You know that feeling when you see an extremely beautiful man (or woman)? You’re in awe of his beauty, dying to get to know him. As you finally find a way to approach him, you realize that behind that beautiful face and tan skin, he can’t hold a conversation to save his life. Once you actually meet him, you realize he’s got no substance. His personality is nonexistent. What you see is what you get. He’s gorgeous in the daytime and mostly drunk once the sun goes down. Disappointing as it is, you can still appreciate his beauty and leave it at that. Nothing more, nothing less. Based on my direct experience, this metaphor is the best way to describe my impression of Lagos, Portugal.
After an eight-hour bus ride from Granada, I finally reached my destination in Lagos, Portugal. I walked through along the Marina into town, searching for the hostel. Admittedly, I did little to no research about Lagos, so everything was new to me. From the initial impression, the town felt really similar to the port area of Ibiza in Spain…white washed buildings, overpriced fancy restaurants along the water, and a very touristic vibe.
As I arrived at my hostel, the owner seemed surprised to see me there. I was just as surprised to have seemingly interrupted them as well. He and his girlfriend were cuddled up on the couch in the lobby, watching a movie in the dark.
Hutch Hostel? I asked hesitantly.
The owner nodded and got up from the couch, quickly going through the check out procedures without pausing the movie. I moved my backpack into the room and got out of there as quickly as possible.
I walked over to the beach, camera in hand. The turquoise water gleamed in the afternoon sun, contrasting beautifully with the red orange cliffs. The rock formations and natural caves made for a nature lovers paradise. Colorful umbrellas lined the sandy shorelines. In the distance, there were numerous sailboats and kayaks scattered along the sea. I took a few moments to let my soul settle into this new environment. An hour passed, and I headed back to the hostel as the sun slowly made its way down past the horizon, leaving a full moon in its place.
Nightlife in Lagos consists of about 20 bars, which is a lot considering you can walk from one side of Lagos to the other in less than 10 minutes. Every bar had a similar theme: young Australian backpackers looking to get as wasted as possible. Every bar was pretty much the same, with the same drink special every single night. It was like entering into the twilight zone. The people from my hostel decided to go to one of the bars, so I joined them. I looked at the drink menu, which featured a poorly drawn pinup girl offering cheap shots of Jäger. I tried having a conversation with some of my hostel roommates, but it was impossible over the blaring music from the Top Hits chart. After an hour or so, I snuck away back to the hostel. A couple days of Lagos was enough for me. From here, I’ll be heading north along the Atlantic coast, stopping in towns I most definitely don’t pronounce correctly.
But before I go, it’s only right to admire the beauty of Lagos found in the day time: