I went back to heading west, and can now add Portugal to the 35 countries I have visited. It really blows my mind that twelve years ago I had only visited two countries, and one of those was Canada. Back then Canada was our friend, so I am glad I got that one in before they shut their borders to Americans.
Even though I did travel to a new country, I have not really had the opportunity to enjoy it yet. It took all day to get to the town of Lagos on the southern tip of the country. My journey took me on a bus, plane, and for the first time on this trip around the world, a car. It also highlighted what I dislike about travel days. They make you feel like you are doing a whole lot of nothing, but it takes you all day to do it, and by the time you get to your destination, you are completely worn out. You get shuffled around from place to place in the hopes that companies can transport people quickly and efficiently. The sad thing about it is they sometimes forget that they are dealing with people.
The day was crazy. We had to catch a bus to take us to the airport. Traffic cut it a little short for us, but we were still able to grab breakfast because on our first flight was a little delayed. This made the transfer to our second flight a little stressful because we arrived at the exact moment they started boarding, but we were lucky because the people who worked there had to get two large groups of middle school kids onto our flight. Luckily, they were there so we could make our flight. Unluckily, they were on our flight, but it was only a forty-five minute flight, so it was like teaching a overcrowded class of middle school kids. We then got a car and drove the rest of the way to our Air B+B, having a little difficult time navigating the skinny streets of the old part of Lagos. We got up at six in the morning to arrive at five and didn’t want to do anything but enjoy a glass of wine on our patio.
It was exhausting, but we were able to see some fun sites along the way. The landscape of Portugal reminds me of the northern part of New Mexico, it has small little villas tucked away on small hills dotted with short trees because that is all that will grow in this environment. But the sun constantly shined, and the air is a refreshing change from Korea’s because it is clean and you can see for miles around.
The town of Lagos is also a warm and welcoming place with many pedestrian avenues to stroll down with many small shops and cafes to enjoy. I only got to do a small walk through town, but it made me excited for what I was going to be able to see during the next couple of days. It also has a beach, but I haven’t made it to that section of town yet.
Even though the day was a little bit of a struggle, it was completely worth the effort because I now find myself in a small seaside town where the pace of things will slow down considerably. Knowing me, I will still have to get out and explore the area a little bit, and I have a car to do just that, but for now I will just enjoy this little town and see what it has to offer.