All I can say is WOW! If you go to Morocco, you MUST stop in Chefchaouen. This city is straight out of a movie. Blue everywhere. Walls, stairs, doors, windows, cats. Ok, so not the cats, but there are hundreds of them roaming the streets. Just like stray dogs in South America, it’s stray cats in Morocco. So don’t be alarmed when they’re in the restaurants too 🙂
Before coming to Morocco, I read a number of blogs from female travelers stressing their concerns about safety in the Muslim country. I must admit, I was a little hesitant and nervous after reading their reviews as some had uncomfortable encounters with local men. Thankfully, I was traveling with five guys so I felt pretty safe. Plus, I knew without a doubt that these guys would protect me if something did happen. That being said, I still was very cautious and constantly aware of my surroundings (as every good traveler should be, alone or with a group).
Everyone, and I mean everyone, I talked to raved about Lisbon. Lisbon is the capital and the largest city of Portugal. Don’t get me wrong, it was a neat city, but that’s kinda all it is. A city. Perhaps because we’ve been traveling for so long and have seen countless cities that it wasn’t as impressive (?).
After Lagos, and especially after Running with the Bulls, I was in much need of some R&R, and a good detox. From the beginning of our trip, I told Michael I wanted to do some solo travel. I’ve met more solo female travelers on this trip and it’s really inspired me to do the same. I want that independent feeling again. Yes, I did some solo trips in Hong Kong, but I never felt truly alone. So that was one of my personal goals for this trip. Unfortunately, given our timeline, I only had a few days and I wanted to spend them wisely.
Lagos wasn’t in our original plan for Portugal, but since Erich, Nic, and Taylor (the rest of our crew from Running with the Bulls), were heading there, we decided to make a detour. And I’m so glad we did!
Lagos is a fun, very touristy, beach town in the south of Portugal. Not much in terms of nightlife, but the beach is where it’s at. Considering the scorching temperatures, we expected the water to be quite warm. NOT! It was definitely chilly. Refreshing, but cold.
An adorable port town, built to resemble San Francisco, CA, and I think they did a pretty good job. The town that gave the country (and port wine) its very name, Porto is Portugal’s second-largest metropolis after Lisbon. The old town, centered at Ribeira, was built on the hills overlooking the Douro River, and today is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Warning: Unless you like 45C (113F), I wouldn’t suggest going to Madrid in the summer time. WAY TOO HOT!
We were also coming off a ridiculous four days in San Fermin and really needing to recharge our batteries, mentally and physically. Madrid was the perfect place to do just that. Though we did sneak in a little sightseeing, of course.
A four day whirlwind at Pamplona.
Most have heard of this ridiculous festival. Some may think it’s a joke, and a few take it extremely serious. After living through it, there’s one thing I know… This is no joke. Running with the bulls is a real event and I highly encourage you to assess all risks before participating. My number one piece of advice: DON’T BE DRUNK!