Blogs from Algarve, Portugal, Europe


Europe » Portugal » Algarve » Albufeira May 9th 2014

The last two days in Portugal we spent enjoying the beach and the resort pool. We have seen a lot of the southern part of Portugal known as the Algarve region. We have learned the beaches are popular places for people from the come for their holidays. They seem to love to bake in the sun and become as red as lobsters. The men like to wear tight skimpy swimsuits. It is as if they bought one suit when they were 10 years old and continue to wear the same suit at 60 no matter how much they have grown over the years. And the women seem to buy only bikinis no matter how young or old or small or large, that is if they wear a top at all! Oh, the sights we have ... read more
Just getting warmed up
By the pool
Hand Painted Tiles

Europe » Portugal » Algarve » Albufeira May 7th 2014

Today we discovered the real Portugal. We went places where few tourists go, we wondered through the countryside on some pretty windy and very steep roads. We saw some little towns that looked extremely quiet and peaceful. We saw hundreds of acres of orange groves. We even found another vista along the way. Here is a list of the towns we saw: 1. Paderne - along the way to Alte we got lost in the town of Paderne. So we toured the cemetery which is like the ones in New Orleans. 2. Alte-a quaint little town with a river running through it and a very old cathedral. The Cathedral dates back to the 16th century. The chapels are decorated with golden leaf from the 1700's. One chapel has side walls covered with smooth surfaced tiles dating ... read more
Alte Cathedral
Town of Alte
River through Alte

Europe » Portugal » Algarve » Sagres May 6th 2014

WOW what a day. We saw some incredible sights today. Some of the best scenery of the Algarve area. We made a loop and went up into the mountains the over to the west coasr then back along the south coast. A long day covering over 160 kilometers. The highlights if the day: 1. The walled city of Silves--the wall dates back to the 9th century 2. Monchique--the highest point in the Algarve region of Portugal. You can see hundreds of miles up the west coast and also along the south coast. One of the best vistas we have seen. This vista rivals the Rock of Gibraltar. 3. Sagres - the most southwestern tip of Europe, once called the end of the earth. There are two main capes here. The first one is Cabo de St. ... read more
Silves from a distance
The Cathedral at Silves
Monchique view

Europe » Portugal » Algarve » Albufeira May 5th 2014

We have spent the last two days orienting ourselves to Albufeira. It is a busy, crowded resort town similar to Cabo or Cancun. The majority of people here are English (from the United Kingdom), Irish, and German. People are quite surprised and pleased when they find out we are from the U.S. We thought we would see some real Portuguese life by going into "old town". That area was every bit as crowded as the beach area. So we decided to take the advice of a guy we met by the pool and rented a car. We will tour the coast and some inland areas in the next couple of days. After dinner, which by the way the food here is delicious. Jerry had a dish called chicken piri piri. The recipe is online. I will ... read more
In the marina
Artwork in the resort

Europe » Portugal » Algarve » Albufeira May 3rd 2014

Another travel day--but this one went off without a hitch. Again the key to the success of the day depended on José the taxi driver. Sure enough he showed up on time, got us to the bus station, and gave us several bits of advice. What a great guy. When we got on the bus the people behind us greeted us (in English). Ww had spoken with them briefly in Seville and it turns out that they were also on the cruise ship. They had several suggestions for us for Italy and also for our visit to Seville. But they talked the whole way so we didn't get to see much of the scenery. But their information was valuable and we will see the sights on the way back next week. So we are in Portugal ... read more


Europe » Portugal » Algarve » Faro January 26th 2014

Blog Intro I haven't managed to travel much in my lifetime. As a child i remember watching Michael Palin's travel series on a Sunday evening and dreaming of seeing every different place he visited and loving the local experiences he took part in and people he met. I always loved to see new places and knew that i wanted to see the world. Unfortunately I still haven't managed to do a lot of travelling apart from a few short trips, escaping the resort on package holidays and spending six weeks backpacking alone around north / eastern europe / the baltics, couchsurfing and hostelling. Two brief stops in faro: Part One Me and Vicki ( girlfriend ) booked a week off work and used skyscanner to find a cheap flight from Manchester. We chose Faro, which was ... read more
Faro High street
Charactered tiles

Europe » Portugal » Algarve » Lagos December 20th 2013

Let’s be honest, the term ‘faded grandeur’ is decidedly cliché. Though, as much as it’s gift-wrapped to apply to the capital city of Portugal, Lisbon’s fadedness has a very definite edge. It’s a fadedness of cracks rather than corrosion. It is as human as it is physical, and it’s alive, manifest in the problems of a 21st century nation state: spray-painted on the wall of a 16th century merchant’s luxury home, a broken stained glass window, a strip of wallpaper torn from the wall. Older than London, Paris or even Rome, this westernmost capital city of Europe situated on the Atlantic Coast looks out over the once vast unknown. Portugal’s pioneering exploration of the New World once brought it staggering wealth. And, though it saw its heyday in generations past, this isn’t Rome, and nobody here ... read more
Castelo dos Mouros
serra do bussaco

Europe » Portugal » Algarve » Tavira December 18th 2013

Day 6 - Thursday 21st November Today turned out to be a bit of a damp squib. The original plan was to get up early and go up north to Évora to see Megaliths and pre-historic stuff. Google maps had claimed it was just a two hour drive but the satnav reckoned more than three hours each way. We decided it probably wasn't worth it as we would not have time to see much and drove east to Tavira instead. Tavira is very pretty, with cobbled narrow roads, bits of castle walls and fancy old churches. If you have been reading my Portugal blogs everyday, you will have heard all of this before and at this point, both Glyn and I realised we were getting a bit bored of this kind of stuff. So after spending ... read more
St Mary's Church, Tavira
Azelejos in Igreja Matriz de São Lourenco

Europe » Portugal » Algarve » Albufeira November 22nd 2013

Day 7 - Friday 22nd November There was a bit of rain this morning, so Glyn and I thought that now is a good time to go to the beach. We drove about 18 miles to Senhora da Rocha which is a beach named after a small chapel on its promontory. According to the guidebook, it is actually three small sheltered beaches. The first beach was indeed small and sheltered. It had a cafe, toilets and a few battered boats pulled in for the winter. Apart from cafe staff and a tabby cat, no one else was there. We walked along the small beach and found what we thought at first was a cave. Upon further investigation, it turned out to be a tunnel about 100metres long, not to Narnia, but another desolate beach. This one ... read more
Secret tunnel
Beach at  Albufeira
Secret tunnel

Europe » Portugal » Algarve » Vilamoura November 18th 2013

Today looked colder than yesterday when we got up, but still, the three elderly ladies who are also staying at these apartments were bravely lying by the pool. It might have been warmish in sheltered areas but it was goosebumps in the wind. It seems that some tourists have come to get a tan by the pool, and not any amount of cool weather is going to stop them! We left Albufeira, which we haven't really explored yet. The area we are in is touristy, but still nice, the buildings not being more than three storeys high and built in the style of traditional Portuguese architecture. Most of the building are white with a few blue or yellow places standing out. We drove to Vilamoura which is not a town, but the land of golf. OK, ... read more
Igreja Matrix de Sao Lourenco
Cat at Vilamoura harbour
Trimmed palm trees

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