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 Post subject: Re: My Russian Love affair
Post Number:#101  PostPosted: 15 Mar 2011 08:58 
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Explorinfg Algarve


Having a car on your holiday makes a lot of difference as you have the opportunity to visit many places, so next day we decided to start exploring the Algarve. We decided to start by visiting first the Cape of St. Vicente right at the left in the map, which I read was called the end of the old world! the distance from Albufeira is about 100 km so it took us just over an hour to arrive there. We both found the place very impressive and you get a funny feeling that you are in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean when you stand at the end you are surrounded by water ......... [wink.gif]

I think the pictures speak louder than my poor description......

Faros at Cape of St, Vicente

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[happy.gif]

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 Post subject: Re: My Russian Love affair
Post Number:#102  PostPosted: 18 Mar 2011 10:19 
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Sagres fort and town

Moving on towards Sagres, it is plain and flat and not much of interest to see apart from 2-3 restaurants on the side of the road. We visited the old Sagres fort, which was under renovation so not much to see but was impressed with the road approach to the fort and how it has been designed to provide one way road for the cars, parking for the buses right in front of the fort and then further down a huge free car park for every type of vehicle.

Although the town of Sagres is on the Algarve it doesn't have the same over-developed holiday town feel of some of those towns further east. Situated within a few Km of Europe's most south western point, Cape St. Vincent, the town has a rather windswept, remote feel about it.

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The entrance to the Sagres fort


Famous port of Lagos

After our short time looking around the town of Sagres, we moved on to a more famous and popular place in Algarve. Lagos is one of the most popular tourist destinations on the Algarve and certainly we both liked the place alot!

Lagos is a bustling town full of activity and modern attractions. It is also a town full of history with monuments and architecture that take you back to the past and history of people who have settled there and the many maritime adventures, which have started from there.

Lagos has a very impressive natural harbour and the nearby beaches are among the best in Algarve. At the end of the town in an elevated spot and near the port entrance we found a nice looking restaurant with excellent views, so we decided to take a break to have a coffee and something to bite.

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The port entrance.

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Cafe dO mar - Restaurant bar

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Steps down to the sandy beach

[cafea.gif]

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 Post subject: Re: My Russian Love affair
Post Number:#103  PostPosted: 09 Apr 2011 12:49 
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Portimao

Located towards the western end of the Algarve, Portimao is one of the largest towns on this coast with a population approaching 40,000. As a tourist destination in its own right the town doesn't really jump out, as with much of south and west Portugal it was extensively damaged in the great earthquake of 1755.

Set on the Rio Arade estuary Portimao's economy has been dependent on fishing and its growth as a port since it was founded. The Greeks, Phoenicians and Carthaginians where all early trading partners before the Moorish occupation in the 11th century and the port flourished. The Rio Arade also provided sea access to the town of Silves, the then capital of the Algarve, several Km inland.

It was only in 1924 that the city and became known as Portimão. Previously it had been named Burj Munt and Porcimunt by the Moors and was then known as Vila Nova de Portimao.

Present day Portimao reflects its commercial roots. Up until the 1980's the town had a large fishing and fish processing industry, this however was hit by recession and was largely replaced by the construction industry as the Algarve tourism boom took off.

The town still has a large port, some rather charmless civic buildings and plenty of shopping.

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 Post subject: Re: My Russian Love affair
Post Number:#104  PostPosted: 09 Apr 2011 13:17 
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Vilamoura and Quarteira


Vilamoura is more of an area than a town in iself and has grown over the past twenty years to more or less engulf Quarteira to the east.

Located virtually in the middle of the Algarve coast, within 15Km of the main airport at Faro, Vilamoura's accessibility has helped it become one of Europe's largest beach resorts.

The 20 square Km of purpose built resort are home to practically every form of sport, entertainment and amenity imaginable.

Not to my liking I must say, and I prefered more visiting Quarteira.



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Quarteira

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 Post subject: Re: My Russian Love affair
Post Number:#105  PostPosted: 09 Apr 2011 21:25 
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Albufeira

Central on the Algarve coast and only 40 minutes away from the airport, Albufeira has been the most popular holiday destination in the south of Portugal since the 1970s. Originally a fortified Roman town, and for centuries a typical algarvian fishing village awash with simple white houses and the smell of grilled sardines, this picturesque location is now a thriving tourist town offering activity and diversion day and night, and surrounded by a host of beautiful beaches.

The narrow streets of the centre have been well maintained and lead to Largo Duarte Pacheco, the main square. Near here there is a tunnel to access the town & principal beach, the tourist information point and it's also a good place to hang out and watch the town go about its daily business. As one heads out of the centre, Albufeira spreads into a multitude of tourist developments and hotels, and colourful new buildings surround the recently built marina.

