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Sam’s Travel Diary

Thursday, 07 Jun 2007

Location: Portugal

MapPortugal was soooo nice!!! I had such a fabulous time :-)
What a great birthday treat to myself haha!

I started my trip by going to lagos (southern portugal), where I stayed in this really cool hostel called The Rising Cock Hostel(heh) - it was such a relaxed & fun environment there! Everyone staying there was pretty much out to party hearty at nights and spend the days chilling out on the beach - or lying in the hostel lounge watching movies to get over the hangovers haha. It was kinda like a home away from home - Mama & Mario (the owners) even cook crepes for breakfast every morning, and unless you move your plate from the table, you just keep being fed... mmmmm crepes for breakfast should be mandatory worldwide!!

The beaches there were gorgeous and the weather was amazing! Kinda perfect summer weather - around mid-late 20's - so not tooo hot. I had one full day in Lagos, which I basically spent lazing round on the beach (swimsuit and all!) and occassionally dipping into the freezing, but refreshing, ocean to cool down.

Had 2 nights in Lagos and it was seriously fun :-) Helped that the beers were generally 1 at all the pubs....

Then on Saturday it was up to Lisbon where Gaynor met me. Our hostel there was amazing!! Almost like a hotel... except, you know - cheaper! It was really modern and clean. This was also the first hostel I've stayed at that offer a 3 course evening meal (at a charge of course). We had the hostel dinner 2 out of 3 nights there - the first night was a Romanian meal and the last night was Portugese. Added bonus was that you had all you could drink with the meal as well - great value for only 6 each!!

We met a great crew there over dinner on the first night - an Irishman named Matthew, as well as a brother and sister from Holland - Sebastian & Sabine. We all got on really well, in fact the 3 of them changed their travel plans to stay an extra night so we could all hang out the next day .... aaawww!!

So, the next day we all went to Sintra (about 30 mins from Lisbon by train) and spent the day there - it was gorgeous!
Gaynor and I went up to see this palace - it was amazing!! I love thinking about how people actually used to live in these old places!! You could just picture Rapunzel hanging out in one of the turrets...
The others went to a Moorish Castle - but we ran out of time so didn't end up getting to see that as well.

Had a fabulous night out with the 3 of them again - we went for my birthday meal (Gaynor and i were waiting till we were in portugal to do that) and just had a blast :-)
The next day Sabine & Bas left, so Gaynor, Matthew & I went sightseeing round Lisbon city. We took it pretty easy though as it was quite hot, but had a nice, chilled out day - complete with ice cold beers to help cool us down hehe.

Had a reasonably drunken last night in Lisbon with a group of people from the hostel... we all just had the meal on offer and hung out in the hostel kitchen drinking the free wine hehe

So now am back in lovely Cork - I think we brought the weather back with us though as it's been absolutely gorgeous here the past 2 days!!!

A very successful birthday holiday indeed..... :-D

HUGE CONGRATULATIONS to Jo & Glenn, whose gorgeous son, Bradly, has finally arrived safe and sound... and also to Jennie & Bevan, who have added to the Overend brood with their 2nd born, a lovely wee girl named Chloe :-)

Also, happy birthday to all the May babies - young and old! You all know who you are... best wishes to you all :-)

Better get back to work.... Loads of love & hugs from Cork x