Friday 26 October 2007

My new (temporary) home

After spending almost one week in the frightfully English resort of Albufeira, I have finally been moved to the west of Portugal to a tiny fishing village called Alvor, my base for the next few months. I arrived an hour or so ago and can already tell that I like it more than Albufeira. 

It is a strange sensation being in Portugal. I visited Portugal 5 years ago when I was back packing around 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. Life in Albufeira was 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 there was nothing at all except British tourists. I spent the week doing all our excursions and 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 and  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 was always the same, it had not been changed or modernised for the tourists. 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 landscape and 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? 

Thankfully I'm now 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.


Roam2Rome said...

Definitely have to agree! I prefer authenticity than artificial resorts any time!

But I'm sure there will be a lot of good memories and lots of lessons learned, and small towns outside of the tourist resorts... it's good to see what's out there :) Enjoy :)

Anonymous said...

Glad to hear you are having a good time and have left the English part of town behind!

Leanne was in Italy now in Australia said...

Thanks for your comments! I am so very glad to have left 'english portugal' behind, and to now be living in portugal.