The Algarve Line (Linha do Algarve) is a railway line in the Algarve region, southern Portugal which runs 139 km west to east from Lagos to Vila Real de Santo Antonio and as Joanne had never had the opportunity to take the train during her previous visits here we suggested a side bar adventure. Drive to Livramento, leave the car in the parking, the take the train Ida e Volta, and kill two birds with one stone, a visit to Vila Real de Santo Antonio and a train ride! What fun we had. We met up with Pat and Gary at the main square in VRSA and spent the morning wandering, browsing in and out of a few shops, a wonderful lunch on a Dutch/English patio, then the train ride home.
Vila Real de Santo António is a small city located at the east end of the Algarve coast. Nestled between the Atlantic and the Guadiana River, it’s the last costal village before dipping into Spain! It’s a relatively new city which was built under royal decree in 1776 following the great earthquake in 1755 . In contrast to the medieval streets of most of Portugal, this was built with the new style of streets going north/south, east/west. It’s a rarity in Portugal. (in my mind a bit boring)!
The train ride was 41 minutes long and arrived on schedule. The cost (return) for us seniors was 3,40 euros! The Estação Ferroviária de Vila Real de Santo António is about a leisurely 15 minute walk to the core of the tourist area, or near the harbour. Lots of fun to wander up and down the various streets turning left and right at random simply to try and spot something new and interesting while exploring the town.
Pat and Gary were right on time at 11h30 in the main square and the five of us enjoyed a few hours of wandering in and out of places and up and down streets.
As you can see, there were people about but certainly not anywhere near as many as there usually are.
I noticed a small statue of Saint Anthony above a door and a sign on the wall indicating it was the “house” of Santo Antonio. I doubt that but I took this for a friend…..you know who you are and quite smirking, it’s not ladylike!
Lunch happens whether we want it to or not! And we usually do. Today we took a little break from traditional Portuguese fare and stopped at a small bistro that advertised Dutch and English food. Marc and I had eaten there a couple of years ago and recalled good food. We weren’t wrong. All five of us were happy.
Lots of laughter, gabbing, with a dash of whining…….a typical lunch!! LOL. Truly fun and for me, more memories to keep me company in my old age. Corvo is the word for “crow” so I thought it amusing that Gary and Marc were photographed with that slogan behind them. Joanne and I are most certainly “delicious burgers” and Patricia, well she oozes an enigmatic air.
Following lunch we said our goodbyes and headed off, us to the train station and P&G to do a little more browsing. We zig-zagged up and down a few different streets on our way to the station.
The ride back to Livramento was as enjoyable as the ride from. We saw “literally” hundreds of flamingo in the waters along the route. Spotted a rabbit. Quite a few horses and donkeys, which you don’t see often here. We hopped in the car and I took a slightly different route to home just to see if perhaps the plum trees were yet in bloom…….what good luck.
And, my favourite shot(s) of the day.