Dad, Familiarity and the Brand New

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So as I mentioned in my last post, Portugal is home to my Dad. Therefore it’s not a “new” place for me. I’ve gone every year for the past 10 (or more) years, at least once. So, I’m never that excited about the place. It feels exciting to be seeing my Dad and exciting to be leaving London behind, but it’s never given me that “thrill” that I usually get when travelling around Europe.

However, this trip felt different. This visit felt special. Firstly, because I was taking Seb. Secondly, because, this time, I felt at home.

Firstly, my Dad and his wife, Halcyon have moved since my last visit so I got to see their new villa and check out my Portuguese bedroom! I must admit that since he moved to Portugal, I’ve never felt that comfortable in his places. Not because they weren’t lovely, but because they didn’t feel like a home. This one does! It has his “stamp” on it already yet with her “homey touches”; and they’ve managed to make the large spaces nice and cosy. AND he seems so much happier and more relaxed in this new environment, which I must admit, means I relax more too!

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Secondly, I saw more of the Algarve on this visit than I’ve ever seen before and I realised how beautiful the Portuguese landscape truly is. A part from the famous sandy beaches and dramatic cliffs, Portugal has a lush countryside which I’ve never really explored.

I would love to say I “climbed” to the top of Monchique, to Foia, the tallest point in the Algarve, but in truth I sat in the back of the car and enjoyed being chauffeured up the long and winding ….mountin… I hesitate to call it a mountain because I don’t want to give the impression it’s this epic-Portuguese-Everest but it’s bigger than a hill so I’ll go with mountain. I was lucky with the weather and had views as clear and wide as the eye could see. If you ever find yourself in this part of Portugal, I’d highly recommend it! I’d also suggest you stop at the many open springs along the way and fill up your water bottles… The water is beautifully cool and pure and of course, 100% gratis!

We went on a trip down memory lane too, revisiting Villa Vita, the hotel where they were married & showing Seb the beautiful setting. I took myself off and enjoyed walking around on the beautiful private beach where I found myself totally alone. It’s hard not to relax here…

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So that’s leg one on this whistle-stop tour and I must admit it was a pleasant surprise at just how much I enjoyed myself and rediscovered a love for Portugal.

Now onto the next leg and a new adventure… Amsterdam… I’m coming for you!

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