I hope it’s “See You Soon”

So yeah. 5 months for ESC experience it’s not enough. Especially for Algarve.

Being 2 months in quarantine made my stay look a lil shorter. Such a pity. But it is a part of My own Adventure, I guess. Like, “Something unique” about my experience. haha. (not very funny, actually.)

And I really did had amazing time here. I noticed that for me to feel like a local and to know more than few people of Faro was enough two months before the quarantine. It is unbelievable how people are welcoming and friendly here! I don’t want to think what could have happen if these two months in the lockdown wouldn’t be existed. You know, let’s not think about it. As my colleague Alex would say, “It is, what it is”. haha!

But I guess you may want to know my top places which made my first two months of volunteering the Best. (I hope whenever You will come here, covid will be forgotten. )

So the very Second day my dear colleagues volunteers (Alex and Sarita) invited me to see a night life. It was Thursday! In my point of view, “Who goes out on that day?”.

The first place we went was ARCM bar. It is a part of music association, where musicians come to rehears or record songs, where events happens and etc. To me, that kinda place – Heaven. (because I like singing). I still think that everything happens for the reason, with that I want to say, even though that place had only three guests.. which means, only me and my colleagues – Sarita and Alex, I still fell in love with this bar. You can feel the vibe. Of course, obviously we came too early, because Portuguese do not go out before midnight. Dah.. But I find out that they have Jam sessions every Wednesday, so it became My Day to Go Out. (I know! And I was even surprised about the Thursday.)

ARCM bar. One of the memories from Jam session!

Usually they announcing the start of the Jam session at 10 pm, but I recommend You to come around the midnight when all the musicians and singers gathers for a beer and music. (well after covid “who knows” how it will affect the party time. haha) This is the place where I met the most people I know (awesome people) and the place which became my second Home.

For the second place, my dear colleague Alex ensured me, that the place we go I might like even more. (Let’s see!) Because we passed all these bars with tons of people dancing and having fun, where I wanted to enter, but they didn’t even bothered to stop and we rushed to that “Better” place. So I had to trust them. haha.

Maybe not the best pic, but the one from that special first day. Baixaria bar.

So we chose this veeery narrow street to reach that “Better” bar. The building seemed very colourful with the name of “Baixaria”. We passed few people smoking outside next to the entrance and when somebody opened the door my ears caught the sound of Live Brazilian music. Yup! It is Brazilian bar of Brazilian family (who are very talented performers), “what else can be better?”. People seemed so happy, dancing and singing – enjoying the life! And at that very moment I realised that I love Faro. haha. (I don’t need much to fall in love, clearly. haha. )

The Threw. Faro. Marina. Love them.

Also in Baixaria you can meet this very awesome music band – The Threw! Three very energetic guys sharing Brazilian and English cover songs. I mean, your body just automatically moving. Sometimes they are performing next to Marina. Go to instagram and hit that “follow” button!

Talking about the bars we passed on the way to Baixaria bar, of course I have been in these and they offers nights with live music and karaoke. Love them too! I never saw such a lil city full of life and that many spaces for performers. For these two months I could’t stop smiling! It was my Honey moon period, for sure!

On the third day of stay I was thinking how to make my organisation to extend my volunteering. Haha. And I did ask them! (Everything is about the feeling. And to stay here longer felt right, even on the third day of stay. haha.)

Valentine’s day at Casa d’Alagoa!

I can not finish this article without mentioning the best hostel in Faro which is Casa d’Alagoa! For me they are the Best. They trusted my talent and invited me to sing on the day of Love and during the quarantine to sing for their Instagrm live. The people who works there are the golds. And the Hostel itself is super adorable. And without covid they would suggest you series of events on their beautiful terrace. If you ever plan to go to Faro and look for the place to stay, this is my recommendation!

