This past couple of days have been devoted to once again, trying to deal with the idiocy and bureaucracy of SEF….The Serviço de Estrangeiros e Fronteiras – SEF is a police service integrated into the Ministry of Internal Affairs, they deal with Visas, Residency Cards etc.. I can safely say that we have reached our saturation point with all of this and have basically decided that this is probably going to be our last six month stay in Portugal. It makes us both a bit sad but as a wise friend says, It Is What It Is!!
All that to say we have spent the last two days going back and forth to Albufeira and today, once we finished with SEF, we decided to go and explore the old town, something Marc had not yet had the opportunity to do.
Albufeira is considered the ultimate family holiday destination as well as the best place in the Algarve to party (if that’s what you want). The town is divided into the old town and the “Strip”. The old town is a beautiful white city with cobbled streets, where you can find many family-focused restaurants. The Strip is renowned for its nightlife full of clubs, pubs, and bars that stay open till early morning. It’s not anything that we would want in a vacation but for an afternoon visit, a walk along the beach, people watching, it’s grand!
Following our leisurely stroll on the beach, from one end to the other. We climbed a steep staircase which landed us in the old town. We meandered through many side streets taking in the sights all the while enjoying the clean crisp sea air.
We decided to stop for a cafe and this was our perspective while sipping.
As we headed back to the car we noticed an obvious municipal building and discovered it housed a display of Christmas art created by local students. As it seems to be each of the last few years, recycling figures largely into this sort of art. Here are six of my favourites. You can enlarge each photo and see if you can figure out what they are made from. Very creative.
As it was still before an acceptable lunch time we decided to drive up through the mountains into Loulé and enjoy a lunch at one of our favourite haunts in that town, Bocage.
We first stopped in the market building and enjoyed a lengthy conversation with a vendor there with whom we’ve chatted over the years. It was fun to catch up and hear all the gossip of the market.
Bocage turned out to be a perfect decision as they had three prato do dias….specials of the day. Marc had the Bochechas de porco…pork cheeks roasted in the oven while I devoured my Galo do Campo……..rooster stew……neither of us could finish all that was on the plate. Satisfied and content we headed towards home with a brief stop in Sao Bras to pick up a couple of things at the grocery. A fabulous day.
And in closing, a couple of my favourite photos from a stroll around Estoi yesterday.