Friday, October 4, 2013

Convento da Trindade & Hotel Golfinho

*Calm down, this is not another food-themed post!* Last Wednesday was spent in a rather adventurous way. Me and my friend Gustavo wanted to make the most out of our day off, by exploring two abandoned places: the ruins of the old Convento da Trindade (Trinity Convent) dating from the 16th century, and the eerie Hotel Golfinho (Dolphin Hotel ahah!), which was the most fabulous hotel in town back in the 80's.
But first things first. We had a late breakfast/brunch in Odeon - English breakfast, pancakes and, of course, a Screwdriver. And then, yes, we were ready to walk.

The convent (or what's left of it) should be refurbished at some point. I mean, look at it, there's so much potential in the whole area. If I was rich, I'd probably buy the whole thing and make something out of it, like a hostel, an art gallery, even a museum... People have money yet no imagination, I guess. Anyway, I love how beautiful the place still is. The fig trees all over the cloister, the masonry oven, the creepy water well in the yard (didn't look very haunted though, it was just full of trash), the peaceful sea view... Except for the brittle rusty stairs, we didn't find any obstacles - no breaking and entering needed. We could tell by the bottles, food and clothes we found in some of the rooms that squatters took over the place, and they probably have a good taste, considering the vanilla-flavoured sugar, camembert cheese, pomegranates and wine I've found placed in their table. We were quite lucky they weren't home for the afternoon...

For years I've been wanting to get inside Hotel Golfinho but everytime I tried to convinced somebody to join me, people refused to come with me. This hotel, closed and abandoned for almost 20 years, was the most important in Lagos until its decay in the early 90's. With 7 floors and almost 300 rooms, it is now nothing but a ghost building that smells like dead animals, seagull shit and urine.
When I was a little kid, I went to the hotel's private club, for a Christmas party, and also for a Carnival event in my 1st year of primary school (I remember my catsuit costume better than the hotel itself... Fashion > Architecture), I was 5 or 6 years old, still have pictures of it. 
The high level of vandalism and degradation are not very welcoming and evocative or nostalgic, and it certainly erase the good memories of anyone who witnessed the hotel's golden age and now ventures into the phantom establishment.
The hotel, nowadays, is a mix between The Shining and Trainspotting, really - moldy red carpets and junkie vomit galore. Hence, my fascination about the whole structure. Once again, we were very lucky to be able to walk around every floor with no surprises or close encounters of any kind.
In the basement, it was so dark, we had to watch our step carefully, while holding our mobile phones with their lights on so we could see something.  And the lift shaft was terrifying, such a creepy abyss!
You are probably wondering how did we get in there: we had to climb a fence. Lara Croft would be proud of me!
If you happen to go there all alone, it might be a very eerie experience. We never know if there is someone else in the next floor, walking in the darkness requires extra caution, and let's face it, it is not the best place to be in case you get injured.

Overall, our urban exploration saga that I gladly reported, was really worth it. I am a thrill-seeker, risk taker, chronically curious by nature. Naturally, I'm drawn to this activity that is considered trespassing by the Law - I call it urban raiding. I find these adventures somewhat therapeutic actually. Try not to go on your own to an abandoned, potentially dangerous place. Always bring your mobile phone with you (watch 127 Hours and you'll agree with me), carry a lantern or any source of light with you and wear comfortable footwear. Count on the possibility of running, jumping, climbing and walking on shattered glass and rusty nails. That's what it's like to be an urban raider once a week.


  1. Eu adoro explorar sítios abandonados e fotografa-los por isso fiquei fascinada com estas tuas fotos (principalmente esse hotel!!) e essas panquecas hummm :p

  2. Falta aqui a melhor foto!...De resto, vocês são malucos é claro!...:-) Faltou explicar que o convento dos Trinos é do séc.XVI, mas depois foi adquirido em 1880, daí aparecer ali aquela data, o que pode suscitar confusão.

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  4. «People have money yet no imagination...» So true!

  5. Uauuu. Esse passeio teve tanto de ruinoso - que isso está tudo em ruínas - como de belo.

  6. espaços abandonados estão sempre cheios de misticismo e estas fotografias retratam isso mesmo, gostei muito! :)
    panquecas nhomm!

  7. O hotel +e mega creeeeeepy!!!!

  8. woah, this place looks like from horrror but it's magic *_*

  9. Ohh parece mesmo um local bem propicio para filmes de terror haha!
    E como te compreendo, também existe em mim aquele fascínio para explorar locais como esse. Sei que existem riscos mas ver um edifício com tanto potencial ao abandono devia de ser crime e mais vontade e curiosidade tenho em explorar :D

  10. Amo todas as tuas fotografias. Consegues fazê-las tão distintas, adoro!

  11. these pictures are amazing!! i esp love the abandoned convent but the old hotel is so cool too. the good taste squatters made me laugh. and to answer your question- no i havent been to lagos and dont think i will soon bcuz a trip to europe is so expensive but i did get to visit lisboa, sintra and belem when i was living in spain in 2007.

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