Our Trip to Spain and Portugal: The Algarve Part 1

. 4 min read
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After a few nights in Lisbon, we rented a car and headed south for the Algarve, the sunny southern coastline of Portugal.

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Good thing, because it was hot! Unseasonably so. It was only May, and in the high 80s in Lisbon.

No fun being in a crowded city when it’s hot out.

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It was even hotter in the Algarve — in the 90s!

Thankfully, the Algarve is all about beaches, pools, and sunbathing. In which case, hot is good.

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When I packed, I thought it would be cooler (according to online weather predictions) so I had mostly long-sleeved shirts and jeans.

We went to a little tourist shop the day we arrived and I bought some cheap flip Chinese flops (Haviana knock-offs) and a couple sundresses. That’s all I needed, other than my bathing suit.

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The first day, we lounged by the pool and drank sangrias. I read [easyazon-link asin=”1613821484″ locale=”us”]Don Quixote[/easyazon-link] on my Kindle (anticipating our time in Spain).

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Seth was so relaxed!

Our second day there, we were too tired to sunbathe or read, so we got up, partook in the breakfast buffet, and went back to bed.

Woke up a few hours later, had lunch by the pool, and went back for a nap until dinner.

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I guess some people like to sightsee on vacation, but we just wanted to sleep.

Parents, can you relate? I knew I was a parent when I started incessantly fantasizing about sleep.

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We stayed at a modest hotel full of retired British people. They were all in their 60s and 70s.

Mostly they lounged by the pool all day, soaking up as much sun as possible, as they are deprived of it in rainy Great Britain. At 4 pm, they switched from sangria to a pot of tea, which the bartender delivered to them poolside.

This was our speed for vacation — lounging, drinking, eating, lounging some more. Nobody in this hotel was in a hurry. No one was trying to get anything accomplished. It was all about relaxing and taking it easy.

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The third afternoon we were there, we headed out to a restaurant in downtown Lagos.

Not exactly a bustling metropolis. Again, everything is slow and easy in the Algarve.

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But it was a little bit stressful driving in Lagos.

The streets were soooo narrow.

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Yes, I really did have to make that turn!

Whew! I needed a drink after that.

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Restaurante dos Artistas was our favorite meal in the Algarve. Definitely worth the stressful drive.

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I ordered the tasting menu.

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The amuse-bouche was a carrot soup and some kind of savory crème brûlée with foie gras.

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My appetizer: monkfish sashimi.

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Main course: pork tenderloin with beet puree and gnocchi (potato pasta).

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And of course we had dessert — chocolate!

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And, of course, we drank port. When in Portugal…

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Stuffed, relaxed, and happy, and ready for bed!

Stay tuned for the next installment as we eat and drink, lounge and sleep some more in the Algarve.