Wednesday, 20 October 2010

Albufeira

I have already mentioned our walk into the nearby town of Albufeira and I have posted some pictures of the Marina there. Today I thought it would be nice to see some more of the town (actually classed as a city).
The name Albufeira comes from an Arabic word Al-Buhera meaning 'castle of the sea', but there have been people living in the area since Neolithic times. The Romans called the town Baltum.
There are very few - if any - buildings in the city more than 250 years old because the city was almost completely destroyed by an earthquake and subsequent tidal flood in 1755. By the 19th century, fishing had become one of the most important sources of income. Many old fishermen's cottages can still be found in the narrow side-streets, away from the main tourist parts of the city. These are often very ornately covered in glazed tiles.
We came across these rather grand buildings as we walked out of the city, up and over the hill which separates the main town from the harbour. This house was particularly well decorated by the addition of a good-looking chap in front!!!
Looking down towards the mouth of the harbour, you could see the man-made harbour walls protecting the inlet to the marina previously mentioned.
Up here, more evidence of the former and much smaller fishing village which was Albufeira before the tourists arrived.
It all goes to show, when visiting new parts of the world, it's always best to try to get away from the main tourist areas and see what can be found down the side streets.
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