Portugal's Algarve - undoubtedly, spectacularly, awesome!

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June 22nd 2017
Published: June 24th 2017
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Rock formation on our beach.Rock formation on our beach.Rock formation on our beach.

The beautiful sand was both soft and cool to the touch with a very fine texture.
This blog will be limited in narrative but focus on photographs.

After the cauldron that was Sevilla at 45°c, arriving in Portugal's magnetic Algarve via a three hour coach ride and a hair-raising taxi ride to the Vila Gale Atlantico resort, ten minutes from Albufeira, we settled in to our top floor suite. A gentle breeze swept across our south-facing veranda as we looked down on orange coloured clay roofs covering the typically whitewashed homes below, most of them clearly high-end. We were mere minutes walk to the beach and an excellent supermarket.

Our plans were to relax totally while leisurely taking in the joys of the Algarve and it's decidedly slower pace before heading north as far as the exciting and incredibly attractive city of Porto and later the capital, Lisboa (Lisbon) and much more in between. For us, everyday is family day, doing exciting things together, two brothers and their wives, and exploring the cuisine and attractions of this magnificent and perhaps underrated country, beset as it has been by severe economic challenges much as Greece has been over the recent past. Frankly, their financial woes are self evident - incomplete developments and shuttered small businesses are clearly visible to the discerning observer in clear contrast to the northern countries of Western Europe. Nevertheless, this seeming detraction quickly recedes as the distinct charm of the Algarve emerges, when ones looks beyond the obvious.

The coastal scenery and spectacular beaches are a gift of nature that surpass the imagination. Especially awesome are the caves of Benagil where we were able to enter twenty of them by boat. Walking on the soft golden hued sands washed by the gentle surf while families of two and three generations stroll, frolic or simply lie in the sun, gives me pause to conclude that the Creator is mindful of the value of nature in providing solace and calm in times of stress. It surrounds us everywhere. All we have to do is reach out, breathe and let it consume our troubled minds, even if momentarily. The Algarve can do that!

Dotted with quaint white washed villages, verdent fields of healthy crops like figs, avocados, tomatoes, oranges and manicured vineyards, it is a peaceful place. We traversed towns and villages such as Benagil, Loule, Lagos, Silves, Portimao, Lagos, Sagres, Budens and of course, Salema.

I hope that my pictures convey some of its infectious ambience because this southern coastline is, really, awesome!

Next, the interesting drive up to the picturesque capital of Port wine, Porto, after visiting Evora then an overnight in Tomar.

Additional photos below
Photos: 61, Displayed: 23


Restaurant on our beach.Restaurant on our beach.
Restaurant on our beach.

Two top class restaurants are located at our end of the beach with menu prices reflective of the well heeled that are attracted to this area.
Bacalhau on first night.Bacalhau on first night.
Bacalhau on first night.

Almond crusted with a white celantro sauce and served on turnip greens and potatoes. This Portugese national dish was an excellent choice by Jeanette who sent kudos to the resort's chef.
Superb grilled salmon.Superb grilled salmon.
Superb grilled salmon.

On a bed of crisp fresh vegetables, Norm claimed it to be the best salmon he has ever tasted. That from a Canadian is quite an endorsement.
Body surfing here was wonderful.Body surfing here was wonderful.
Body surfing here was wonderful.

The water temperature was 23°c and we found it difficult to leave. There are absolutely no rocks or pebbles under foot, just pure sand.
Norm enjoys a sweet bun from the nearby bakery.Norm enjoys a sweet bun from the nearby bakery.
Norm enjoys a sweet bun from the nearby bakery.

We bought fresh crusty bread every day from the nearby bakery.
Friday night bullfight.Friday night bullfight.
Friday night bullfight.

Sadly, I could not persuade any of my companions to accompany me.
Waiting for the bus to AlbufeiraWaiting for the bus to Albufeira
Waiting for the bus to Albufeira

Took the bus for the 15 minute ride to pick up our rental car and spend some time in the town.
Rooftop at Restaurant 54, Albufeira.Rooftop at Restaurant 54, Albufeira.
Rooftop at Restaurant 54, Albufeira.

This was in unbeatable location to enjoy lunch, overlooking the beach here.
Grilled sardines.Grilled sardines.
Grilled sardines.

Similar in taste to grilled trout, the wonderful surroundings added a special "something" to this meal.

28th June 2017

Your enthusiasm
Your next project should be a travel guide!
28th June 2017

Thanks. You're so funny!
This is all a sampling as I could do much more except that it takes great effort that could detract from the vacation itself.
29th June 2017
Last supper in the Algarve.

Pictures of Portugal
WOW! what fascinating architecture! thanks for photos as they give so much about the country. Je I love the cap looks great on. continue to enjoy.
4th July 2017
Nighttime from our veranda.

The Algarve
Splendid. I just wish I was there with you all.

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