We’ve been in southern Portugal now for a few days and every minute has been perfection. We’ve been blessed to stay at Luke’s aunt and uncle’s astronomy B&B, a lovely place where every morning begins on the patio under the almond tree with freshly squeezed, home-grown orange juice, and most evenings end out in the astronomy dome observing stars, planets and galaxies. Each day offers some new adventure, like flying along the coast in a four passenger plane, exploring grottoes and rock pools on the beach, driving up Monchique mountain for fresh spring water and 360 views, and dinning on grilled sardines and Sangria.
We flew to Sagres, the most western tip of Portugal (and Europe!), where Henry the Navigator set up a navigation school. And saw the cliff-flanked beaches we would later explore on foot.The sunny patio at Luke’s aunt and uncle’s home, where we eat breakfast every morning. This time of year we munch on lemons, oranges and apricots from the garden, as well as olives and quince jam from last year’s haul. Later in the summer, they’ll be picking table grapes straight from the vine, which you can see in the top right corner of the photo.
We spent one afternoon exploring the port city of Lagos, which is a happy maze of tiled streets flanked by colorful architecture. How gorgeous are those purple jacaranda trees?
We even spotted an indie bookstore.
We drove to the top of Monchique and were rewarded with this view. We then went on a walk through the brush with the aim of getting a closer look of one of the Algarve’s many wind farms. Fun fact: 60% of Portugal’s energy is sustainable.
The look and feel of Portugal is only surpassed by the smell. Luke always says he can smell Portugal as soon as they open the plane doors: A peppery, sweet, anis seed perfume that I’m told stems from the wild cistus and rock rose that grows rampantly across the Algarve.
Obviously, no day on the Iberian is complete without a jug of Sangria to cap it off (white is the speciality of the Algarve). Notice the jar of housemade, blow-your-mouth-off piri piri sauce just beside it? Lovely stuff!
And that’s it so far. Thanks for checking in. I hope you’re having a lovely June.