Saturday, 25 June 2011

Rocky times in Lagos, Portugal

After almost two weeks hauling our luggage on and off Portuguese public transport, Rachael and I arrived in Lagos. Confronted with a coastal resort where you're just as likely to hear English or German on the streets as you are to catch a snippet of the native language, where happy hour cocktail signs abound and sunning yourself is one of the key preoccupations, we instantly felt 'on holiday' from what had become our daily routine. The sun had finally put in more than a teasingly cruel appearance after a week of grey skies, drizzle and the odd storm. There was no denying it: Lagos was looking good.

Lagos marina

In the western Algarve, this popular holiday destination has more appeal than the nearby overdeveloped resort towns of Portimao and Praia da Rocha. The walled old town has a choice of pretty squares, perfect for relaxing with a drink; there's a modern yacht-filled marina and a selection of beaches, from cosy coves to the larger sweep of surfers' favourite Meia Praia. Now that we were in holiday mode, surfing sounded far too energetic, so we opted instead for a boat trip down the Lagos coastline. A stunning series of rocky outcrops and caves, some of the curious formations are named after the shapes they represent: the camel proved a fairly accurate description, but I was unconvinced by the idea of a grotto resembling a living room. That's certainly not an idea my mother would be on board with, anyway.

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