Thursday, April 19, 2012

Lagos Portugal (Algarve part 2)

If Lagos is the junior version of Portimão or Faro, I think we'll be skipping those in the future. We'll blame curiosity and proximity on how we ended up here.

Lagos center still maintains the looks and charm of a bygone era. Getting lost in its streets was a perfect way to spend a couple of hours. 
Detail of Europe's first slave market built in 1444.
It is all a matter of perspective.
Daring to be different in a city of white buildings.
We were being followed by gypsies, true story. Ana keeping an eye out for them.
The subtext is: welcome Birts and Americans.
Portuguese watch cat.
Skateboarder proof streets.
Need to burn a couple of calories? A stroll around Lagos might do it as long as you stay away from the Irish pubs.
Outside Lagos is Monte da Casteleja, a small organic winery/farm/guest house. The dream/operation was started by Maria and her husband back in the mid 90's. She described the farm in a state of disarray when they took it over. Not only do they rotate crops they even rotate where the chickens live. 
Maria said that many volunteers have helped in making the farm in what it is today. If you have a couple of weeks, months, or whatever she'll gladly trade a place to stay plus food in exchange for your labor. You can reach her at
For a winery, the production output is on the small end. This year's production is at 10,000 bottles. We sampled and bought the Monte da Casteleja Classico 2009 (red) and Maria 2008. The Classico was a heavy hitter with deep and complex flavors thanks to the transplanted bastardo grapes from the Douro region. We have yet to open the Maria 2008.  
Bastard grapes!

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