Wednesday, June 10, 2009

ALGARVE by Lift and Escalators

Albufeira (Ar. "Castle of the Sea")

Albufeira, in central Algarve, is a great place for holidaymakers that fit the following profile:

- any basically breathing, warm or cold blooded creatures, especially those that like basking in the sun on the beach during the day and tour the bars and clubs at night.

But this is not your run of the mill holiday location... this one is so unique that, until proven differently, it's the only place in the world one can actually take either a lift or the softly rolling escalators down to the lavishly clear sands of the beach and the inviting greenish-blue waters...

It can't be a coincidence that the word "lazy" in English and "lazer" (leisure) in Portuguese are no excuses not to leave the old wheel chair behind and go have a swim.

The worst thing about Albufeira old town (centre), is really the "waiters" (now I know why they're called that) acctually waiting outside the Restaurants and soliciting passers-by to go into their Restaurants quite vehemently...

If you aren't into that at all and care for a more relaxed, posh holiday site, then you can still go to Albufeira but stay in the outskirts. There are many clear-sand, greenish-blue water washed beaches nearby.
One of them is Vilamoura. Famouse for its Marina, it's a delight to go down the boardwalk, day or night.

I went in April, which, on one hand is good because there are no crowds at all, but on the other hand, the weather is a gamble - one week can be just like summer, another week windy with springtime showers. Nothing a heated swimming-pool and some great warm food can't cure, though.

In the stomach department I do have to recommend "O PESCADOR" (The Fisherman) in Vila Real de Santo António - a bit out of the way but well worth if you have a car. It's right near the border, in front of the river, overlooking Spain.

Obviously I suggest the fish - any of the day's specials; but if you like seafood and are not squeamish about what that animal on your plate looks like, then ask for "Arroz de Lingueirão" ( Rizzotto with a narrow-shelled Mollusk, picture in the video).

Have a great summer!

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