|Sven and I flew to Faro, a 4 hour flight from Stockholm on the south coast of Portugal. Portugal is a country of 10 million people, where they speak Portuguese and where the Euro is used as currency. One Euro is equal to 1 1/2 NZ dollars.
Faro, like many Portuguese towns, has an old area with narrow cobbled streets, cobbled footpaths and even cobbled pedestrian crossings. The houses are whitewashed and have terracotta tile roofs. In the downtown area, some of the streets are for walking only, with tables, chairs and umbrellas set up outside all the coffee shops and restaurants. The guesthouse where we stayed had a passage so narrow I had to manoevre my suitcase sideways rather than roll it on its wheels. Oh, and I had to carry it up the stairs as none of the older stone places have lifts.
The Faro beach is reached by local bus and the Atlantic water was surprisingly cool - refreshing rather than warm! Here in Portugal lunch finishes round 2-3 pm and people eat late 9.30 or 10 pm, even children out with parents at this hour.
Chelsea and Raul joined us a few days later at a rental apartment at Olhos de Agua, about 30 minutes east of Faro. We had a relaxing week together, lazy days beginning with sleep ins, lounging by the pool reading a book, walking to the beach and along the coast to different little bays, joining the hoards at the beach and later in the evening eating at one of the many different restaurants. The whole Argarve coast is a popular destination for many Europeans.
We have enjoyed some Portuguese wines (very cheap) and have taken a liking to jugs of Sangria (refreshing in the hot weather). Also it is the land of the tiny cups of expresso (very strong!)
After the week, Raul and Chelsea had to return to Stockholm to work and to apartment hunting seeing Raul's place has sold. We moved on 6 hours north east to near the Spanish border to our first Portuguese WOOFing job.