Okey, breathtaking sunsets and unbelievable landscapes of Algarve I mentioned before. What else.. Oh oh! Go to facebook. Here’s the link: Menina estás à Janela. This is very beautiful initiative which was one of my highlights during the quarantine. Since you already know that I like singing and music, on this facebook page you could see new videos posted every day of people of Faro performing through the window! And I had opportunity to show up there too! It made me feel like a local. haha. No, really, loved it! Faro has very talented and creative people and that just proved me that I really like here. I said.. the vibe.

And you know what? I realised, that this experience made me to love myself the way I am much more. I even quit straightening (burning) my hair, because in Lithuania somehow I felt not Ok with my curls. I don’t remember when I felt so confident being without make up for that long. I became more independent. I think clarified what I want to do in my life. (!!)

ECOS and Contextos team meeting after the quarantine. Last day of my French girls.

Kisses and hugs to my Hosting organisation and friends. Tons of care and making me feel cared! Lot’s of spaces for my self growth and creativity! Lovely people! And in Lithuania we are saying, that “there’s no house without smokes”, which means, that we all went through a lot, good and bad. (For me, personally, the worst day was when we had to plan tickets home, haha, but the rest was awesome!) Without you this Adventure wouldn’t be the same.

O-B-R-I-G-A-D-A!

Soo…”It is, what it is”, (again, haha). The day came. Project ended. Time to move on to seek new Adventures. Coming back home with the hope to come back veeery soon.

So I hope it’s “See you soon”.♡

Beijinhos.

Dovilė

Best time to introduce myself, right?

Olá pessoal!

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I’m Estelle, I’m from Martinique, and I’m living in Faro since November. I studied general and maritime law, but I also have certificates to work with kids. 

 

 

The way I first heard about European mobility is absolutely random. A friend of mine was member of an organization searching for young people for a Youth Exchange. I didn’t know what was that but I was free so I said “Ok, let’s try!” So I went to Slovakia for a week.

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At the end of this one week I knew. I knew I wanted to try another mobility experience. So I chose Portugal. 

Actually it’s not my first time in Faro The first time I came here was for a first volunteering experience of 2 months. I saw many places and met amazing people that helped my experience here to be great.

They made me want to come back for longer so here I am!

During my first experience here in Faro, I was working with children from a Roma community.

But for my second experience I applied for helping in CCVAlgimgLoader2

My missions before Covid19 was to help with the french visitors, help to prepare the material for various activities with kids, give support to my colleagues during some of these activities when they needed. translate french documents into english or portuguese, or vice-versa. And create contents depending of the needs of CCVAlg. 

Of course some parts of my missions are impossible to operate these days but some of them didn’t change. 

I still create contents, (you can see some of them here), I still translate documents and still have weekly meeting with my team even if now everything is virtual. 

I hope I would have the chance to go back to CCVAlg before I go back home and see the seahorses one more time before I leave,  but also to discover new places in Portugal because visiting this amazing country was the best part of my volunteering. 

Estelle

Stay Home

Since more than a month, I am stuck at home. In the beginning it was very difficult for me because I don’t like to stay home, see nobody, not working, I was very disappointed and sad. I wanted to go back in France for see my family and friends. But after a few days of reflection, my vision has changed and I told myself we are all in the same situation, we can’t do anything so it’s for you like “a chance” to take this time to do something that you don’t have time usually and to do something you really want to.  This period is for me a period allowed to grow up, I took time to think, read, write, draw even though I haven’t done this for a long time and despite how much I like that. I also learn the new things for my next studies and I do a little activity book for children in english, portugese and french.

But especially, I have read a book who impressed me a lot and which speaks of our bond as human with technology. This sociological book is based on interviews. I read this book translated in French “Les Yeux dans les Yeux ; Le pouvoir de la communication à l’heure du numérique” from English origin ” Reclaiming Conversation: The Power of Talk in a Digital Age” by Sherry Turkle. She is a professor of social studies and technology at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
She speaks about the fact that connected devices has totally invaded our daily lives. She questioned the impact of this hyper connexion on our private life but also on the gestion of our emotion and our interpersonal relationships. Indeed, this book shows us that the children are no longer able to come face to face with themselves. And they are less invested in the relationship or the life’s complications, they have no longer empathy towards other. But also the technology allow to do multiple tasks at one time, we believe we are more efficient but it’s the opposite, we have less concentration so less productive. I’ll not tell you all my analyses on this book, I will let you read it.

