It’s my first time in Portugal. Have been longing for Portugal for two years and it is only now that I get to visit some parts of Algarve and beautiful Lisbon. T. proposes a ride along to Alte, a forty minutes hour drive from Faro, where she’s teaching music classes to children. One day to stroll around the streets of a village, work and loll in the public library. I’m in.
It’s a rainy day. As we arrive in Alte, I suddenly get the feeling it’s gonna be a long eight hours. I wave goodbye to T. and settle in the library. But I have itchy feet. I take my colourful umbrella and off we go for a walk in the 1997 inhabitants village.
Alte with its whitewashed houses and narrow, cobbled streets instantly charms me. I can hear the echo of my steps on the cobblestone paved street. The few people I cross paths with smile, curiously looking in my direction. “There is literally nothing to do around here,” I secretly admit to myself. As this thought delineates in my mind, I crack a smile, realising the voice of my inner “checklist tourist” has just woken up. If you’re ever in Algarve, here’s what you can do in Alte:
1. Have a snack at the Agua Mel cafeteria. You’re in for a big treat with the homemade delicatessen and a playful cat to keep you company. Plus WiFi.
2. Wander on the streets, discovering some astonishing colours.
3. Breathe in the spaciousness of the surroundings.
4. Make a wish as you spot a rainbow.
5. Lounge at the Alte Library. They also have some books in Spanish and French and an art exhibition.
6. Stop for a coffee at Café Regional, a cluttered little coffee shop where you can also buy some souvenirs.
7. Go to Fonte Pequena, the small fountain waterway and take a dip in the Fonte Grande, the big fountain.
8. Come across Cândido Guerreiro’s, the famous Portuguese writer, poems.
9. In February, Alte, along with many other Algarve towns and villages, invite you to the festival. You’re in for confetti, delicious Portuguese pastries, music, dance and lightheartedness.
All in all, this is a joyous day as I strip off my expectations and take in the light and colours of Alte on an on-and-off rainy day. Writing this postcard from Portugal, I’m also listening to Portugal. The Man. Let me know how you enjoy it.