2002 – Portugal – “Algarve to Lisbon”

Two trips to capital and coast

Phil Richards
French Diesel in the Algarve / Phil Richards / Creative Commons 2.0

At Christmas 2002 we flew to Faro in the Algarve on easyJet. During the trip we rented a car to travel along the Algarve coast.  We also caught a train from Faro all the way to Lisbon and back and stayed for a few nights in the Portuguese capital.

In 2002 the Faro-Lisbon trains were still in the hands of  “broken-nose” French diesels, but the signs of the forthcoming electrification were apparent with catenary masts already erected in many places.

At Christmas 2008 we repeated the trip in reverse. We flew into Lisbon, on British Airways, and then rented a car to drive to the Algarve and back.  The second time we spent less time in the Algarve and we visited Sintra, just outside Lisbon, by train.

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There is something about the easy and relaxed nature of the Portuguese people that make the country such a great place to visit.

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Lisbon has a slightly worn but welcoming vibe. The Baixa or ‘downtown’, is centered around some beautiful squares and still retains many of its original 18th century shops.

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The Bairro Alto is the bohemian quarter and is densely packed with bars and restaurants.

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The ancient trams and escalators of Lisbon make for a nostalgic and cool way of getting around.

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Even in December the beaches of the Algarve were sunny and warm enough to sit on.

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Milky “Galao” coffee went perfectly well with the delicious cakes and custard tarts

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The rest of the food  was also excellent.-

Outstanding sardines –

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Tasty vegetable soup –

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Christmas Cake (Portuguese style)

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Spicy Piri Piri Chicken.

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