This blog is way overdue. With all the holidays I got all sorts of distracted. But the kids are back in school, I’m finally back on a schedule, and I have time to write. So I’m going to.
Winter in Germany is fairly mild. At least compared to Michigan and North Dakota winters. We’ve only had a couple snow falls and the snow had melted by the end of the day. That’s how the winters have been here, but it’s not hot, so I’m happy.
Even though I enjoy the cold and dreary days, sometimes it’s nice to get out of your routine and it’s always nice to explore this little world we live in. So, when my friend mentioned plane tickets to Faro, Portugal for $10, I jumped at the chance to go. A weekend at the beach? Absolutely. So we booked our tickets and a house on the beach, I left the husband and all my worries at home, and we had a girl’s weekend away.
I was so excited to get on the beach, it didn’t even bother me that I had to leave at 3am to get to the airport. The trip was uneventful, everyone except me slept. After what felt like forever, we got our bags, hailed a taxi, and got to our apartment. Even though we needed to find a store for food, we basically threw our bags in the apartment and ran for the beach.
After dragging the girls off the beach behind our apartment and finding a store for food, we went to the beach across the street. The waves were huge, the shells were plentiful, and the mood was light. It was exactly what we all needed to recharge.
We spent hours combing the beach for different rocks and shells. I searched and searched for sea glass, but found none. Another beach, another day.
Americans and Europeans are very different; the way we interact, the way we dress, the music we listen to. We quickly noticed another difference at dinner time. Most Americans like to eat before 6pm, most Europeans don’t eat until after 6pm. We’re searching for restaurants at 5pm, stomachs growling so loud we’d get dirty looks, and nothing is open. Everything shuts down in the middle of the day or doesn’t open until late. We’re hangry and trying to figure out food without killing each other in front of a restaurant that refused to seat us when the chef from that restaurant came in and offered to make us food to go. We picked different meals and waited as patiently as possible for our food. The chef came out with fresh cooked meals for all, shrimp and noodles and pork and fries. Best. Food. Ever.
It was cooler than what most people would find acceptable to swim in the ocean. That did not stop the girls one bit. I might have also gone in the water, but that was mostly because I was taking pictures and got too close.
There’s also a small possibility that I may or may not have stalked a man on the beach because I was sure he had taken photos of the girls. I haven’t figured out if European beaches are different than American beaches, but we weren’t having it.
The day before we left, we decided to leave our beach for a few hours and check out the city of Faro. We first went to find Igreja do Carmo church. At the back of this church you can find the Capela de Ossos, which translates to ‘Bone chapel’. This particular ossuary was made from the bones of over 1,200 monks. We then took a tour around Faro and learned about it’s history and the important parts of town.
The weekend came to an end too quickly and we reluctantly left Faro and the beach behind. Friends, food, travel, and water renewed us enough to conquer the gray winter.
Uma casa portuguesa – Amália Rodrigues.