Monday, August 1, 2016

Portugal 2015

In November, we were able to go to Portugal on a semi- spur of the moment trip.  Friends asked us if we wanted to go with them to a time share, but we'd have to stay on the couch in the living room. Fine. We'll do it. It'll be a fun trip and we probably wouldn't have gone otherwise. Then we realized, well shoot, you can get decent airbnb's for cheap - like $34 a night cheap near the beach and really nice places for just a few dollars more. Sorry friends, we'll meet you in Portugal, but we'll be finding our own accommodations not on a couch - in an awesome multi-bedroom apartment in the thick of things.

we had a layover in Germany (necessary beer and brats)

We landed in Faro. From there we rented a car and drove up to Lisbon.  The streets are crazy. Small, one way, hills, paved with hand placed and chiseled stones. We found our apartment, our home for the next few days, looking down on the city.

joe on the narrow steep steps leading to the apartment

The host of our airbnb said to go to a place nearby for dinner. Locals type of place, but they have good food. After walking around the surrounding blocks and not finding what she was talking about at all, we decided to stop in here. Tiny place, with a grill, and that's about it. Buy some chicken and rice and go home to eat. No one there spoke any english, but they were so friendly and willing to deal with us...and the food was delicious. Went back to the apartment to realize this was the place the host was talking about. Lucky!!

pastel de nata - oh how i wish there were pastry shops everywhere at home like there are here

murals and paintings are everywhere

This is the door to a TINY glove shop in Lisbon. Go here. The place has history. They grab your hand and know your glove size. They fit you on the spot. And there's always the smell of leather. And if you happen to go when Joe and I did, there will be a ridiculously attractive male (even Joe mentioned it when we walked away), who was very friendly and spoke english,  waiting to buy gloves with his German Shepherd. 

we stumbled into this amazing alley - covered in murals

cinco lounge - the place was empty when we got there, but it had an interesting vibe so we decided to stay for a drink. Best Decision Ever. The bartenders were super friendly, spoke english, and made great drinks. We ordered off the menu, but gave them freedom to make us whatever they liked and it was awesome. Drinks served under herb smoked glass domes, fresh grilled peppers (yes, that is a stovetop in front of me at the bar), things ablaze! We were lucky that they had the time to treat us so personally. I don't doubt that the drinks are as good on a busy night, but the showmanship couldn't nearly be as one-on-one.

We started our drive back down to the Algarve, taking a ferry across at setubal, just because.

stopping at isolated beaches along the way

until we made it to our apartment in Olhos de Agua

view from the room

had to stop for lunch in Lagos

sunset and dinner in Sagres

beers in Albufeira - so inexpensive!!
view from our apartment in Olhos de Agua near Albufeira

Beach near old Albufeira

We met up with our friends for a day in old Albufeira. The streets had been flooded a few months prior and the damages are still prevalent. Many businesses are not open - pumping water from their basements. The stone roads being re-made by hand. Empty spaces where pavers had been being filled in with concrete.

But this guy - his bar along the beach was open. Tiny place. Great guy. Came here from Africa and stayed. 

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