Friday – Sept 15
Kim and I were up early and had our usual Croissant and coffee for breakfast. We were thinking about getting one of these hop on-hop off bus tours for the day. It was going to cost 60€ but it was super convenient. As it turns out, we couldn’t get tickets, so we hopped on the metro and took the train to the end of the line, Santa Appalonia. It was about 14 km but we set off in that direction to see the sights. We did a bunch of souvenir shopping and looked for a memory card for my camera. With all of this beautiful scenery my 2 gig card isn’t going to last much longer. We managed to walk the full 14 k back to our hotel and frankly, we were both pretty impressed that we were able to find our way despite the fact we had no map or GPS system. After a quick shower, we grabbed our Kindle books and set out for a nearby park to read and enjoy downtown, Lisbon. There is always something to see in this city. Lots of people setting up for some sort of autumn festival. This morning while we had breakfast we watched them film a TV show on our street. Now while we were in the park we saw a whole bunch of students arrive singing in groups. Not to many people know that before J K Rowling wrote The Harry Potter series she worked in Lisbon selling jewelry. According to our guide he said she stole a lot of the costume ideas from tradition Portuguese costumes. We were so surprised to see that all of the students were dressed as if they just walked out of Hogwarts. They were all wearing white shirts and black, skirts for the girls and pants for the boys. They even had the long capes. Some with their house badges on them. I took a pic but to be seen later. Long live Griffendor! As the sun was setting behind the tall building and the wind came up, Kim and I decided to have a quick drink before dinner.
A mixture of the old and the new. Note this is one building, not two! I am not a big consumer of hard liquor I like to have a Black Russian around Christmas time and decided to order on at the hotel bar. The drink (6€) was huge! It was about 6 oz of vodka with a splash of Tia Maria. I commented to the bar tender it was a little light in colour so he topped it up with another 3-4 oz of Tia Maria. I know I am spending a lot of time talking about food while we are away, but our meals are just scrumptious. For dinner tonight, Kim and I shared a fish and prawn soup. Then a prawn-seafood kind of dumpling that was deep fried. For our main course I had a curried prawn and rice dish and Kim ordered the pork tenderloin. It came with a vegetable dish filled with spinach and potatoes and they kindly substituted a delicious risotto. We ordered a small bottle of red wine as well. Our meal was so good last night we made a comment on Trip Advisor and named our server. He was so delighted to have us do this at the end of our meal he brought a very fruity, cold muscatel. This is a fruit wine made from apricots I think. It was quite good, but a little sweet. When he saw we couldn’t finish the drink because it was too sweet, he insisted we have something a little dryer and brought us some of the port that Portugal is so famous for. While I am not much of a port drinker, ( I think it is a distilled red wine, a little sweet that is served after dinner) this was also delicious. We finished our dinner about 9:30 and went back to the hotel room where we got our stuff ready for to,or rows trip to Lagos.
Saturday, September 16
After our usual breakfast, we caught a cab to the other side of town with all of our luggage and met up with Michael and Ronda. We rented a Citroen mini van and set out for Lagos. We stopped for lunch well off the freeway at a little town called Carte Verde. A delicious lunch of garlic mushrooms, fresh melted cheese over a very tasty Portuguese bread.
We stopped by and saw a 300 year old church. It was pristine in side with all original fixtures. Later they were having a wedding there. We made it to Lagos and played the round about game where we get so lost our maps no longer serve as a decent reference. So we stopped at a gas station and a young girl with perfect English gave me directions to our apartment. Our place is a very large 2 bedroom, with a large kitchen with all of the amenities. Our deck, which has covered outdoor seating for our meals, is about 1200 square feet. We want to invite 50 of our friends over for a party!
Our fearless foursome quickly unpacked, put on bathing suits and headed towards the beach. Michael and I went swimming. The water was colder than I thought it would be, but it appears as if we are experiencing more of the Atlantic Ocean than the Mediterranean Sea. We didn’t think much about dinner until quite late. We walked around our area, but nothing appealed to us so we decided to order in Italian. I had pasta while the other three had pizza and salad. We split a bottle of red wine and enjoyed the company of good friends. Michael gave me a reflexology treatment. This is not your relaxing foot massage, but actually can be a bit painful. It most have done a lot of good as I slept like a baby. Tomorrow we go sight seeing around the Algarve.