Well after spending some time in Berlin, where is the next logical place to go to? Well, perhaps Sweden or something, but to be honest Brett and I were nackered and tired of travelling and agreed that what we needed was a week of doing nothing but chilling on a nice beach, swimming and drinking beer all day long. So we booked a flight to Portugal! Now if you have been reading this blog since the beginning I mentioned that our old Contiki bus driver was from Portugal, and he couldn't stop raving about how awesome it is. So that was the main reason we went - he should be a salesman.
Upon arrival in Lisbon - Portugal's capital - we noticed it was nice and warm despite the fact that it was autumn, and knew that in London it was getting cold already. We found our hostel, put our bags down, and hit the streets. First impression - awesome city with great character.
Here I'm standing at the ocean edge looking toward the city.
We walked up to a palace / castle in the city and took in the views.
Oh no, a building far away on fire!
We went on a different day to a place out of town, and amongst other interesting things, saw this cool looing castle.
Lisbon was pretty cool, we spent a couple days on our way in and another couple on our way out of Portugal. But we were eager to get to Lagos - a town at the very south of Portugal known for its good beaches. Because it was low season we managed to get a hotel that worked out cheaper than staying at a hostel. Here's the view!
It was so nice to not share with other people and have some space of our own to relax. We spent a whole week there, sleeping til late, going for a dip, cracking open a few beers on the beach, heading back to the hotel for a bite, then back to the beach, then for dinner going down to the marina and trying one of the many great restaurants. Speaking of which there was one I must mention had absolutely the best calamari I've ever had in my life. I've had a fair bit in my time since I love the stuff, but this was so unbelievably good - and the jug or two of sangria did well to go with it.
One day we decided to jump on a fishing boat and I tried my hand, but didn't get anything decent since we couldn't go into deep water as it was too rough that day.
So I took things into my own hands and went to town, found an ultra cheap fishing rig (€6!), and went to the jetty with some crappy bait that I found, and ended up catching nothing at all. Oh well it was still fun.
As for Lagos, it is also known for base jumping into the ocean off cliffs and I can see why - pretty nice place.
And that my friends was the end of our travels for the year! We flew back to London and started the boring process of job hunting and finding places to live. After about a month in London I was offered a job in a city about 2 hours west of London called Bristol. It was a good position - web development - and it paid well so I took it, and stayed there for exactly four and a half months saving like crazy so I could carry on with my travels. Where to next you ask? Check back here in April 2012, but let me give you a hint. It has some states and they are united.