Even though I have been to Portugal numerous times now, I still don’t understand the place. You drive around and there is a really nice home or building but right next door is total dereliction with graffiti sprayed all over it. It seems a real mixture between first world and third world even though they would only consider themselves to be first world only.
Yesterday we needed to drop off our expired residency cards at our lawyers office in the Algarve (so they can issue us the latest updated ones). Their office was in Almancil (about 15 minutes from our house) and as we hadn’t been there before so we all decided to go and then go from there to Faro (again because we hadn’t really been there).
Faro is rated as the number 1 attraction in Algarve region. Not only does it have the biggest shopping centre (Forum Algarve) but it also has an Old Town and New Town area, the airport (where we landed), a marina and also a wetlands. We first went to the shopping centre and did a little (fortunately it was a little only) shopping. Stephen entertained himself by making crosses with the pool noodle (probably the effect of being an intern for 6 months at Church). We then drove into Faro itself. It did feel a little like SA when we arrived because we had two people ‘helping’ us find a parking (in a free parking lot with plenty of free spaces). When we didn’t pay them on exiting our cars we had a slew of words shouted at us. No idea what she said because we don’t understand Portuguese – probably fortunate we didn’t because I suspect it wasn’t wholesome.
The Old Town area is what you would expect of Portugal. White washed buildings generally in good shape and cobbled streets. We walked around a bit and then found our way down to the sea and wetland area and walked along the coast until we found a restaurant on the waterside to have some lunch. On the way back to the car after lunch we passed an exercise park (which everyone amused themselves on for some time). The wind was blowing quite strongly especially near the sea
We were back to the house early afternoon which allowed time for everyone to have a nap or just relax around the pool. A dinner done entirely on the braai (lamb kebabs; chicken wings; zucchini, sweet potatoes & asparagus) by Stephen & I was how we finished the day.
P, H, M, S, C & O (she deserves the last place and she knows why …)