As I mentioned in the previous post, France was freezing (not really, but it was cold after our jaunt to Portugal) and I only packed for warm, sunny weather (sun dresses and sandals) so I had to wear the same thing over and over again (this was very difficult for me). As a result, you will not see ANY pictures of me (picture me with my dad’s red sweater, jeans, and running shoes, walking though the streets of Paris. I would have been shown the exit had I walked into Hermes dressed like this). In fact, ALL pictures of me from this part of the trip have been burned…SO, we’re skipping past the photos of Paris and ending the European vacation on the few items that I purchased.
I also purchased a couple of scarves in Paris, but I’m not sure where they’ve walked off to. It’s hard to believe that I didn’t buy anything else. All of these pieces, like everything else that I’ve bought will go into storage in Amman until we’re reunited in the States in a few months. At this point, it will be like Christmas when I get to unwrap all of the treasures that I’ve been collecting over the course of 15 months–all of the items from Egypt (which I never got around to posting), the icons and bowls from Israel, the pottery from Jordan, the mosaics, the Syrian furniture…
Portugal’s Algarve, stretches along the bottom portion of the country’s coastline. It’s in the Algarve where most people come to spend their holidays along the soft sandy beaches backed by eroding cliffs with dramatic rock formations.
We spent one week in the Algarve with the town of Albufeira as our base. From here we set out each day to visit the smaller towns surrounding the area. Our first stop was to the Old Center of Albufeira, a beautiful beach city boasting an incredible elevator (see first picture above) leading down to a lovely beach, great restaurants, and decent shopping.
The next day, we set out in search of pottery. We headed to Porches, a village famed for its ceramics and shops selling tiles in various styles, but this ended up being a bust. We still found pottery to buy, just not here.
Next up, we headed inland to the town of Silves, the medieval residence and capital of the Moorish kings of the al-Gharb (Algarve). Here we walked through castle remains and the fortressed walls of a formerly grand place. After a few close calls from driving in extremely tight and scary streets, we headed back to the shore for more comfortable weather and something to eat.
Our last foray into town touring was to the town of Faro. We had a great lunch and walked it off looking for something, anything to buy, but alas, there was nothing. The town is pretty and architecturally interesting, but with little to buy.
We spent our last few days sunning, reading, playing tennis and relaxing, preparing for part II of our vacation in the Loire Valley of France.
We arrived in Lisbon and were met with amazing weather. On our first day, we walked down into the historic section of town, full of cafes, beautiful buildings, and great shops. We stopped for lunch and then later coffee and dessert before meeting our friends for dinner.
On day two, before meeting my parents at the airport, we headed back to the same area of town for breakfast, pasteis de Belem (a delicious flaky custard tartlet and the national pastry of Portugal) and a little shopping. I’ll post pictures of ALL of the purchases I made when I get home to Jordan.