench and no doubt made a lovely (and not hobo-ish at all) picture in my ratty flannel and ugly travel clothes. Which is how Paul found me, probably drooling on said ratty flannel.
We grabbed the rental car from the sketchiest Portuguese company ever and headed out. An hour later, we were driving in circles around the (very) narrow streets of Lagos, trying to find a hotel that apparently did not exist. Seriously, the street in question did (and was full of drunk students) but the hotel did not. Almost managed to take out a couple Portuguese people as well as some trash cans. Fun, fun fun. Skipping the period of frustrated looking and confusing phone calls to the hotel, apparently Google Maps is stupid and had sent us to the city, not the beach town 7 kilometers away. Fuck! Yeah…I finally got to a bed by 1:30 a.m!! Woo…
The following couple days were full of lazy beach time and avoiding the sporadic Portuguese rain. Basically, the Algarve is fucking gorgeous and full of lovely beaches with all sorts of cool rocky coastlines. Also, a ton of surfers.
But all too soon, my fun had to end and it was back to reality.