Friday, February 26, 2016

Impromptu Trip to Europe: Part III - Porto, Coimbra and Lagos, Portugal

The next morning (February 9th) we woke up and decided to go for a drive to find where the hop-on-hop-off bus stops are. The website wasn't really clear and we didn't want to be walking around in the rain looking for the bus stop. After finding the bus stop we jumped on the bus and headed off into the city.

[This picture accurately describes our experience in Porto]

We rode around on the bus for a while before getting off along the river. The weather was still bad so we decided to get lunch. My parents had been telling me how great the fish is in Portugal and how cheap the food is. They were not lying! I got the salmon and it was amazing! My dad then ordered some Ports (when in Porto!) and we got a lesson in Port making from the waiter. He also showed us a bottle of Port from the 1800s that is 100 Euros for a taste! 

After lunch the weather cleared up a little bit and we were able to jump back on the bus. This time we were able to sit on the top under the covering. The bus took us through the city center where all these amazing buildings are!

It's hard to take pictures from a moving bus in the rain, but trust me, the city is very pretty! We were a little bummed out that it rained so much while we were in Porto. You can tell that the city has a lot to offer. But we had to move on.

The next morning (February 10th) we started the long drive back to the apartment that my parents were renting in Lagos (on the southern coast).

On the way we stopped by Coimbra. This city is the birth place of six kings and the seat of Portugal's oldest University.

We parked the car and went to Santa Cruz to see where Portugal's first two kings are buried.

We then continued our walk through the city where we found a cute shop with locally made porcelain. Coimbra is known for their porcelain. I found this cute stork that I wanted to buy. I decided not to because it was fragile but now I regret it :-(  Oh well.

We then made out way to the Sao Tiago.

We then hopped in the car and drove over to the University. Luckily, we found parking! We walked around the University for a few minutes. The buildings are all old and the architecture is beautiful! At this point the wind started picking up and our umbrellas became useless so we decided it was time to leave.

We got back on the toll roads and continued our journey south. The weather cleared up and we arrived in Lagos 4 hours later.

We went to the grocery store to get some food for the next day and then went out for pizza! YUM!

[I thought my dad pulling this little cart around was pretty cute]

[Didn't quite meet my goals on our travel day]

The next morning (February 11th), my parents took me down to the beach and the harbor. I can really see why this place would be a huge hit during the summer! The beach is HUGE and there are tons of bars and restaurants that line the boardwalk.

We stopped for lunch at one of these restaurants. I got this fish and shrimp kabob! It was huge and delicious!

We then went to the Lagos city center and walked around the small streets. My parents showed me some of the apartments that they had been looking at. Super small but really cute! I love these European cities!

[Dad with our "large" car]

[My parents had a 1975 VW Bus when they first got married! Super cute!]

We went back to the apartment where dad cooked dinner and we went to bed early since we had to be up at 2:45 AM to catch our flight to SPAIN! Even though it rained the entire time I was in Portugal and I was sick with this stupid cold, I loved Portugal!

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