Most of our group returned to the Lisbon airport for their return home, via Newark. We could have hitched a ride to the airport to pick up our rental car, but they were leaving too late for our needs. Taxis are wonderful and cheap.
We got a tiny car, a Fiat 500, and it was a hoot to drive (five-speed standard transmission, for a change). Once outside of Lisbon, the roads are not crowded and easy to maneuver. Albufeira, our destination, is only 2.5 hours away. That gave us plenty of time to drive around the center of town and meet the property manager for the apartment we rented through VRBO at 2:30.
The apartment is a penthouse, overlooking the marina and the Atlantic. It is very bright and will be a good spot for us for these four days. The view of the Atlantic and the marina below is quite nice, but the sunset last night was spectacular.
We have a washing machine, which is a good thing, considering we have two weeks of dirty clothes. No dryer, so we hang our things on a drying rack on the balcony. You have to use clothespins because the wind is pretty fierce in the evening and otherwise, the clothes would blow away.
The balcony is absolutely huge, probably 500 sf alone! There are four lounge chairs, outdoor table, and chairs, plus enough room for a dance floor. Sadly, no hot tub! The unit below has one… Maybe we should become friends??
One thing we have noticed, both at our various hotels and here as well, is that there is absolutely no usable light in the bathroom over the sink or near the mirrors. And, there is no counter space. What gives? We had to move the bedroom lamp (the only one in the apartment and it is small, plastic and junk) into the bathroom, so we could see at all. And no lights in the living room either, other than an overhead fixture. I guess the owner of the unit didn’t want to take any chances with renters who might steal or misuse furnishings.
The property manager is very nice and did what she could to make us comfortable. She expected us to bring towels for the pool? How about soap and another roll of toilet paper? Or maybe a little laundry detergent to get us started? We did make a grocery store run for laundry detergent and some other necessities. Fortunately, we had some soap and body lotion from previous hotels. But, it would be nice, especially at hotel rates, to have a few amenities upon arrival.
By the way, we are now hooked on port wine. We bought a great bottle of ruby port, which we love sipping at the end of a meal and white port, which is also good and makes a wonderful drink with tonic and lemon as we had in Lisbon. I hope that we will be able to bring some back in our checked luggage!
Tomorrow, we will find some fun things to do…