I am trying to narrow down my search in Portugal from lessons learned along the way. I have decided I am looking for more of a medium sized city then a large one. The medium size cities seem to be more laid back then the large ones.
I am looking for one with a large old town center. Long esplanades along the sea. Many pedestrian zones and parks with benches to sit on and whileaway the day. Top on the list is having a nice balcony to hang out on. To me that is the hub of attractions.
Some of these towns like Albufeira, Faro and Lagos are pretty big but most of that is the new urban sprawl of recent years. They are the biggest towns on the map of the coast. That is why I go to check them out.
Just because they are big doesn’t mean they have a large old town. Like Albufeira it is hard to distinguish old from new. It just blends together. I like seeing these places but they are not somewhere I would want to live.
I have been thinking about it for a long time now. I choose these places I have gone to so far because they are the biggest on the map. I thought they would in turn have older bigger centers but they do not.
It is because most were just sleepy little fishing villages in the old days before tourism built them up to what they are today. Most just have a lot of urban area but not much of a old center. It just doesn’t look like there are any larger than these along the Southern coast of Portugal that I haven’t seen.
Maybe North of Lisbon there is but it is colder there and I do not like cold. I did like Lisbon a lot and am thinking about going back but it is a ways from here so I’m not sure yet what to do. I will spend some time thinking about it.
I since have been to Seville and am now in Cadiz. So I have decided to stay here till after Easter weekend then leave on the 16th. Everywhere except here the prices go up huge for the week. They do go up though a little. I guess everyone heads to the bigger cities.
I am tired of moving so much and really don’t know where I want go next. I have to many ideas and just want to sit for a while and think about it. Instead of having to figure out where the next place will be the moment I get to a place.
I walked around the old town here today and thru the middle of it. I am at the farthest point in the old town out at the end on the peninsula. The old town is surrounded by the old city wall. I’m on a very narrow street and it is another beautiful apartment it is almost like a deja vu from Seville.
The walk was nice. I went along a really long park with fountains by the sea on the one side then walked thru the center and along the sea on the other back to here. It’s only about 3 miles to go around the whole old town. It’s a pretty little spot not monstrous like Seville and more laid back.
The nice thing here is that almost everything is old not fancy but old. The 3 or 4 story buildings with balconies and nice narrow little streets. The old wrought iron street lanterns on the sides of the buildings really feels old.
There are some newer buildings built for the tourist trade that are pretty faceless in the old town along the sea but not super high rises. They have some design to them and there are very few.
There is nothing but high rises in the southern newer part of town outside the old city wall. It is pretty much the norm everywhere in Spain along the sea some places more than others. This place caught on to the destruction fast thank god and put an end to it before they ruined the look of the old town.
The guy here offered me a deal if I wanted to stay more than the 4 days I had already booked. He gave me 10 euro off a night so that is a really good price here 32 euro a night.
So I decided or at least I am almost sure I will stay an additional 2 weeks. I told him one week for sure and probably the other one and that I would let him know tomorrow. I’m 99% sure just wanted a little time to get my head straight on it.
The guy I am renting from will check tonight to see if I can. Well had decided to stay but after going back to his house to look at his bookings the guy here said he was booked after the 7th. So 7th it is. At least that gives me a week to figure it out.
I am now thinking about going to Morocco for a bit so this is the place to do it from if I decide to. The ferries cross over from a couple of towns near to here.
The guy here Victor is a fairly young guy and he knows a lot about it. He has been there many times with his girl friend so he is going to get together with me so we can go over the best spots to go. Tomorrow I am going to meet him and a friend from Morocco to figure it out.
I have always wanted to go and almost did when I was coming to Lagos all those years ago. One year I got to the ferry in Algeciras to go there and decided the girls were more interesting in Lagos. So went to Gibraltar and then back to Lagos.
So I have another chance and think I will take it. I’ve seen most of the places I have wanted to see in Spain on the coast. There is only a couple of more iffy ones left to see and I will have seen enough to make me happy that I covered them.
I can do that after Morocco and the time there does not count toward my stay in the Schengen zone. So that’s the pre plan plan.
Went to the market here this morning got a nice fillet of Cod to bring back with some asparagus to go with it. The market was incredible probably 50 or more vendors selling all kinds of fish, shellfish etc another 50 selling veggies.
It is just so amazing to have fresh stuff at the market everyday a few blocks from here. I love this about Europe it is one of my favorite things to do.
I am comfortable here and the time spent will give me a chance to relax and get my thoughts together. Even if it is not as long as I wanted to. Can’t ask for more than that!