Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Last couple of days on the Algarve

For my last couple of days I took the car to explore more of the Algarve. I drove to Portimao but i could see nothing more than a small city without the quaint, attractive streets so I decided to move on to Lagoa. Lagoa seemed to be another city where no one was home so after walking about for over an hour of walking I decided to move on again - I did take a few pictures of Lagoa - see below.

No one is home again !
Every town has a town square

In some areas of the algarve some of the towns may not be as appealing as the beach areas - the algarve had a lovely coastline with beaches, some more secluded than others. I took the opportunity to have a fresh octopus salad at a restaurant overlooking the beach and of course it was delicious.

There are also many fabulous and sometimes colourful houses located in this area and I managed to stop the car for a few photos.

Next it was off to albuferia a large, popular resort area not as upscale as Vilamoura with its marina but nonetheless a beautiful place with lots of beaches, shopping, restaurants and history. Albuferia was conquered from the Moors and placed under military authority. It was granted independence in 1504 and remained an active fishing village for centuries. In 1986 it was promoted to a town and is an important tourist centre on the Algarve. I spent the afternoon browsing the shops and took time to enjoy a mango smoothie in a cafe before a long walk on the beach.

Sand building - they have huge competitions
Place to relax and have a drink on the beach


Getting from one area of the beach to another through this tunnel
Outdoor Escalators in background take you from the upper part of town which is more residential to the lower shopping, restaurant, beach area


In the late afternoon I decided to drive to Olhao which is a few kilometers east of Faro (although nothing on the Algarve would be considered any great distance). Olhao is more like a fishing town that has not turned the century yet (in fact they may not have turned the last century either). A great place to observe the local Portuguese but don't count on meeting any - their stares were not exactly friendly even when I smiled!

Could not resist taking a picture of the funeral home
Although these buildings are in need of so e repair the archeticture is so interesting and different from North America
Growing industry in the Algarve.

When in the sunny Algarve, you will see all around you on the Ria Formosa the distinctive rectangular pools from which natural sea salt is collected.

The finest Algarve sea salt known as Flor do Sal has been produced here since Roman times and before.

Today the tradition is carried on, most notably by Marisol at Tavira, who use only the traditional methods of production, collection, drying and cleaning before sending their entirely natural product around the world.
Like every else in the world industries along the algarve are changing and a number of towns are now embracing tourism (Vilamoura, Lagos, Taveria, albuferia) while others are struggling to hold on to the past and this is evident by how tourists are welcomed or not by the locals. It will be interesting to see what the next 10 years brings.
My last Portugal sunset

I have thoroughly enjoyed my time in Portugal and would definitely consider returning - still a few more places in the world on my bucket list but it is shrinking! Off to England and auntie Joan for 11 days before flying to New York to meet up with my friend Janet then home on July 21st.

My apartment


Newly renovated kitchen!

Adeus from Portugal!

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