Saturday, February 5, 2011

This Almost Got Posted Yesterday

But the wifi on the bus dropped off at the critical "send" juncture.

So, we left to go to Drogheda, had a fine time with the buses, had trouble finding our hostel, were not too happy with the state of it but it being to only affordable option in the town kind of limited us and then we stayed out at the pubs because we didn't really want to spend much time there. The owner wasn't in, it was being half-run by the maintenance man, the courtyard was a junkyard and the sheets were falling apart and it was very cold. Which probably sounds more terrible than it was but not by much. We really wanted to see nearby Newgrange though so we stayed out and enjoyed the pubs that night as Drogheda is a fine little place that is seeing some growth, came back to sleep and then were out early next morning to see if we could catch a bus to Newgrange. But it was Sunday so no buses to speak of. We hiked it which was a pretty brisk way to start the morning but the walk was fine, if a bit long. We were starving when we got there so we grabbed a soup and sandwich and then it was time for our tour.

The last time I wrote this I gave you a nice little report on all things ancient burial grounds in Northern Europe. This time you get well... Matt enjoyed seeing it and I thought it was very nice the second time around. I'd like to see more excavations done of all those other little hills in the area but I guess there's only so much time in an archaeologist's day. We took a taxi back into town and had dinner at a sad Americana bar we were recommended by the taxi driver. I ordered nachos out of some twisted desire to be let down. Salsa is apparently analogous to spaghetti sauce. Ah well. We went to bed and headed out really early the next morning to catch our flight to Faro, Portugal. So warm! well, once we got there. In between was a lot of waiting around to switch to a plane that could seal and things... but eventually, Portugal!

We got a great deal on a pay by day studio apartment in Albufeira, 150 meters from the beach. It was a perfect place to get some sun in and our clothes dried so quickly! We enjoyed the cheaper accommodations and food, but quickly realized that it was still a little too cold to swim in the ocean and the place was too empty for our tastes. We found people eventually but they were all British retirees escaping the cold weather just like us. Still hoping for some night entertainment, we went to the busiest place in our part of town which was full of a variety of people but terrible ballad-type karaoke and Sinatra. Sometimes both in one! So we cut out of town a day or two after that experience and have been enjoying Lisbon ever since. It's a great city full of things to do, beautiful, warm, loud energetic locals, and just a generally laid-back kind of vibe. My biggest complaint is that everything looks like you could read it and speak in a Spanish accent but Portuguese is a different language with a different pronunciation method and I still haven't gotten a grasp on it really. We try, but it makes you a bit wistful for Spain.

Yesterday Matt and I toured the southern neighborhood with it's large spacious avenues. Our hostel is much better than the last one and close to the action. There's a neighborhood in town devoted to all things eating and drinking until the sun comes up and youth tour the streets, beer in hand having a great time. Matt and I tried to do the local thing but I don't think I can last until 6:00 in the morning and we had to throw in the towel at a measly 1:30. Wish us better stamina in the future, or give us some pointers.

Having a good time but miss you all. Also, I know Matt sent an e-mail but happy birthday Luke!