We were adamant that part of our Portugal and Spain trip include some time at the beach. A tip from a friend led us to the coast of the Algarve in Portugal. We stayed in Lagos, which is on the far western end of the southern coast. We took an easy 4-hour bus ride from Lisbon and settled in for some sun and relaxation.
Hi there! So, we’re a little behind on our blogging, but we’ve been pretty busy the last few months. Since the start of May, we’ve had 14 visitors (thanks to everyone who came to see us!) and squeezed in seven trips. Now, with less than a week until our next (and last!) trip (three days on a beach outside of Barcelona with friends), and less than two weeks until we head back to the U.S., I’m working on going through some photos and reliving all of the excitement.
After some convincing that they could do more than just hang out in Paris for two weeks, my parents made their first-ever trip to Europe. After years of consuming all sorts of media involving swords, bagpipes and burly men, we decided that a mini-trip to Scotland would be essential.
April was not the sunniest month in our little corner of Paris. I spent most of the first two weeks in bed due to Shigella (my lone souvenir from Morocco), and the weather following my recovery was miserable trash.
That feeling that comes with being in the presence of dramatic natural beauty is one that I’ve come to crave. It’s a combination of feeling both incredibly small and completely inspired. It’s renewing and restorative and humbling and makes me feel more connected to this beautiful planet we inhabit. I felt this a million times over on our trip to Norway, and I felt it again in Morocco.
Before heading to Morocco, we read countless blog posts and travel forums about what to wear, how to act, and what to look out for. “Never look at a map in public!” “Don’t take photos of the stores or you’ll get yelled at!” “Smiling at someone will make you a target!” “Never accept the first price you are given!” “Everyone will try to scam you!” The list goes on.
While there is definitely some truth to some of these warnings, having now experienced Marrakech firsthand, I think the key to an enjoyable visit is to be adaptable. Realize that you might get lost, and don’t panic when it happens — or when someone offers to guide you back and then demands cash (Yes, this happened to us.). Know that you will probably end up paying “too much” for something, and be OK with it (unless it really is way too much, in which case, just say no. You know your limits.). And try to be comfortable with the fact that you are an outsider, you probably look like an outsider, and there’s not much you can do about that except to be respectful of the culture you are visiting.
For my third and final post about Norway, I’ve decided to just throw a ton of photos at you. If I haven’t said it already, Norway might be the most beautiful place I’ve ever been. Plus, the cities are nice and the people are friendly. If you are considering going to Norway, I strongly suggest you do it.