I think that everyone should read this book, I don’t recommend the interdiction of connected devices, I use them myself everyday. However, in my opinion it’s important to be aware of the consequences they have in our life, particularly in our relationships, for ourselves and our creativity.

I think that everyone should take this lockdown to grow and improve this reflection about the world, about the person you are,… and spent time to face each other and bring out their creativity.

Indeed, for several people, this situation the “COVID-19”, it’s just a virus but of course it is but it is also a change in the world for the future, an economic change, health and ecological and for me it’s important to know it. Take care of yourself and enjoy 🙂

Adeus!                                                                                                                                                                               ~Sarah 

Volunteering during lockdown

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My name is Jessica, I’m from Martinique and I’m volunteer for Ecos since 5th of March.

So as you can imagine I arrived just before the lockdown of Portugal due to covid 19. 

I came here initially to work with children. I am already working with them everyday in Martinique and I really love it. 

This volunteering was a chance for me to learn news things, news games, but also share what I know already.  I really love human contact, see people happy, and help them when they are not. 

I choose to come here because I wanted to be useful, and help the children to bloom as much as I can, with sports, games, painting, drawing, dancing, baking or photography. 

About photography I really love it! I love to picture all the new places I discovered. 

Of course with covid I didn’t see much but I loved what I saw here. 

These days I’m occupying my days by learning by myself how to edit videos (and also help my flatmate for her videos but that’s a detail 🙂  ), by drawing, painting, doing sport…

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Unfortunately my volunteering will end before the lockdown, but I will come in Portugal again for sure. 

What are the cultural differences between Portugal and Lithuania?

Since we are locked for more than a month already and the only way to experience culture is to check social media or whenever you go to the supermarket. So what I noticed so far?

English spoken level:

In Portugal seems like everyone speaks English, even older people!

As you may know or you don’t know, in my country Lithuania we have our own language Lithuanian. As http://www.truelithuanian.com says: “With millennia-old history and struggles for its survival, Lithuanian language is very much a part of national identity.” And they say that “English is the most popular foreign language to learn today. It is spoken by 30% of total population and 80% of the youth. The older generations are unlikely to speak English, however, as very few schools taught it seriously under the Soviet occupation. Today English is the language Lithuanians expect foreigners to know, so it is widely used in modern museums, hotels, tourist signs and city/resort restaurant menus. As the “top language” of the “prestigious West”, it also became fashionable for some key local trademarks and popular songs.”

So based on the information I found, you can tell, why I am surprised about the English level of older people in here. And even going deeper to the smaller cities/villages of Lithuania, basically, would be difficult to find a member of older generation who would speak English. And what about Portuguese villages?

Breakfast!

Ok, so our (or mine) Lithuanian (usual) meal for breakfast it is all kind of porridges, specifically in my personal cuisine, made of oats or buckwheat. For oats i am adding extra sweetness, such as banana, berries, chocolate; buckwheat porridge I prefer to eat with salt, adding some spinach, avocado, carrots or any vegetable you have in your fridge.

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Also, Lithuanians use to eat black bread sandwiches with sausage meat, vegetables and cheese. And coffee with milk, of course.
Lithuanian coffee places or restaurants will suggest you pancakes, sandwiches or porridges.

In here (Portugal) I noticed that for an easy breakfast people grabs a cup of coffee and toasted bread covered with melted butter. I found this comment on google which confirms my stalking: “One of Portugal’s simple pleasures is to sit in an esplanade drinking coffee and eating a “torrada” (toorrahdah). Torradas are buttered toasts made from “pão de forma,” a bread with a soft texture perfect to absorb melted butter.”

