Tuesday, 30 June 2015

Eleanor and pals take Albufeira

(I couldn't resist using a title worthy of a Kardashian spin-off series)
I currently resemble a cross between a tomato and a radiator, which can only mean one thing: I've been on holiday! Dousing myself in after sun and sitting awkwardly half naked while it dries is now my regular past time. You probably didn't want to know that, but I like to take time to really set the scene. 

Upon landing in Faro, a place I presumed to be warmer than the sun, it became immediately apparent that my choice of travel outfit could not have been more wrong. At 3am I'd donned my favourite Forever 21 khaki shorts in anticipation for arriving in Portugal and being greeted by blistering heat. What I got, however, was an overcast sky and a slight chill in the air. Hmm. We shared the 45-minute taxi ride to our final destination with a group of potentially-murderous-but-overall-quite-cheery German lads and a driver who checked Facebook on her phone while barreling down the motorway. God I love the Europeans.
Luckily, we arrived at our location in one piece. The town we stayed in for the week was called Albufeira, which I'm guessing translates to "the hilliest place you will ever come across" in Portuguese, because oh my gosh, everything is on a hill. And it is lethal. How we all returned home with no injuries is beyond me! I learnt very quickly that Portuguese and Spanish are almost entirely different, even after my dad assured me they were basically the same. Our first floor apartment was perfect for the three of us, it was light, spacious and had a beautiful view overlooking the sea... as well as the man in the apartment below who sat on his balcony each morning wearing Speedos.

Still, after a disappointing start weather-wise, the sun soon made an appearance and we enjoyed a super fun and relaxing holiday; hanging by the pool, making friends with local stray animals (I'm still upset we didn't bring back the resident pool cat), having heated games of Uno, spending hours choosing which ice cream flavours we wanted, drinking funky cocktails, never quite being sure what to tell servers outside restaurants what we're "in the mood for tonight", and running around applying copious amounts of after-sun to our rather warm skin.
The town of Albufeira really does have something for everyone, regardless of age, gender or marital status. Whether you want to lie by a pool for seven days and relax, hit up a new adventure/water park each day, or have a whirlwind drink-a-thon that you will never quite be able to recall the entirety of. Hen do's, Stag crews, family units and teen holidaymakers all appeared to be having a whale of a time. It just goes to show that if you advertise free wifi and Sex on the Beach, you're onto a winner.

And the biggest learning curve of this girls trip? That sun cream and after sun have expiration dates. Do not set off on your travels with two year old sun protection. Your skin will sting like a bitch and you'll be spending your evenings with an ice pack on your stomach. Because I applied out-of-date sun cream for six days, I now have one very tanned armpit after it went bright red on the first day. Be SPF wise, kids. #SunCreamIsCool #AlwaysCheckTheDates

~ Eleanor xo

Fly to: Faro Airport (45 minute car journey to the town)
Eat: All the meat and all the fish (it's all super tasty and super fresh!)
Drink: Iced tea, preferably peach (because, obvs)
Snack on: Oranges (They are humongous and so full of flavour)
Visit: Old Town Albufeira (it is beautiful)
Avoid: Handsy restaurant servers (no, your hand on my back will not make me choose your restaurant)
Wear: A light, loose top and shorts - with shoes that have a good grip
Enjoy: The beautiful views of the bright blue sea from pretty much every vantage point
Buy: All the tacky souvenirs - or anything with a cockerel on it
Listen to: Sweet Caroline (not by choice, but every bar in this town plays it on repeat)
Forget: All your troubles #yolo

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