Travel | Portugal 2016

Wednesday, 15 June 2016

I know I have been pretty quiet on the blogging sphere for the last month, I've found it really difficult to just sit down and write. After being continuously sat in front of my laptop writing my dissertation and doing my other university assignments, the last thing I wanted was to be hunched over my laptop. Last week me and my boyfriend went on our first holiday together to Albufeira in Portugal, I had such an incredible week. I thought I'd post some pictures on here and talk a little bit about my time there, rather than doing separate posts I'm going to do it one big post. Coming back to the bleak English weather was not fun at all, especially because the weather was so beautiful in Portugal. 
Our flight was at 7:45am so we had to wake up at half 3 in the morning, we were pretty tired by the time we got to our hotel. We decided to walk around and explore when we'd finally finished unpacking and stupidly enough, we didn't put any sun cream on. I am as pale as they come and also naturally ginger, so of course I definitely got sun burnt. I love being by the ocean and I hadn't seen the sea for a while, so it felt amazing to be by the beach again. Our first port of call was obviously to find something alcoholic, many cocktails were consumed on this holiday. After wandering around and getting sun burnt we went for dinner and were both fast asleep by half 8, due to having to be up so early. We stayed at Santa Eulalia Hotel and Spa in the New Town, it was a really nice hotel and the only bad thing I have to say is the wifi constantly cuts out. Also, the nightlife in Albufeira didn't really appeal to us, so we didn't stay out too late on the nights. Are we getting old?

After sleeping for over 12 hours, we decided to endure the 30 minute walk in the heat to the Old Town. We both enjoy walking so the walk wasn't too bad, it was very sweaty though. Something I knew I'd wanted to do when on holiday was get a hair braid, I always used to get them when I visited my uncle at the Isle of Wight. I wasn't sure if I'd actually find somewhere to get one done but they had hair braiding stalls set up everywhere in the Old Town. It took about 15-20 minutes for her to braid my hair and it cost 14 euros because of the length of my hair. I'm not too sure how long they typically last for but mine is still going strong now and I'm probably going to try and keep in for as long as I can!

Before the holiday I'd Googled some vegan and vegetarian restaurants to eat at and the only one I could find was called DiDi Cafe in the Old Town. We actually ended up eating here 3 times because the food is incredible. I wish I'd taken some pictures of the food but I was engrossed in eating it I completely forgot. It is a small cafe and the people who work there speak really good English. The first time we ate there we only had a salad, then the second time I had a broccoli and leak pie, while Jake had a mushroom burger. The third time we went we were hoping to try the pumpkin pie but they had ran out, so we stuck with the broccoli pie, which is amazing. We also had vegan banana cake and a vegan apple cake, the food is so well prepared and even thinking about it is making me crave it. They do have a Facebook page where they give out their recipes, so I will definitely be trying to recreate some of them! I cannot recommend this place enough if you are staying anywhere near the Old Town, whether or not you are vegan or vegetarian.

After a long walk back to the New Town, we decided to go in the pool and lounge around for a bit. I love swimming and definitely do not do it enough but I don't really enjoy swimming in the pools in England. After cooling down and having a beer, we got ready to head out for dinner. I was initially worried about eating as a vegetarian in Portugal but they do have a few options. We ate at Urban Pizza the second night and had an amazing mushroom pizza, I wish I could have it now. I love cocktails that are well presented and they definitely go all out with the presentation for them over here. How can you say no to a 5 euro cocktail and a free shot?

The next day we decided to have a pool and beach day, which was very much needed. Although, you do have to pay to use the sun loungers on the beach, which I wasn't too impressed with. This was the day I also discovered the small super market near our hotel sold the Disney Lego minifigs, I managed to get four I didn't already have! We ate at a curry house for dinner, I can't handle spice at all so I get them as mild as they come. More cocktails were consumed on this night...

On Thursday we decided to have a relax by the pool and wander down to the beach for some lunch. On the night we ventured back to the Old Town to eat at DiDi Cafe again, we managed to catch the sun just as it was setting on the beach and it looked beautiful. We managed to find a fairly empty bar that had a slight Moroccan theme to it, the cocktails were lovely and we had a nice view of the ocean, even though it was really dark. The last few night we were there did get drastically colder.

I only took a couple of pictures on the last two days and one of the reasons being is that we decided to do a high rope course and did not trust ourselves to take our phones with us. I've never been absolutely terrified of heights but doing this rope course was pretty terrifying. There are 4 different courses and each one gets harder and harder, you are always clipped onto the rope though so if you fall off there's no chance of you hitting the ground. I did find it really enjoyable despite it being slightly scary at first, the zip wires were definitely the best part about it. I did come away from it with a few bad bruises and my arms were aching the next morning. Me and Jake are so glad we did it, as we have never done anything like it before. 

I had such an amazing holiday in Portugal, as it was my first time there I wasn't sure what to expect but I loved it. I had an incredible time on my first holiday with my boyfriend and I can't wait for the adventures we have ahead of us. Where are you next going on holiday and can you recommend anywhere for us to go?

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