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Sunday, May 1, 2011

Semana Santa Part 3: Faro, Portugal!

I returned back to Caceres late afternoon last Thursday (April 21st.) Just enough time to catch up with Claire, eat some dinner, and then sleep for a few hours before Claire and I went on our roommate adventure to Faro, Portugal! Our bus left at 4:25am Friday morning and we planned on leaving around 4 since it take about 15 minutes or so to walk to the bus station. Well, like always, Claire and I lost track of time and realized it was almost 4:10 by the time we left our piso. We walked outside to only find out that it was raining… and we started walking quickly towards the bus station. It was about 4:20 (we still had a few blocks to go) when I told Claire what time it was and if she wanted to run. She responded, “uhhh, yeah.” And we ran the rest of the way to the bus station, running through the sliding doors at exactly 4:25 and out the back to where the buses were. There was no bus. Either A) we missed it. Or B) it hadn’t come yet. The next bus to Sevilla (which was where we were going to transfer to go to Faro) came about a half an hour later. We ended up getting on that bus… whether it was the correct bus or not, who knows? 

Claire and her "why is it raining?!" face.
We made it to Sevilla! We arrived around 8am and we had planned on buying our tickets to Faro there at the Sevilla bus station. We went to the ticket counter and asked to buy two tickets for the 2pm bus. The lady said that the 2pm bus was full and the next bus wasn’t until midnight! We didn’t really have a choice but to take that bus. So we spent about 16 hours in Sevilla…. in the rain. We walked around a little (since I had never been to Sevilla.) We found some churros and café con leche, walked along the river, ate lunch in a park, and spent the rest of the day going from McDonald’s to Burger King to more McDonald’s to get out of the rain/use WiFi.

Our cute living room!
We got on our bus at midnight and arrived in southern Portugal around 2:30am. We knew that our hostel was somewhere near the bus stop… but we were tired, it was dark out, and we found out later that there wasn’t a street sign for our street. We a hotel receptionist for directions; he was very nice and very helpful (like most Portuguese people.) We eventually found out hostel and checked in. However, the man who helped us couldn’t find our room key so we had to stay at an apartment down the street. Our apartment was extremely nice; it had a cot, 3 beds, a living room, and a kitchen. In the bedroom, there was a queen size bed and a bunk bed. Claire took the bottom bunk and I went to go climb into the queen size bed. I always do a “bed-check” when I climb into strange beds (mostly for spiders and things like that.) Good thing I did my bed-check because I found a dirty sock under the covers near the foot of the bed. After finding out that they didn’t clean that bed (and who knows if they cleaned the others), ) climbed up into the top bunk. Fortunately, there weren’t any dirty articles of clothing in that bed.

No window?
On Saturday morning, Claire woke up pretty early (early for us anyway) to spend our one day in Faro as best we could. First and most importantly, we set out to find those pastries that we love so much. They were easy to find... however, they did not taste like they did in Lisbon. We walked around the cute streets of Faro, did some window shopping, and returned back to our hostel because we had to switch rooms. When we walked into our apartment, there was an awful, awful smell. So awful that the word “awful” doesn’t even describe how awful it was. After doing quite a bit of investigating, we found out that it was coming from our shoes that were drying (from walking in the rain the day before.) There was nothing we could do but put them in plastic bags and tie them up so we wouldn’t have to smell them throughout the rest of our trip. We swore that we wouldn’t tell anyone about this because it’s so disgusting, but I thought it was a good story. Sorry, Claire. :)
So we moved all of our things to the room that we were supposed to stay in in the first place. This was just a small room with two twin beds. Also, my favorite thing about this room was that it had a curtain on the wall… but no window? 

At the beach in Faro!
After switching rooms, we headed for the beach! We had to take about a 15-20 minute bus ride to get to the only beach in Faro, but it was well worth it. We spent all of our afternoon here soaking up the sun, finding pretty seashells, and taking pictures of crabs. When it started to rain, we caught a bus back to the town. We found a grocery store, bought some food for dinner such as sandwiches, chips, cups of chocolate mousse, and WHITE CHOCOLATE Kinder Bueno bars!!!! When we got back to our hostel, we changed into our pj’s, had our own little picnic, and played the middle school game – M.A.S.H. If you need help remembering what M.A.S.H. is, or you just aren’t cool enough to know… it’s a simple game that you play when you’re bored that predicts your future; your husband, your career, how many kids you’ll have, what kind of car you’ll drive, etc. We started to fall asleep while playing this game… at about 9pm. To be fair, it was 10pm Spain time…

Kinder Bueno: WHITE?!?!

The next day was Easter! Our bus left at 2pm so we had some time to kill in the morning before leaving. We thought we would just sleep in a little so we didn’t set an alarm. Well, since we didn’t have a window in our room, it was pitch black dark in there even during the day. We kind of forgot about this and didn’t wake up until 10 or 11 am… thinking it was like 4 in the morning. We got ready to leave and we spent the rest of Easter Sunday traveling 8 hours by bus back to Caceres. We arrived in Caceres at about 10pm Sunday night, ate some dinner, and went to bed.


I just got back to Caceres a few hours ago from a weekend in Portugal with my Godparents from Colorado! They came to visit me in Caceres for a couple of days and then we went to Nazare, Portugal for the weekend. I had an incredible past few days with them, but those stories are to come in my next blog!


  1. Shea, Have a wonderful time with your dad in Madrid, Seville, and Malaga. Enjoy this will be with you a lifetime. Take care, Tom

  2. Thanks, Tom. I'm so excited to see him as well as more of Spain! I'm sure we'll have an incredible week together. Looking forward to meeting you in a couple months as well!