Tuesday 30 October 2007

At last a bit of the 'real' stuff...

OLA one and all. I would like to begin this blog to announce that my blog should be coming to you live and clear from my new small village of Alvor on the Algarve about once a week (not more, most probably less.) I may also not be able to post photos as throughout my explorations of this tiny town I have found only this one internet place which does not let you download anything so I will try and be more artistic with my words and paint you a verbal picture of my temporary life on the Algarve. 

The sun is shining strong, with winter temperature's in the mid 20s and still plenty of time to tan and go to the beach. I have not officially started work as such, and have been getting to know this little town and doing a few more excursions. I've also been settling into my four star home - oh, did I not mention that I am living in a hotel? 

I am only in Portugal for half the winter (probably until mid-January) and therefor have been put up in a very nice 4 star hotel on full board basis. No cleaning, no cooking, no anything really! There are also a few other British travel reps living here so I won't be alone. Living in a hotel came as a pleasant surprise! If I were to live in a hotel for the whole summer I would probably go mad, but for half of a very warm winter...I cannot complain at all.  After taking a leisurely stroll through the old town this morning, I realised it really is very beautiful and 'real' here. Tourism has not yet ruined this small place. Sure it is touristy with bars and restaurants all catering to us foreign lot however, due to the size of the town which is 2 main 'tourist' streets and a small marina, once you step back from these tourist spots you are smack bang in the middle of a Portuguese village which reminds me a lot of Italy. 

This morning the little old ladies dressed in the obligatory black were hanging  washing to dry on home made clothes lines, strung in front of their houses. The scent of onion and garlic wafted out of open front doors as lunch is prepared. From balcony to balcony they called out to one another, surely gossiping, if only I could understand. By the church, an old man was sitting in peace and tranquillity before shaking his head in disbelief as a family of half naked tourists came making noise, and taking photos. 

It is almost November, and while the locals are wrapped up in their winter gear, the tourists are walking around near naked. I might add that the majority of winter tourists are old British people. 


Roam2Rome said...

I could just picture the scene with the foreigner thinking you were a local :) That's what we get for not being blond :)

Kataroma said...

Wow - Portugal! Sounds so exotic. Portugese is my absolute favourite language in the world sound-wise (Brazilian Portugese is what I've heard but I'm sure Portugese Portugese is nice too.) Such a gorgeous language.

How similar is it to Italian? It must be confusing!

Madelyne said...

sounds like you're settling in pretty well, almost a local.
Don't know how you can wrap your brain around yet another language.... you are truely talented in my books.

Leanne was in Italy now in Australia said...

Roam2Rome - having this brown hair and people thinking I am Portugese means that even locals stop me now asking me for directions (I think they are saying that as they are not speaking any language I know!)

Kataroma: I do not think the languages are similar at all but a lot of people have said they are. I think Spanish and Italian are much closer...Some of the words I understand and numbers etc...are similar but at least if someone does not speak English I can try and speak in Italian and we can sort of get by!

Madelyne: My ears are so confused at the moment hearing all these new sounds!