Photo Essay of Alluring Algarve

Say YES to any travel opportunity coming our way, was one of the guiding principles when we started planing our Year of Travel.So when we were asked to visit our little grandchildren and their parents vacationing on Algarve coast, we said yes, of course. We rented a small apartment on Airbnb for a week and built up a 4 week European driving trip around it.When I hear beach vacation I imagine a white sandy hotel beach with a line of lounge chairs going towards horizon. Someone’s vision of ultimate bliss and mine of ultimate boredom.But South Portugal has proven to be so much more and we loved every minute of it. There were enough diverse beaches that we could visit one or two a day and if the water was a bit on the cold side we could build sandcastles with the kids.Some were inspired by local Bronze Age prehistoric archeological sites. We made sure to pass down our love for history in fun and educational ways.We went even further back in history and showed our little dinosaur-obsessed grandson real dinosaur footprints. Even though they were from his favorite Tyrannosaurus Rex he wasn’t that impressed. But we were. The kids were much more impressed with the well done early morning dolphin tour with an old conch blowing sea captain. We lucked out with many pods of dolphins frolicking around our boat, including a mom with her little baby. The future profession ideas quickly changed from paleontologist to marine conservationist.

Even the sea food choices veered to prehistoric looking specialities of percebes (barnacles) dubbed “Dino claws”.The newer history brought forts, castles and light houses with very popular if mostly made up stories of princesses locked up in towers. From morning till night there was exploration galore. Certainly nobody was bored. Watching surfers was a favorite pastime.Every night before dinner I had a private Portuguese lesson with a lovely young neighbor Mariana, accompanied by a glass of local red.Learning Portuguese has been on my Bucket list for a long time. A week is hardly enough to learn how to order dinner but the generally sweet Portuguese were even sweeter when I asked them to “fala Portuguese” with me. One day I want to come back and learn more so I can listen to (and understand) the hauntingly beautiful traditional fado songs.

One of course can never get tired of glorious sunsets… or spectacular views…mysterious caves… or moss covered rocks… Sometimes one can even slow down a little and sit on the beach for a bit, listening to the crashing of the waves.The Merman says so.

PS. What is one thing on your Bucket List that you want to learn?

15 thoughts on “Photo Essay of Alluring Algarve

  1. Hmm… Mirek — even your sand castles look like bridges! 😉
    What a wonderful photo journal! I love learning a bit of the language before visiting a country — it really adds to the cultural experience. Boa viagem!


  2. You romanticize Portugal but left out the Calda verde soup made from cabbage leaves.
    Sitting on the beach with your Panama hats and chairs is very European.


  3. One beautiful beach after another. Sigh! We are sitting in smoky air from all the surrounding fires. Lucky you not to be here. Margaret


  4. Beautifully captured in photos! Ty for sharing .

    Once upon a time, I went to the Algarves with Michael and our 4 mos old baby, Matthew. One month later, I met you and your baby, Tisa. 🤗


  5. Beautiful- you convinced family members to check it out too – yahoo! As for what to learn? I always wanted to learn Russian, but that train has passed! I tried Slovenian for a few months! Jenni Lipa: when we lived in the suburbs of Paris in the 80s, the Portuguese immigrants grew that cabbage and my mother‘s Portuguese housekeeper made that soup once for us- delicious! My mother then cooked it once a week! I am still learning to make that soup as good as Amarindha and my mother made it!


  6. Now that is my idea of a beautiful beach vacation…. no tourists but me!

    On Sat, Sep 8, 2018 at 4:09 AM Crazy Parents Travel wrote:

    > ksenija+mirek olmer posted: “Say YES to any travel opportunity coming our > way, was one of the guiding principles when we started planing our Year of > Travel.So when we were asked to visit our little grandchildren and their > parents vacationing on Algarve coast, we said yes, of course. ” >


  7. Ole, bravissima, WOW! being Filipino and having what our daughter jokingly says is a generic Asian face, I learned just enough to say in Japanese, Thai, Bahasa, and Cantonese “Excuse me, I am Filipino and I need your help, please!” A subtle shift in attitude when they realize I am truly a foreigner to their country and not a former native who doesn’t speak even their basic language. Then they’re very happy to practice their English!


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