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  • Day18


    October 12 in Portugal ⋅ ☀️ 26 °C

    "Lisbon Inspires" lived up to its billing offering a gorgeous afternoon for our final time in this impressive city. At the beginning of our trip we spent time at the "Baixa" or lower, ancient part of the city. This time we were in the higher but still very central part of Lisbon. This city offers generous parks, gardens, squares, monuments and public walkways. We are left inspired.Read more

  • Day17


    October 11 in Portugal ⋅ ⛅ 23 °C

    Our last day was cloudy and breezy, the first time in two weeks. Ruth shared a walk along the beach with Maria, our hostess. There were people on the beach but most were covering up, even one guy with a hooded parka. The gulls congregated happy to have their territory back.Read more



  • Day15


    October 9 in Portugal ⋅ ☁️ 23 °C

    We caught a third division game for 7€ each. There was a premiere division game while we were here but tickets started at 234€.

    It was fun to be in the stands with some 300 home and visiting fans. It was a friendly family atmosphere with plenty of children and teens but mostly adults. Both teams were from the city of Albufeira area.

    It was a competitive match and the visiting Immortal Desporte Clube team prevailed 2-0.
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  • Day15


    October 9 in Portugal ⋅ ☀️ 21 °C

    We attended mass or "missa" as it is called here. The church was full when we arrived just at 10 am starting time with a dozen people standing at the back. We climbed up to the balcony which was empty but filled soon after we arrived. The audience was a combination of devout locals, not so devout locals and tourists about 70:30 men to women ratio. While not understanding much of the language, we recognized The Lord's Prayer, the Apostles Creed by the lilt and rhythm and I understood enough of the Gospel reading to identify it as Jesus healing the ten lepers. The priest seemed personable and relatable in delivering his homily. The service was just over an hour long.Read more

  • Day14


    October 8 in Portugal ⋅ ☀️ 25 °C

    Today's activity was a trip to historic Loulé, about 90 minutes by bus with about ten pickup stops along the way. Saturday mornings are a big market time every week. Not only the regular municipal market selling fish and fresh produce, but there's also a flea market set up in a dusty lot at the opposite end of the street.

    It is a historic town. The chapel at the top of the hill is Catholic now but was a mosque in the 1300s . We also came across an old convent with a huge pine tree reaching to the sky from the centre of the cloisters courtyard. The town also features many old style residential buildings and are doing well in their efforts to preserve the old character while renovating the structures. The walkways feature the familiar black and white stonework while offering their unique patterns. The stalls and booths are everywhere in tourist areas, but the ones here have much more of a local artisan produced character and quality.

    Loulé is the centre of a larger expansive county also called Loulé, and while the townsite is not on the ocean, its county extends to the coast. The county includes several fishing villages like Quarteira and Vilamoura. These were separated by some distance, but forty years ago moneyed folks started building summer homes at first, then hotels and now golf courses and tennis clubs and a huge marina for yachts and sailboats. The area is said to rival the French and Italian Rivieras.

    We drove for miles through areas that were built up and beautifully landscaped. There is also a large water park with a ginormous water slide to serve the newcomers to the area. All the while we are told the traditional locals still live their fishing lifestyle.
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  • Day13

    Beach Evening

    October 7 in Portugal ⋅ 🌙 22 °C

    By 6:00 pm the sun goes behind the buildings at the point and the temperature drops slightly but noticeably. Most sunbathers are gone by then but many enjoy this time of day at the shore. The light is warm and soft, the air is a bit heavier and the waves continue to crash and caress the shore.Read more

  • Day12

    Seafood Dinner

    October 6 in Portugal ⋅ ⛅ 23 °C

    On the recommendation of neighbouring house guests we chose O Cabaz da Praia or The Beach Basket as our dinner restaurant. We had a seat close to the edge of the terrace. Service was excellent; our waiter, Romeo, was Romanian and spoke very good English.

    The couple next to us was interesting and kept switching between Spanish, French and Portuguese and even some Italian, how very European.

    The food was excellent. Squid was an adventure for me. Although it's not my new favourite it was quite nice. Ruth had the sole and from the taste I had, I would definitely order that at another opportunity. The Portuguese wine was a little sweet and very agreeable. :-)
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  • Day12

    Water Fun

    October 6 in Portugal ⋅ ☁️ 24 °C

    Surf's up. But the water temperature was warmer due to currents, according to the lifeguard on duty. The currents also bring out the red flags for dangerous conditions since the current runs east to west. If a swimmer loses control, the current will throw one against the rocks at the point. The wave action is a result of wind and the surf makes for hazy conditions.

    The active surf is enticing and people like crashing the waves. But because the water is cool and the waves are powerful it can be daunting for some. Yours truly, not a fan of cold water, took the plunge. Any discomfort was worth the fun of playing in the waves. Photo credit: Ruth Rennie

    Unfortunately we don't have shots of the two of us in the surf, because we got sloshed around, losing our balance and Ruth almost lost her drawers!
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  • Day12

    Morning Walk on the Beach

    October 6 in Portugal ⋅ ☀️ 20 °C

    Inspired by yesterday's morning light and the sight of the four mile long beach yesterday on our boat tour, we decided to see how long our beach was. Up until today we had not ventured past the pier, a popular lookout and fishing spot. From that vantage point one might assume that the beach extended an equal distance to the east. It turns out to be about twice the length and likely about 2-3 km long in all.

    The setting is quite wonderful; a wide, beautiful sandy beach bracketed by large outcrops of very ragged rocks to form a point. The one on the west is large enough to support some building on it, while the one on the east is less substantial in its natural state, supplemented by a two metre thick wall and large boulders encasing it on both sides. The wall connects two large natural rocky structures and is further extended by more boulders to shape the point. The pictures likely show it better than I can explain it.

    The natural rock is a curious combination of, what seems to my untrained eye, part lava, limestone and sandstone with embedded shells (see photos). It is very rough and coarse but erodes about the rate of limestone, I would estimate. Of course here rocks are not subject to the freeze/thaw cycles we "enjoy" in Manitoba.

    Signs are posted warning of the danger of falling rocks. A few of the outcrops are netted, but at the western end of the beach the rock has been plastered with, what seems to be a concrete mortar or parging mix to contain any loose material and to protect the natural rock from erosion.
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  • Day11

    The Caves and Rugged Coast

    October 5 in Portugal ⋅ ☀️ 23 °C

    We pre-booked a trip on a large catamaran (16 x 8 m) to see the rugged coast west of Albufeira. It was a spectacular show of how wind and surf have eroded the rock/sandstone along this 20km shore and beyond. All along are small beaches, but there was one that extends over 4km in length, impossible to do justice with an image. The combo of setting and climate has to be one of the premiere locations in the world. I would love to hear from a geological engineer how long these coastlines can last until some buildings come crashing down. For now these are idyllic settings—a spectacular sight.Read more

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