Page 6 of NigelR Travel Blog Posts

Europe » Portugal » Algarve » Lagos July 30th 2013

Today was another kind of quiet day. We ran and swam (of course) and then headed out to Lagos (pronounced Lagosh). We walked along the pier and saw lots of big fish in the rocks close to the pier as well as some big crabs! Then we checked out the Forte de Badeira which is at the end of the promenade and has a good lookout in all directions. Then we wandered through the cobblestone pedestrian-only streets and shops. It did reach a high of 32 today which was hot but there was still a nice breeze and humidity was only 26% so the heat was bearable. Having said that, there was still quite a bit of time spent in the pool both in the morning and at the end of the day. Not much else ... read more
What's in there?
Big sea bird

Europe » Portugal » Algarve » Boliqueime July 29th 2013

Today was a fairly quiet day (recovering from all that fun at the beach). We took our time in the morning, swimming and running. Then we headed out to our first village called Salir. It had some roman ruins from the 13th century which we were able to walk around. Next stop was Alte which had a very quaint centre of town and we found a nice pottery store with local craftmanship. We bought a nice small painted ceramic wall piece of art. After wandering around town on foot, we drove to a nice lookout spot for some views of the area. We also ate our picnic lunch here. Then on to Paterne to see the roman ruins here.....we were unable to find them so we drove home on the now-familiar backroads (including another stop for ... read more
The town of Salir
Salt marshes
Salir hilltop casa

Europe » Portugal » Algarve » Aljezur July 28th 2013

I am going to start off this blog with last night's event since I blogged before we went out! We headed out after dinner into Lagos nearby where there was a festival called Arte Doce Competition and Fair. This was basically a fair celebrating Portuguese pastries and cakes and delicasies! Yes, we were in heaven. While we browsed, there was also musical entertainment such as belly dancing and drum bands. There was also a display of fancy creations made of marzipan! Very cool! Almonds are grown here so in addition to the marzipan which we see everywhere, lots of the cakes and tarts are almond based. Also a lot of fig based desserts.We sampled some of the treats (obviously) and enjoyed them all. There were literally hundreds to choose from. We each got something different and ... read more
Orange sunset

Europe » Portugal » Algarve » Faro July 27th 2013

Dear reader. Yet again another day without photos. We updated to Flash 11 and now the photo upload function doesn't work. Hope Travel Blog gets it fixed soon. CORRECTION. We switched over to Chrome and now it all works. You'll see photos from today and yesterday to catch you up. Anyways, today was market day in Loule. There were two markets today. One is the weekly market outside and the other is an indoor market that is held daily. The outdoor one featured fresh produce, cheeses, nuts, sausages, etc as well as the most popular vendor who made fresh fihols (those hot donuts dipped in cinnamon - the word translated to "dreams"). So yummy. Inside there were lots of fresh fish vendors as well as some permanent shops selling pottery and lace goods (traditional Portuguese). We ... read more
Blue mackeral
Gillet Head
Sea breem - yummy

Europe » Portugal » Algarve » Faro July 26th 2013

The highlight of today was most definitely the lunch down by the marina in Portimao on the boardwalk. There is a row of 8 seafood restaurants on the pier and they all have daily features out front on signboards. Tons of people cruise by trying to choose their lunch spot. Each restaurant has a "front man/woman" out by the signboard to try to convince you to come in and there is also a large cooler with all their fresh daily fish on display. One way to go is simply to pick the fish you want for your meal straight from the cooler and that will be the restaurant you choose! We chose a restaurant half way down for two reasons: they had baby squid as a daily feature and they had another special where for 6 ... read more

Europe » Portugal » Algarve » Lagos July 25th 2013

Short blog today. We spent the day at a nearby waterpark. There were about 25 different slides you could go down ranging from a toilet bowl to a head first kamikazi to crazy river. Lots of tubes, mats, and sunburns. I missed a small section around my hairline and it always makes me glad I applied sunscreen! We were definitely in the minority wearing our sunshirts but there were still quite a few. There were certainly some who should have been wearing them but were fried instead. And the locals simply wear the skimpiest suits they can! Russell and I have this going joke about people who forgot to put on the rest of their (insert bathing suit, shirt, shorts, etc.). One nice feature about the waterpark is that from the top of all the slides ... read more

Europe » Portugal » Algarve » Quarteira July 25th 2013

Today was market day in Quarteira. It was a "gypsy market" although I am not sure why they call it gypsy. Anyways, lots of fresh fruit and veggies, sausages, cheeses (we bought some cheese), fish (saw some cool freshly caught eels and lots of freshly caught sardines). We also found some pastries that looked like funnel cakes so we tried one of those and it was so good we had another! Yummy! We also bought a Portuguese melon but haven't tried it yet. We walked through the town which was very nice. Then we headed back and stopped in Pera where they were holding their annual Sand City (International Sand Castle Festival). The theme this year was music. They have artists (sand sculpture specialists) from all over the world (even a few from Canada!!) who create ... read more
Freshly caught eel and sardines
Baby ducks? Chicks?

Europe » Portugal » Algarve » Sagres July 23rd 2013

This morning was another beautiful day, big surprise! We headed off to the southwestern most point of Portugal to a town called Sagres. This town is famous for its Fortress (called Forteleza de Sagres) built in the 15th century. We walked around the interior perimeter of the fortress (at least 2km around the edges of the cliffs) with endless lookouts both to the south and the west. Luckily for me, they were safely fenced off and I felt relatively comfortable. The cliffs were unbelievable - about 150 feet high. There were local people (actual people) perched on the edges of these cliffs around the fortress fishing with super long poles. It was absolutely terrifying just watching them. I can't imagine if one were to actually get a fish on the line and them not falling in! ... read more
Sagres coastline
Sagres coastline.
Danger seeker

Europe » Portugal » Algarve July 22nd 2013

Today we decided to not venture too far, and to swim and relax. After swimming and some brunch, we headed into town to see if there were any boat rides "on offer" but expecting to maybe book something for another day as it was already 1:00. We were lucky enough to find a boat tour with space left on the 2:30 sailing! After talking with the very friendly tour operator for a while, he noticed Russell's t-shirt (Whitby soccer club) and he says, "Oh, I used to live in"....wait for it....wait for it....."Ajax". Turns out he was born in Portugal and grew up there but moved to Scarborough as a youth, settled eventually in Ajax on Rotherglen Road (1 street east of where we live). When his kids were about 13 and 15, they moved to ... read more
Rachel on the boardwalk
Giant seabird

Europe » Portugal » Algarve » Alcoutim July 21st 2013

We headed off for the furthest away point with a plan to make a few stops on the way back. The drive there was on one of the bigger highways and the ratio of motorcycles to cars was about 3:1! Even some Hell's Angels! We arrived at Alcoutim and barely made it up the very steep driveway to park at the castle. Felt the van would tip over......the Castle remains had a beautiful view across the Guardian River to Spain. There was also a short film about the castle and the history of the village. In addition, there was a display of Islamic board games (like the earliest versions of mancala and tic tac toe). The little village had some of the narrowest streets we have seen so far (although all the villages have very narrow ... read more
Model Spanish town
Coke and a smile
Spanish windmill

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