Loule Cup Post: http://ryansheehan.ca/loule-cup-2015/
I have been to Portugal several times, but the beaches, views and weather will never get old. Everytime I think the magic will be gone, but its naaaaaaat! As someone who lives in a landlocked province, I appreciate the sea more and more every time – the mountains are neat, but for cereal the ocean is incredible.
We spent most of the time in the Algarve – I, luckily, flew right into Faro so I didn’t have to take the train down from Lisbon. The competition was in Loule, but we stayed in Vilamoura. Vilamoura was amazing. We had been there once before to take a boat tour the first time we went to Portugal but I don’t remember much, so it was a nice refresher. We took a stroll down the marina quite a few times for dinner and it was mad nice.
The last night of the meet I opted not to go to the banquet but was hungry so strolled down the beach. Everyone had told me that Europeans don’t really celebrate Halloween (which was shown by the 4 sad decorations we saw – my mom woud die at the lack of enthusiasm here) so walking alone at 10pm on Halloween didn’t phase me. UNTIL I turned a corner and 8 guys with hella scary masks on were standing there staring at me. If you haven’t the seen the movie The Purge, don’t because it’s terrifying, but watch the preview and their masks are dead on to the ones these guys were wearing. I virtually crapped my pants and accepted my fate (kidnapping/murder from scary Portugese teenagers) to have them only mumble Portugese at me as I walked past. T’was a relief, and thus I began plotting how I would get back to my hotel without running into anymore Hooligans (which didn’t work because kids were hiding in the bushes scaring people on my way back).
We also walked around Loule and visited the market and shops in town one afternoon. There were lot’s of hidden treasures and awful smells around every turn. I got my mom a “hand-painted” (to be authenticated) Honey Pot which I thought was tres cute. We tried to find a couple resturants off of TripAdvisor which both ended up being close (permantly) so we ate some crappy place. A couple of our crappy meals reminds me why I love the HardRock café even though everyone hates me for it – sometimes a brotha just wants an American ish meal?
My last day in Portugal we took the train to Lisbon and I flew out that night. We stay in the same area every time, around the Oriente Train Station, because it’s fairly central and is near the water. We know the area pretty well now too, and the train station is super convenient. I was pooped and slept most of the way there, and did some shopping/eating before my flight. The area by the water is also very pretty, but also lacking some activities to do besides shopping.
The south of Portugal is more of an older crowd – it reminds me of Kelowna/the Okanagan in that it seems like a retiree area with golf everywhere. It is truly beautiful down there, but a little slow for my vibe. The pictures tell a better story than I can!