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 Post subject: Re: My Russian Love affair
Post Number:#106  PostPosted: 07 May 2011 19:45 
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The Joy of "good" Russian service .... in UK

Few days ago my wife came home excited because somebody told her that there is a shop in a nearby town selling Russian food and other products and she asked me if we can go and visit it one day. She had been given some vague directions, with no name etc, but as it happens, I knew the area and the road well so yesterday afternoon I drove over there.

The shop is in a main busy road in a long parade of shops but with not large sign, easily recognisable from a distance, so I miss it the first time but I returned back and then my eye caught at the corner of the frontage the Russian flag and the word Magazi in Russian.

Hanna got very excited and couldn't wait to go in, got our of the car and I looked to find somewhere to park.

When I entered the empty of customer's shop, I noticed on the right hand side a till on a desk and a young (Lithuanian I was told later) woman watching TV and no attempt was made by her to look at me or say hello or smile! [surprised.gif]

The shop reminded me of those small food shops you can find at the basement of big block of flats, in Russia. Well a couple of times tried to ask something and the girl replied to me in Russian...... then I gave up. Wife found out that she was from Lithuania, living in UK for more than 2 years but hardly spoke any English and neither moved her A$$ to help out an ignorant, non speaking Russian foreigner, like me. I expect the TV music channel she was watching from Lithuania was more interesting....... [bad.gif]

Never the less, wife bought several things and was happy, then left and I was much happier not to have to endure the fabulous service we received there!
Well she made the best impression of reminding me of the Good service we all encounter in Russia....... [sick.gif]

Before anybody starts telling me off, sometime ago we had the same experience in a Russian shop in London that we visited........ [tonque.gif]

So I remembered what my friend Raffi told me many times:

"You can take a Russian (in this case Lithuanian of Russian decent) out of Russia but you can't take the Russian psyche and habits out of a Russian" [clap.gif]

Sorry Raffi if I misquoted you by any chance!

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 Post subject: Re: My Russian Love affair
Post Number:#107  PostPosted: 08 May 2011 23:33 
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Well atleast it was an authentic Russian shop [lol.gif] and by the sounds of it doing a very good job of bringing Russian business style to the UK, i'm sure they will be very successful.

I hope the girl didn't spoil the Russian shopping experience by thanking you for your custom, wishing you a good day and welcoming you back soon [wink.gif]


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 Post subject: Re: My Russian Love affair
Post Number:#108  PostPosted: 09 May 2011 06:45 
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Julian wrote:
Well atleast it was an authentic Russian shop [lol.gif] and by the sounds of it doing a very good job of bringing Russian business style to the UK, i'm sure they will be very successful.

I hope the girl didn't spoil the Russian shopping experience by thanking you for your custom, wishing you a good day and welcoming you back soon [wink.gif]

Actually it wasn't just a Russian Shop but a mixture of Lithuanian and Russian shop produkt and the company behind it is Lithuanian and has few more shops in various cities in the UK (I discovered now).

This particular shop I am not sure how successful will be because don't know how many FSU persons live below the river (Thames) .... but one thing for sure will contribute to its success, .... the inherited excellent Russian customer service! [sarcastic.gif]

The girl did not spoiled my Russian shopping fun experience as when she moved herself from the TV set, showed us a nice slim figure, something we all admire and go to FSU for .... [tonque.gif] and the view of her nice back decorated with a very interesting tattoo .... very pleasant indeed! [biggrin.gif]

Yes I can attest to the fact that the girl went over and above her duty not to spoil my Russian shopping service experience by omitting to wish us "Have a nice day" and also "thank you and hopping to see us back soon"! [hurrah.gif]

[rolfsmall.gif]

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 Post subject: Re: My Russian Love affair
Post Number:#109  PostPosted: 26 Feb 2012 13:54 
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It has been sometime since last I updated this thread with the latest news and apologise for this. Last year my wife and I have travelled to a few places and Madrid was the next place to visit after our trip to Algavre in Portugal.

MADRID: A city where the old and the new contrast vividly, where narrow cobbled lanes and 17th-century chapels border modern boulevards and gleaming skyscrapers. Madrid is a sophisticated city, rich in culture and history. From the museum mile on the Paseo del Prado to the Estadio Bernabeu for those who love football, the Spanish capital offers something for all ages and interests. Such is the diversity of modern Madrid, where locals revel in the centuries-old sport of bullfighting in the afternoon and then feast on the open air restaurants tables in the evening.

In the short time we were there we managed to visit many places and both were impressed with its architecture, the beautiful buildings and parks. I think the photos that I took speak much much better than my writing.

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 Post subject: Re: My Russian Love affair
Post Number:#110  PostPosted: 26 Feb 2012 14:23 
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