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Desert!

One of the most important thing to me is a desert. I tasted Pastel de nata. It is amazing! But one day, in a supermarket my eyes caught this one very familiar sweet cake, it was this one!

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No, it is not Chocolate salami! It is a “Lazy pie” – “Tinginys”! One of my favourite sweets in Lithuania. I know!

So there is the only way to make sure if these two Doppelgängers are actually siblings! Yes, the answer is the recipe comparison! (Not sure about the taste differences, because I still didn’t have the opportunity to taste Portuguese one.)

Chocolate Salami (Salame de Chocolate)

This Chocolate Salami is one of my favorite childhood memories. It’s a Portuguese dessert you’ll find at every celebration, and as a kid I thought the combination of rich, soft chocolate, and sweet, crunchy Maria biscuits was just about the best thing ever (still do!). It is a dessert made with eggs, sugar, chocolate, and Maria biscuits. The chocolate and biscuits are rolled together and the biscuits give the chocolate a marbled look like salami. That’s where the name came from and that’s where the similarities end.”

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(Let’s trust this website for the recipe of Chocolate Salami https://www.homemadeinterest.com/portuguese-chocolate-salami/)

HOW TO MAKE CHOCOLATE SALAMI:

• Fill a small saucepan with water and place a medium size glass bowl on top of it. The bowl’s bottom should not touch the water in the pan. Over medium low heat bring water to a simmer.
• Add chocolate and butter to the bowl and stir until it melts.
• In another bowl mix together the sugar, eggs and vanilla extract.
• Slowly add the egg mixture to the melted chocolate, stirring constantly, until the sugar has dissolved.
• Continue to stir until the chocolate mixture is completely smooth then remove it from the heat and fold in the broken Maria cookie pieces.
• Let the mixture sit for about 10 minutes so it can cool enough that it can be formed into a shape.
• Cut two large pieces of parchment paper, or wax paper, and divide the mixture between the two pieces. Tightly roll the chocolate mixture into a tube (diameter should be about 2.5 inches). Twist the ends of the paper and tie each end with a string.Refrigerate for at least 2 hours or overnight.
• When you are ready to serve it unwrap the Chocolate Salami, sprinkle a little powdered sugar on the counter, and roll it in the powdered sugar, lightly dusting the outside. Slice and serve.

Lazy pie (Tinginys)

Tinginys, the desert of 4 ingredients (maybe that’s why it’s called lazy pie): sweet crispy cookies (like “Maria“, “Tostadas“, “Gaidelis”), sweetened condensed milk, unsalted butter and unsweetened cocoa.
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1. Break the cookies into the bowl (ones in bigger pieces, others in smaller).
2. Melt the butter in a pot with a thick bottom, then add condensed milk and cocoa powder, heat it up, stir continually, until the mixture has no clumps.
3. Take off the pot from the heat and let it cool down a little.
4. Add cookies in cocoa mixture, mix well and leave to cool completely.
5. Lay down a plastic wrap on the table and form a roll from the cookie mass. Wrap it, press the ends firmly, place the roll in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours (the best is to leave it overnight). Slice it and enjoy!

Well, I think both deserts looks pretty much the same, even both you can make using only 4 ingredients! Tinginys has no eggs added, but ensure you guys – the taste is magical!

Ice cream!

I am an ice cream person. In my country I was use to go to any kind of shop (not an ice cream shop) and buy one portion of ice cream, to take off the cover and continue my walk with eating it!

In Portugal, specifically in Faro, the only place I found these one portion ice cream was in a tiny Mercados and the choices were very poor. Only way to grab one portion of Ice cream is your freezer! When you do your weekly shopping, buying a package of 6, because that’s the only way they are selling Ice cream! Maybe this way is cheaper, I admit that, but the quality.. hm. Can you show me the best Ice cream here?

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My favourite Lithuanian ice cream:

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*Extra fact:

Did you know that the word “Corn” in Portuguese sounds like Lithuanians would say “I love you”?
Milho = Myliu

So for now that’s it! But definitely gonna come back with my new researches!

