After a 4 night stay in Lisbon, we decided it was time to head South for some quality beach and relaxation time. Our plan was to go to Faro, the third largest city in Portugal and the main city in the region of the Algarve, famed for great surfing spots. Always waiting till the morning of to figure out our accomadation and transportation, this day was no different. We enjoyed the free breakfast of crepes and horriblly bitter coffee to wash it all down, took quick showers, packed our bags and checked out. Then we hung about to use the free wifi to figure out where to next.
My brother is in charge of booking accommodation and getting us there once we’ve arrived in the new town. I’m in charge of transportation and getting us to the respective station. Fair deal, no? My brother is master of always reading reviews and he quickly felt uncertain about our next when he read nothing but bad news for hostels- one hostel had beg bugs, another grungy and falling apart. Hmmm. How about Lagos? Lagos was a place I had on our list but when we decided to cut towns and have more time in a place, we cut it out. His search proved fruitful and positive. I bothered the receptionist again about trains and bus schedules for our new destination. Our guidebook gave a shrug of the shoulders to Lagos and I had no idea what we’d think or what to expect.
I secretly prayed on the train, we’d both enjoy this spot. I wanted a place on the beach to call home for a handful of days and my brother, realizing how tiring travel is, felt the same. There was also a bit of pressure because his 25th birthday is this Friday. We wanted a happening place, where we could meet folks, celebrate his birthday and enjoy the beach. When we arrived at 21:30 and took our 15 minute walk to the hostel, I said, “I like the vibe of this place” as we walked along the marina. Streets quiet. “I feel the same,” he said. Little did we know Lagos is the Australian summer party scene. So popular in fact, that the biggest hostel, Rising Cock, is filled with Australians and is well known in Australia as the Must- Go place in Portugal. All there guests are adorned with wristbands (think Mexico spring break) and one girl we met within an hour of arriving told us, We have wristbands so if we get too drunk and can’t find our way, they know where to take us.” Oh really. That type of hostel. Or rather that type of town.
Needless to say, this place is overrun with young Australians wanting to party till they can’t walk straight, where drinking excessively to the point of no recollection is celebrated, repeating nightly. I feel a little out of place. I’ll admit, I’ve never been much of a drinker but drinking around the clock everyday, just seems a bit much, no? Or maybe it’s a simple sign of growing wiser? Everyone who works in the bars and hostels are (mostly) Australians who’ve come for the summer to work, er party and have free accommodation.
Lagos beaches are beautiful. It’s certainly paradise here. Sometimes I think, Where am I? Am I still in Europe? And I wonder, how do the locals feel? How does a place become so touristy to the point it appears there are more tourists than locals?
I’m enjoying my stay here despite feeling a little out of place. I love the beaches. I love the color of the water. I look forward to kayaking and more importantly, I’m enjoying time with my brother.
Have you been to Lagos? Have you been to a place where you felt you didn’t quite “fit in” or you felt out of sorts but still enjoyed parts of it?