Heaven’s Gates at the South Coast of Portugal

After our adventures in Lisbon, Kristyn and I took the ridiculously cheap train (I believe it was under 20 euro per person, one way… Mind you, we were paying the student fee) down to the Algarve in Portugal, particularly, Lagos. The train ride down itself was quite stunning, with the greenery surrounding us as we took the 4 hour venture down to the south coast.

After weaving through the cobblestoned streets of the little town that seemed to be a popular vacation spot for British tourists. After finding our hostel, which was a bit of a struggle with my screen-shotted instructions from my “Maps” app from the last time I had Wifi, we made a beeline for the beautiful beach.




The beaches in Lagos are simply stunning. We spent the rest of our day getting some sun, then enjoyed a meal in the cutest outdoor restaurant right outside our hostel, called The Garden. It specialized in vegetarian food and was simply delightful. Kristyn and I both enjoyed our bean burgers with fries, and even got to have a couple cuddles with the restaurant’s cat while sitting on comfy chairs and couches instead of regular restaurant chairs.



The next day, it was a bit cloudy, so Kristyn and I opted to go on a scenic hike around the coastline. Even though the sun wasn’t directly shining in the crystal clear blue ocean water, the scenery was breathtaking. The cliffs were unbelievable and a bit scary. There were signs everywhere warning about cliff erosion, and at one lookout one of the tiles laid down on the cliff’s top was crumbling into the ocean!

The one thing about Lagos that Kristyn and I loved and hated was that it truly was a very relaxing resort town, and for travelers like us who were on a budget (AKA feeling super cheap) there wasn’t much to do besides hiking and beach-going without spending very many Euro. As a result, we spent a lot of time relaxing in our hostel, debating on what we would cook for dinner that night, looking for the cheapest grocery store to buy the ingredients (we ended up walking over a bridge that was blocked off to cars because of a collapsing risk as it resulted in a half-hour shortcut) and of course, going for ice cream at least once a day. One of our favorite past-times in Lagos was trying to find the cheapest possible ice cream place and then pledging our allegiance until we could replace it with a more frugal competitor. One time, we even got ice cream twice in one day…..


20140414-174452The next day, Kristyn opted to stay back and relax while I went on a day-long surfing trip with a local surf shop. I’ve always wanted to surf, and I figured now was the time to do it. I joined a group of English university students and it the high seas. My only previous surfing experience was one time, in Hawaii, when I was 17. My mother paid this nice Hawaiian man 70 dollars to push the surfboard and make me think I was the next Beach Boy or something. Real surfing is so much more difficult. Mind you, also more exciting, as many of the waves I nearly drowned in at the beach in Portugal were 7-9 feet tall. A thrill, regardless.

Kristyn left extremely early the next day – and I mean 5AM early and I left shortly after for the 2 hour train ride to Faro. From there I went on to Paris, which is another story. Til then, here is a beautiful last glimpse of Lagos:

20140417-211848Note: this post is a recapture from when I studied abroad for the year during 2013-2014. It was rewritten to enhance the included media and writing quality for this blog. The original post can be found here.


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