– 🌽 You! Dovilė –

Colorful experience in Faro

Olà todos!!

I’m Joséphine. I’m from France, Normandy.

It hard to put in words the experience I’m living in Faro, because it’s full of various mixed feelings and constantly in  evolution.

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It could be something like that …

 

 

But I will try even though…

 

I arrived on 29th November, and I’m soo glad of my experience here. From the first day, I felt a warm and relax atmosphere, the sweet sound of portuguese language, the joy of life of the Portuguese, and the mildness of the weather.

Faro is a small city, and quikly we had our habits : go to see the sunset in the marina, have a look in the Jam session in ARCM, then going to dance on Brazilian music in Baixaria…

Everyone knows each other, it’s a feeling of a big family.

I’m working in Associação Recreativa e Cultural de Faro, which is an 30 years old association in the old town. The place is an old beer factory they recovered. During the day, people go there to rehearse, record music, learning theater or dance. At night, the bar  opens, with some concerts or DJ night !  In my opinion it’s one of the most “true” and not turistical place you can find in Faro.

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There you can really feel a soul, because every thing was made by them, by passion and comittment for the association. I’m trying to find how to help them and be part of the team, even if sometimes it’s hard to understand their organisation which is more “ flowing” than what I was used to.

I discoverded various aspects of the association : the office work with contability and papers ( which I’m sure now I don’t like haha), the production, the “party” work at night.

Besides my job, I met amazing people, from Algarve, or travellers that changed my perspectives and made me growing up !

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I started passionating dance classes which teached me a looot and thanks to that I know all the part of human body in portugues…

I really love Faro, because you believe it’s holyday everyday, you can go anywhere by walking, and you have always something beautiful you didn’t noticed.

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The algarvian cost is wonderful, when you see some beaches, you are wondering is you are not dreaming.

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One of  my favourite thing here is contemplating the train passing just over the Ria Formasa, with the sounds of the birds, the reflections of the sun on the water and the smell of peace. It reminds me the sublimes movies from  Hayao Miyazaki, which I found very poetical.

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Suddenly, the world stopped because of the coronavirus. Our daily life completly changed. No more events to organize, no more brazilian music, sunset, beaches… the departure of some volunteeers -friends. Luckily we still have at home a crazy team of volunteeers, a sunny rooftop and…O livro do desassossego de Fernando Pessoa.

This period allows us to feel what we already experimented here and noticed what changed in us. Taking time to observe our emotions, our perspectives…

So we are trying to be creative to not keeping inside this whirlwind of emotions.

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As you can see we already did a masterpiece painting…

I came here after 4 years of med school, I was going throught a lot of doubts about what I like, what I want, what I am good at…Who I am basically. Nothing special haha, I think it one the most universal question that goes in all human minds.

But now I can see things with more clarity.  What I would advise you if you feel like big box of question marks, is : first  accept it and not judge yourself for that, then just GO exploring, Go in search of your own certainty. Even if UNKNOWN can be the last place you wanna visit when you are lost, it is what you need! But you only will know that after…

Because it will train your soul to find beauty everywhere, and will bring you closer to your being, observing with what you resonnate the most.

IMG_20191229_123345Beijinhos !!!

Here is the link of a choregraphy adapted from Anne terasa de Keersmaker, which express more the feeling we have during the confinment…. On our beautiful rooftop with Lusco Fusco light!! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YctbqZ2yCQA

 

 

Are Portugal and Martinique similar?

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Hello everybody!

     I am Jerry from Martinique, the city of Rivière-pilote. I came here for my short term volunteering. I will give you my first impressions about Faro city.

    I arrived in the evening around midnight and it was very very very very cold. At midnight was nothing to do with desert streets, but I thought the city was already beautiful and friendly.

    When I woke up the next day, it was still cold, “help me” I thought.

