Normally Stephen would sleep to around midday while on holiday but the value of having a girlfriend on holiday with him drove him to get up early and join the ladies on their morning run. They went to Quarteiria this morning for a run along the promenade and Stephen joined them on his skateboard. It was overcast this morning and much cooler but quite humid. In fact the whole day was much cooler and didn’t get above 27 degrees (and most of the day was 23 degrees).
After they got back and had breakfast (and fortunately showered), we decided to visit Loule which is about 25 minutes drive from Vilamoura. It is a major town in the area. It is known for its market which is open every day and is situated in a renovated 19th century market hall. They sell fresh produce (fish, meat, fruit and vegetables) and also other types of things like port (very important – bought a bottle or two for next week), spices etc.
After a leisurely stroll around the market we headed toward the old town center of Loule which has a Castle from the 7th century. We did a quick visit to the Castle and the museum next door (the museum was much more interesting than the Castle). It is interesting to see how your view of history can be altered by who writes it. One of the history pieces said the Moors built the defenses to keep the Christians out. Most often when you read Western European history it is from the perspective of the current occupants and not that of the Moors.
Loule’s old city has cobbled streets (as most old European city’s have) and a significant amount of it is only accessible for pedestrians. They put ‘sails’ over the streets which keeps it cool and is quite beautiful as well. We walked the streets and did some window shopping and then stopped for an early lunch at one of the sidewalk cafes.
A leisurely afternoon of napping (for some), swimming and sun tanning. Stephen and Lara came with me to get some food for tonight. I have been mocked mercilessly because I like the butcher in the supermarket in town. Even though he is situated inside the supermarket, he runs his own business and you pay him separately. He is very helpful, speaks English and the meat is pretty good. It also amazes me that it isn’t that expensive when you compare it with South African prices even. All of this gets me mocked mercilessly because I like the guy and want to support him. It has now become a standing joke and it is generally the reason why Stephen is always at the end of the list of people on the blog. He takes it to another whole level.
We had another braai for dinner tonight (pork strips and rump steak) and then Helen, Chloe and I went for a walk around the neighborhood. The number of houses that are closed up in the area is quite remarkable. I can only assume that they are owned by people who live in Lisbon and maybe come down for weekends or a holiday period. They are quite nice houses and I am sure probably cost €1m (or more). That is the anomaly of Portugal though as you find properties of €1m or more and then right next door is what looks like a dilapidated block of flats. I will have to remember to take a photo or two to prove the point.
Until tomorrow ..
P, O (because she actually defended me today), H, M, L, C & S (he is probably going to be permanently there and disinherited soon too)