After spending almost one week in the frightfully English resort of Albufeira, I have finally been moved to the west of Portugal which will be my base for the next few months. I have only just arrived an hour or so ago and already I can tell it is much more to my liking then Albufeira.
It is quite a strange sensation being in Portugal, as I have been here in the past but 5 years ago when I was back packing Europe with my twin sister and her husband. We only stopped for a few nights in Lagos and I remember loving the place, the character and the feel of the area.
Well, life in Albufeira is different. I did not get any positive feelings from being in this man made, purpose built holiday resort. There was no atmosphere, no sense of culture and nothing at all exciting about being there. As I spent the week doing excursion, after excursion then I was beginning to lose hope that there were 'natural' parts of this country.
Yesterday, on a cruise down the river that divides Spain and Portugal my faith was restored as I saw a beautiful little town with not one sign of tourist invasion. I realised how lucky we are in Italy. I always thought Taormina was over run by tourists, and it was BUT the big difference being that the town it as it has always been. Nothing has been made to cater for the tourists (ok so the odd foreign restaurant here and there but you know what I am trying to say.) From what I have seen of Portugal, and Albufeira in particular nothing of the old Portugal is left. High rise after high rise spoil the land scape and all I can say it is a real shame. I understand that it is good for the country, bringing in a lot of money etc... but all can I ask is at what price?
I am therefore glad to be based in the west, which is touristy but already after getting lost on my stroll I feel that I will enjoy my few months here as it feels like the 'real' Portugal.
P.S Photos will come....when I find an internet cafe that lets me use my memory stick.
P.P.S Excuse my bad spelling if there is any, as for some reason the spell check is not working.