    That day I got to know the association and its volunteers, they seemed friendly and smiling. On our free time, I sought the rays of the sun to warm myself, which usually I flee to Martinique.

    After we went to town to have lunch together. It was a great time and good meal, thank you Jesica.  Then we had a city tour which was great. The town is really quiet and friendly. I discovered the marina fairly well, but my favourite moment was when we sat on the village square and the sun came to warm me. We stayed there for a long time, great time.  After we went to join other volunteers in a cafe.  Very glad to know them. After returning to the marina for a photo shoot and there, the sun abandoned me, signal of the return home for me.  Beautiful first day conclusion.

    On my second day I realised that life in Faro is like life in Rivière-pilote, Martinique, for example:

1. Rivière-pilote and Faro are both on the south:

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2. We have the same food: sweet potatoes, oranges and something similar like Pastéis de Nata and we call it “Flan”:

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3. Museums are in front of the beach:

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4. Public transportation are quite similar:

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    The most shocking for me was the difference in price, comparing Portugal and Martinique, it is a huge difference. Food, clothing, tourist activities are much cheaper in Portugal.

    Talking about the differences:

1. Population and temperature:

Rivière-pilote: 11,905 inhabitants – 35.78km² – between 22 and 31 degrees;

Faro: 118,000 inhabitants – 201.31km² – between 12 and 24 degrees approximate.

2. The sea and the beaches:

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3. Faro has own flag.

4. The colour of Melon is different.

    So this is my short first impression.

    I love Faro, I love Portugal, but I guess I would love it more in summer :).

    I am thinking to come back for my next vacation, if life allows.

-Hi everyone, It was Jerry!-

How we live with Corona here?

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I like this saying: “Man Plans, and God Laughs”. Isn’t it true? What would you do instead of being home? What are your plans?🙃

I think probably the most popular answer would be: “travel”, “meet friends/family”.

See? All we need is to be free and have that connection and touch between each other. And, probably, when you start losing it, at some point, you appreciate it more, it gets more value. (I know, we all well know that🙄, but it just a good reminder now💁‍♀️).

Maybe for some of us, I seem wrong, but it’s just what I think and feel at the moment.

But what I truly wanna say, that I am super happy that during this unusual period I can feel safe because of our hosting organisation – ECOS! 🙏 (my mum says huge Thanks too 😊) They took this situation so seriously! They gave us masks, special soap, paper towels, thermometers, medicines and necessary info and updates about the situation and how to take care of ourselves and each other. Feeling very cared. ❤️

They even moved me for 14 days from the first flat to another, because I have some issues with my health and my flatmates where traveling through the whole country by trains from arrival training for ESC volunteers which was placed in Braga. So ya never know folks. 🤷‍♀️

Even though we can not meet each other, time to time we are having “Zoom” meetings with the organisation and the team members. The coordinators always asking us about our current feelings, thoughts, which super helps to feel important.

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And on our casual time we are trying to eat healthy, to not go out and have unnecessary meetings. For 14 days we can not meet our girls who lives in Alistão.🙈 We have to do everything, to not bring virus home or to spread it more.

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The actual thing what we need is our Health, that we could easily enjoy all these stuff… meeting with friends and family, outdoors activities and etc. So let’s take this responsibility and save Yourself and most importantly Others.

Respect Everyone. 😷

#StayHome

-Dovilė-

Algarve Road Trip – Day 10

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Well, what can I say… WOW!

Oh, for the beggining it is necessary to mention, that All the pictures you google about Faro city, it is actually Algarve region. Juuust to be clear. Haha.

Example ⤵️

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And if you are willing to see all these places, you need to catch a bus or train and be ready to have a lil walk, because some train stations are quite far away from the city centers. But that’s not a problem for me. 🙂

So yeah, Road trip. Huge thanks to Contextos, who invited us to join their “team building” and we had this gorgeous opportunity to see few cities of Algarve! 🥰

More about it:

Youtube: Algarve Road Trip | Day 10

Take care!

-Dovilė-