M is for Mopeds
Anyone who knows me personally will know that these had to get a mention. After all, they are my current favourite toy (move over iPhone, you’re no longer the new kid on the block).
A few weeks back we took delivery of the two shiny electric scooters you will see in the photograph. These are the perfect transportation between apartment, café and beach (but not bar – you wouldn’t want to wobble too much on these little things!)
These electric mopeds seem to be becoming increasingly popular in our area. Restricted to just 25km/h, they have pedals and are legally treated as pushbikes. You don’t need license, registration or insurance and, best of all, you can ride them on the lovely network of Algarve cycle paths.
Above all, I’m now a southern-European; I could hardly NOT have bought a moped now could I?
N is for Nobre (Hotdogs!)
OK, so my choice for “N” is perhaps a little weak. But these inexplicably popular and rather nondescript hotdog frankfurters were the first thing that sprang to mind – and, if I’m being honest, I couldn’t think of anything else!
All Portuguese supermarkets have a surprisingly large section of tinned hotdog sausages. While we often go months without eating them, there is usually a tin of this Nobre brand in our cupboard ready to be thrown in a burger bun with fried onions and mustard when a particularly troublesome hangover rears its head.
We have also encountered Nobre hotdogs at tourist attractions such as Zoomarine Algarve. These come with little thin potato chips inside that make for a surprisingly agreeable, crunchy addition. So, there you have it. N is for Nobre.
O is for Olhão
I have chosen Olhão for my “O” for two reasons.
First of all this town in the East Algarve is quite unique in that it is still essentially a working town that remains stubbornly untouched by tourism (although a very posh hotel and spa at the western end of the seafront is doing its best to change that).
Olhão is a down to earth kind of town with lots of restaurants and shops, and also an agreeable place to walk along the waterfront. From here, ferries run to the beautiful beach islands of Armona and Culatra – where a five minute walk can provide you with peace and tranquility, even in the peak of the summer season.
My second reason for choosing Olhão is that the word itself separates the men from the boys in terms of Portuguese pronunciation. While phonetically, an English speaker may be tempted to say “Ol-how,” “ão” with the accent over the “a” in Portuguese make a “yaow” sound (“yaow” as in “how,” not as in “sow”).
So, what you are looking for is “OL-YAOW” – go on, practice it!
Now you’re in the mood for Portuguse, perhaps it’s time to learn a bit more? Here’s how we started off!
Image credit: Visitar Portugal