Sunday, 2 October 2011

arriving in the Algarve

In Portugal the coffee is served short and in my experience it's always really good. The one I've just finished is from a little local cafe in Olhao, where we are waiting for our train. We expected to get one by now but being a Saturday they don't run as frequently.

We came across here late morning after strolling around bits of Faro after breakfast. We unexpectedly arrived on market day, alhough they were packing up by the time we arrived. We managed to get a bit of a feel for the produce. We picked up a local style donut, some nuts and dried fruit for lunch which we enjoyed eating sitting in a nearby shaded park while teenage boys played soccer nearby.

While sitting here in the cafe we discovered another Portuguses tradition; if you are enroute from a wedding ceremony to the reception, you blow your car horn, and tie little bits of ribbon on the top of your antenna. The siesta like ambience was broken for the 5 minutes or so it took for the wedding cars to drive past.

The bus ride yesterday was long (four and a half hours) but it took us through some lovely countryside. Being Autumn here, the land seemed a bit parched, brown and yellow, similar colours to ours. The crops had all been gathered in and the earth was bare and an orange brown colour. 
Faro is the capital city of the Algarve region, in and of itself it is not a place to stay really, but it is a good place to base yourself for day trips. Our hotel is fairly ordinary, nothing to complain about, but nothing to rave about either. It is close to the marina and is near the old part of the city and a shopping precinct. It is the best area to stay in Faro.

We have been looking at maps and checking on the Internet to plan the next few days. Unfortunately some of the places we would like to see are not really accessible by public transport, but there is lots to choose from anyway.....
One plus, we found a sandwich franchise, portuguese stlye subway. After arriving around seven pm last night we walked past the place on our way to the hotel and came back later to get baguettes for dinner, which we ate sitting on a bench at the marina, just hit the spot.

Around Faro...