Many thanks to our great friend (and high-minded painter) Andy Baird, who both conceived and jump started this attempt to contemporaneously record at least some of the eventings of one move abroad. Regarding content, the narrower column on the left is the supposedly more timeless and reference stuff; ongoing entries are in the larger-width column on the right of the script below - following the (red)


by-line below. The plan is for these at least to be augmented over time.

It should also follow, therefore, that the most recently added post will always be at the top of this right-hand column; so if you want to get a flavour from earlier times, scroll and start NEARER TO or EVEN AT THE BOTTOM (only, please, please if you chose this option, allow yourself a series of snack-breaks; it can be repetitive, and boredom is guaranteed to increase with intensity of effort!)- but ANY comments are not only also welcomed ->but positively encouraged

Remember this folks ......

Remember this folks ......

Monday, May 13, 2013

M&G Spring Break – April 2013

Having opted for shortish drives and a tad of exploration (hardly Henry the Navigator, but still!) our `down` overnighter was in a small town called Ferrera de Alentejo, inboard and a little south of Lisbon. Lovely experience.  Apart from being only a stones` throw from Beja  -a fabulous and picturesque tourist attraction hill-fort town at which we arrived comfortably before lunch- our Hotel in FdA itself was in the “Rua (Street) de Visconte de Ferreira de Alantejo” and turned out to be yer actual Viscount`s former `palace` - complete with fabulous décor.
Then on to the Algarve!

In our opinion -    Albufeira`s great
Granted, we were visiting not only at the beginning of the season, but -fortuitously or what?- just as summer arrived, breaking the longest season of cold and wet that we`ve ever experienced in Portugal.

In three short days, we had an excellent time. Staying in a supremely-situated Hotel in Oura; right from our in-bound stop at Tourist Information, everything just seemed to gel; highlights for we country folk including a splendid afternoon in the company of  first-time-met, but long-standing  email Blog companions Victoria and Jim, a chance to pick up (OK not duty-free, but …) products not readily available here, and the always somehow hitherto-missed-out-on visit to Sagres.

Notwithstanding that the draught Guinness (aaah, 2Euro-a-pint Draught Guinness) didn`t travel –several such pints having to be `picked partaken and (re)poured` all within a tight timeframe- we found the general buzz of the place exactly the tonic we, and presumably thousands of other holiday-makers throughout the average year, needed. Prices generally were v.good, but it was the availability of many commodities and brands long since unavailable to the point of being practically forgotten, that really added to the charm of the place. And due to our packed schedule, we didn`t even get to the beach!

Agreed, we probably wouldn`t want to live there, and we don`t doubt yobheads take a toll (Perhaps they`re just trying to cram a years relief into the only week or two they can manage to get away  ???) but as against that, residents anywhere can dip in and out of the bits of local life they don`t find attractive, whilst still being able enjoy the Full Monty as and when they DO so choose.

Finally, last night in LISBON
Staying in another fabulous, recently refurbished, town house in the unbelievable district of Alfama.

Tasca do Chico pub/club
One of the principal motivating factors/goals of our entire trip, in the event Geraldine and I simply chanced upon both this fantastic little Club/eatery and the Museu do Fado virtually opposite. `happened as we were meandering through the narrow cobbled Alfama streetlets on the way back to our hotel. We had already eaten (`nother story), had a beer (`nother `nother story!), and listened from the pavement to the live singers from `spectaculars` in and on premises we were simply not prepared to pay the up to 50 Euro+  per person entrance plus meal charge to enter.

Check it on the web; but do bear in mind that the visual quality of `telemobile videos` reduce somewhat when performances begin and the lights are dimmed. Howandever, somehow Joao Carlos himself caught our eye and ushered us inside for an unbelievable nights` entertainment. The place was cosy, warm and bunged; drinks on the more expensive side (as against which, no pressure to purchase at the bar at all) and no cover charge. People were still arriving and having freshly-grilled lingüiça (sausage) after 10pm., fairly constantly `refreshing` tables in a space holding only about 40 persons.
The singers, and especially the musicians, were excellent, and the whole experience was superb; the one sadness being that restrictive capacity limitation (although, if it was a bigger venue, the atmosphere would suffer).

What a way to end our short break; if you`re ever within reach, do try it; should you be in luck you`ll get IN, if you aim for the furthest/back wall in what was basically a converted garageway, you`ll probably not be hassled in any shape or form, and WE cant believe you`ll not also be VERY contented!

Oh, great joy; although it IS nice now to be back home!

M & G

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