This morning, the CE organized a meeting to have our feedback regarding the trip. Overall, everyone was happy and satisfied despite the chaos before our departure. They praised the hotel services, contented with the kids club activities, appreciated the foods and enjoyed the road trips around the areas.
As for us: Aelig seemed to enjoy it, me disappointed about how the CE handled the crisis but thrilled to spend a nice week with the family. As for hubby, not satisfied with the overall arrangements.
Here are some of my observations regarding Algarve:
1. Clean streets: don't have to raise alert about dog poos.
2. Historical and modern links with Malaysia
Malaysia was once occupied by Portugal. I could see some words that are similar to the Malay language: ijreja vs gereja (church), escola vs sekolah (school). Houses outside of the cities looked similar to bungalows, double storey and shop houses in Malaysia.
Bungalow: Those in Malaysia are without the chimney of course.
In Malaysia, I used to see some housing advertising selling Portuguese style / European style houses, they were not lying after all.
Shop houses: Just like in Malaysia, ground floor is used for business purposes and from first floor up to the top floor are for residency. Even the way their displayed the shop names resembled the one in Malaysia. At one point I thought I was seeing Public Bank (red) and RHB Bank (blue).
Double-storey linked houses.
This kind of gate is very common in shop houses in Malaysia.
And this for the window, you could see it anywhere in Malaysia.
Many old style bungalows have this kind of wall.
Never expect to see salted dried fishes here! Did the Portuguese introduced the Malaysians the ikan masin as well?
3. Crystal clear sea waters and stunning flowers
There were a lot of small beaches separated by rocks and cliffs. This gives a sense of privacy compared to large beaches.
The water is so clear it made me want to swim.
The flowers were blossoming everywhere.
Similar species to those in Brittany.
A sea of flowers.
Oranges everywhere too.
4. Friendly inhabitants
I rarely saw Asian here so I was glad that nobody was starring at me. The Portuguese were quite friendly. We passed through small alley and greeting the residents around with "Bom dia" (good morning). One grandma corrected us as it was in the afternoon and we should have said "boa tarde" (good afternoon).
5. Portuguese language
Since Portuguese is a Latin based language, we didn't have much problem wandering around. This is one of the advantages knowing French I guess. At one point hubby saw a sign indicating "barragem". "Barrage" in French means dam, so he thought there should be a dam nearby. And guess what we found the dam!
6. Kid's club activities
A feedback regarding the trip. I had never been to a hotel who proposed activities for kids so I found it interesting and useful.
See how the little angel was so happy.
Every evening from 8.30pm on the club organized a disco party. Beside dancing they also had bird show.
This peacock was having vacation too!
2 hours of painting classes = 2 hours of resting time for parents.
7. Lack of gastronomy experience
The biggest down point for this trip was the lack of gastronomy experience. I was happy to have all inclusive package but after this trip I don't think it was an good idea anymore. Basically, we ate 3 meals a day in the hotel, which prevented us from savoring the local cuisines. We had British breakfast every morning. There were some local dishes involving seafoods for lunch and dinner but most of the time it was European normal hotel style serving. When we went for a day trip, the packed lunch was a pity: 2 tiny sandwiches + an apple + a bottle of water.
British breakfast every morning. There were different kind of breads and fruits available so the French were happy.
An example of my lunch. Next time it would be preferable to book an hotel with breakfast and has a real food tripping in the local restaurants. We had a nice gastronomy experience in Barcelona, I don't know how many tapas I stomached and how many sangria I drunk.
Looking forward to our next trip to Prague. Leaving in 5 days!