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Algarve: up and down.

   The rush from Seville to the southern coast of Portugal was fleeting. A couple of hours and around noon we taxied to our apartments. On the way, we agreed in advance with the representative of the owner of the apartment about the time of our arrival. Having GPS coordinates, as well as satellite photos, we can easily find a village of cottages with the intricate name Urbanizacao Vila Penina and park right at the entrance to our cottage.
  They are already waiting for us, the front doors are friendly open and the whole crew is going to inspect our home for the next week. 
Everything fully corresponds to the presented description and photos. The only relative inconvenience: only one bedroom has its own toilet block (en-suite). Two other toilet blocks are located in the corridor on the second floor and on the first floor in front of the kitchen.
  Several malls including a supermarket were found within a 10 km radius. So, given the well-equipped kitchen and barbecue, which were successfully used for their intended purpose, household issues were resolved quickly and efficiently.
But we were not going to stay too long in our beautiful home, but every day we carried out sorties and fairly traveled the length and breadth of the Portuguese Riviera.
  Here I will deviate from the chronology of travel notes and just talk about the places we visited. To illustrate, I will add some photos and videos.

  First of all, the most southwestern point of Europe is Cape Cabo de Sao Vicente, which competes with Cape Cabo da Roca - officially recognized as the most western point of the European continent.


   C XV century. Cabo San Vicente was an important landmark for ships, and its modern lighthouse, whose beam reaches 95 km, is considered the most powerful in Europe.


   A few kilometers from Cabo San Vicente along the coast is the ancient fortress of Sagres, built by Henry the Navigator.


   I really liked the fishing town of Alvor. It is located near our home and we have been there many times.


   And the waiter from the fish restaurant just charmed us!


   From the same town we made a very memorable boat cruise along the coast.


   The trip to the mountains was very impressive. The mountain range Serra di Munchique (Serra de Monchique) encloses the province of Algarve from the north and provides a mild southern climate. Landscapes here are distinguished by a lush variety of vegetation - rhododendrons, mimosas, chestnuts, pines, cork oaks and terraces of fertile land in the valleys. We especially liked the mountain town of Monchique, located at an altitude of 458 m above sea level, as well as a very cozy and equally refined restaurant.

    The apogee of the trips fell on a visit to the annual exhibition of sand sculptures near the town of Pera. We learned about the exhibition by chance from advertisements, which we found in abundance in our cottage.

   We also visited the ancient castle of Silves, the capital of Faro province, the centers of beach and resort life of Albufeira and Portimao.  

Here is a map of our trips around the Algarve:


Lisbon again.

   On September 29, in the morning, we left the hospitable Vila Penina, and once again (we are used to!) changing the route, we decided to go directly to Lisbon, so that at least to a small extent make up for the loss of the first two days.
  On the way we stopped only in Setubal, just before Lisbon.


   In the middle of the day we arrived in Lisbon, left our things and cars at our last Residencial Delta hotel and went on foot to look for a tourist bus. With difficulty, not immediately, but found the Gray Line stop.
  And, until it got dark, we circled around Lisbon, making up for lost time in the first two days.

   The next day, September 30, the last day of the trip, again showing a high driving class at the exit from the underground parking of the hotel, moved to the airport.
  We phoned the Amoita representative at the airport. After some time, the sleepy representative, having briefly examined the cars, freed us from the twins.
  On the way back, we, of course, again fell into the arms of Brussels Airlines, which did not fail to continue their petty mischief. In Brussels, already when boarding a flight to Tel Aviv, it turns out that one of our tickets is issued only to Brussels. After a short clarification, we are nevertheless put on a plane in full force.
  But, probably, something happened and there is no trace of the lawlessness that was going on at the Brussels airport at the beginning of our trip.
  Moreover, the situation was repeated exactly the opposite. Already on the plane, we waited another forty minutes for the flight, because we were waiting for a group of passengers from connecting flights. And the food on the flight was quite tasty.
  At Ben Gurion Airport, they contacted the Lost & Found bureau and presented a certificate of damage received in Lisbon. We were given a special form and, looking ahead, a few days later, instead of our murdered suitcase, we received almost the same brand new one.


In conclusion, a few concluding remarks.
  Despite all our troubles at the beginning of the trip, we really liked Portugal. The Spanish part confirmed the correctness of this significant extension of the route.
  The route itself should have been corrected.
So, the first two days, even if everything went as planned, came out too loaded. Probably, the first place to spend the night should have been chosen in the Lisbon area, and it would not hurt to add one more day.
  The hotels, both in terms of location and quality, fully justified themselves, especially the trio of SolMelia hotels.
  As for the cars, there are also no special complaints by and large. The Opel Corsa is not a bad car in itself, but this model with an automatic transmission had an unexpected and very unpleasant feature: a rollback or coasting when stopped on a sloped road. This should not happen in cars with automatic transmission. I had to include driving skills with a manual box. This is inconvenient and fraught with dangerous situations. We even thought about additional insurance, but everything worked out, the skill of our drivers was enough to curb these fastidious Opel horses.
  And finally, our top attractions:

60 - Sand sculpture exhibition
60 - Salamanca
59 - Porto
59 - Seville
59 - Munshiki
58 - Boat cruise
57 - Guimaranesh
53 - Lisbon
45 - Batalha
45 - Alvor
45 - Portimão
44 - Sagrish
42 - San Vicente
42 - Albufeira
39 - Caldas da Rayna
37 - Silvish
37 - Faro
37 - Braga
32 - Setúbal    

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