29 April 2011

Road Trip Part II: Sites of Portugal

Sunday morning, we got up and decided to just hit the road because we had places to go and things to see in other parts of Portugal!
Our first two stops were both cities just outside Lisbon; we started our day off going to Sintra. We went to Sintra to see the famous Pena Palace (not knowing at the time it was called that, of course), which is a castle (palace) build during the 19th century and is said to be one of the best representations of Romanticist architecture.

The reason for all of the different colors is because Romanticism was all about having an eclectic mix of styles from many different time periods. The Palace basically looks like something out of a Disney movie come to life! We only paid to see the grounds and exterior of the palace, but I'm sure it would have been worth it to see the inside if we'd had more time.

(Olivia and Me at Pena Palace, Sintra)

We ended up eating lunch at an amazing Indian restaurant in the town before getting back on the road (who would have thought we'd eat Indian food in Portugal!).
Our next stop was in Cascais, Portugal where we were looking for the Mouth of Hell or Boca do Inferno.
(Boca do Inferno, Cascais)

Not only was the Mouth of Hell amazing, but we the cliffs along the coast at Cascais were just remarkable!

It was already getting to be later in the afternoon by that point and we had to drive down to the southern coast, so we spent the rest of the day in the car. We got to Sagres, Portugal, aka the end of the world, after it was already dark and found a sneaky little drive-in spot to camp for the night.

(Our make-shift camping spot)

We knew we had camped on some cliffs, but since it was dark, we didn't realize what kind of a beautiful place we'd stumbled upon. I was the first one to wake up in the morning (after a pretty terrible night sleeping on the ground) and was instantly in awe of the view I had the privilege of waking up to seeing.

(Olivia and Me at the end of the world...more or less)

We all took some time to explore the cliffs and enjoy the morning before we got in the car again, heading to Lagos. It wasn't a very long drive, but it was the one with the most reward at the end. We immediately found the beach and I think my heart stopped. The first beach we went to in Lagos is my new favorite place in the entire world.

The sand was incredible; large grains, but super soft and squishy. I could have stayed on that beach the whole day! It was great as well because we got there in the late morning and it was kinda cloudy, so there was practically no one else on the beach with us. The water was pretty rough, splashing up on the cliffs with every wave, the sound was powerful, but very relaxing.

(Colleen, Olivia and Me in Lagos)

Then we drove to the other side of town and ate a late breakfast, wandered around the town for a bit...I bought a new dress and then we went to another beach that was completely the opposite of the first. Small grain, white(er) sand, zero rocks or cliffs, tranquil waves and miles of open beach.

We goofed around on the beach for a while, practicing handstands and cartwheels, doing yoga and having a push-up contest. It's moments like the one we spent on that beach, that I will always remember and will always look back on with a smile.

(Troy showing off on the beach)

Our fun was over when it started to rain, so we ran back to the car and started on our way back toward Spain (which we didn't want to do!). We reached Cadiz, Spain a few hours later and struggled to find a good spot to camp for the night that was secluded and where we wouldn't get into trouble. In our searching though, we found yet another amazing beach...one straight out of a postcard or romantic movie. It was one of the picturesque beach of the Costa del Sol and Troy was ecstatic about finding it.

We watched the sun start to set over the ocean and basked in our luck of being able to see so many amazing places in one day.

That night we camped at a nature reserve just outside of Cadiz, it was chilly, so we ate sandwiches in the car, drank sangria and talked for hours about life before finally setting up camp.

More to come soon!


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