Algarve, warm sunny Portugal

algarveThe Algarve is a region in southern Portugal in which sits the city of Faro. It is the most popular tourist destinations in Portugal.

The region is famous for its pottery and ceramics and it’s possible to buy tiles and other such throughout the region.

Interesting sites in the Algarve include the city of Lagos, the Vila do Bispo, Marinha Beach which is famous for its rock formations, Armacao de Pera, Ria Formosa lagoon, and the spa town of Caldas de Monchique.

The area is famous for religious tourism having once been conquered by the Muslim Moors of Northern Africa.

The Sanctuary of Our Lady of Piety and Our Lady Mother of Goodness near Sao Marcos da Serra are religious experiences in Algarve.

The Algarve is known for its fish and other seafood as well as fruit, oranges, figs, and almonds. Portuguese seafood stew or cataplana, bacalhao com natas, and creamy cod are specialties.

Places in the Algarve to try these dishes include the A Rampa in the town of Estrada do Foia, Monchique. The menu includes chicken piri-piri; the Adega Vilalisa which is in Mexilhoeira Grande. There the dishes include a broth of cockles, octopus roasted with potatoes, lamb stewed with fresh peas and chickpea soup.

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Faro, beauty in the Algarve

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Faro (read here other news) is the southernmost city in continental Portugal and is capital of the region known as the Algarve.

The city is located to the Ria Formosa Lagoon which is a nature reserve which serves as a landing point for hundreds of species of birds annually. The city’s beach is around 7 kilometres away and is on a long spit.

Among the city’s main sites are the statue of King Afonso III, Faro’s marina, Faro Cathedral, the old Carmo church, square, and the Civil government building. There is a 30,000 seater sports stadium

Of the events staged in Faro there is the Faro International Motorcycle Rally and a student’s festival in September of each year.

Like much of Portugal, Faro has a Mediterranean climate and enjoys warm to hot summers and generally mild winter temperatures.

The marine life provides a good opportunity for scuba diving while the Old Town is a must-see. The Le Marquis is rated as the top restaurant in the small city with lovely continental cuisine.

Faro is served by the Faro International Airport with flights from other main European cities such as London and Paris. The city is served by many low budget airlines.

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Portuguese soup, ethnic warmth

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Soup isn’t always just soup. In Portugal it is a tradition that is passed on from generation to generation.

The traditional Portuguese soup recipe calls for 1 cup vegetable oil, 2 cups chopped onion, 2 bay leaves, 1 pound smoked sausage, sliced, 1 medium head cabbage, chopped, 6 potatoes, peeled and cubed, 2 cans kidney beans, 1 can beef consommé, 2 2/3 quarts water, 2 teaspoons garlic powder, 2 teaspoons ground black pepper, 1 teaspoon salt, 1/2 cup vinegar, 1/4 pounds potatoes, scrubbed and diced, 3 tablespoons butter, and warm crusty bread.

To prepare, place a large pot over medium flame and cook onions and potatoes, until tender, then add sausage and cook for 5 minutes. Next add water, bay leaves, cabbage, beans, consommé, garlic, powder, pepper, and salt and bring to a boil. Lower flame and simmer for between 30 and 45 minutes.

Add vinegar and more continue to simmer for an hour. Serve soup with warm bread.

This recipe can be used with kale instead of cabbage, garbanzo beans or chick peas instead of kidney beans, and chourico instead of smoked sausage.

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Lisbon, charming town

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Lisbon is the capital and largest city of Portugal nicknamed The City of Seven Hills. This city is unique in that it is the westernmost capital city inEurope and the only one on the coast of the Atlantic Ocean.

Lisbon is one of the oldest cities in the world and the oldest in Western Europe, and the Belem Tower and Jeronimos Monastery are Unesco World Heritage Sites.

Other places to visit include the Monsanto Forest ParkCastle of Sao Jorge, Luis de Camoes SquareMonument to the Discoveries, and Teatro Nacional de Sao Carlos.

There are also a number of museums worth visiting including Museu Nacional de Arte Antiga,the National Azulejo Museum, the Museu Calouste Gulbenkian, and the Museu Nacional do Traje e da Moda,Museum of the Orient, the Museu do Teatro Romano, and the Lisbon City Museum.

The city, which sits on the mouth of the Tagus River, has a Mediterraneanclimate with warm winters and summers

The city is served by the Lisbon Portela Airport. A high speed rail network connects the city with other parts of Portugal while a tram network operates in the city.

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Google tackles the UK Internet music

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Internet Company Google has decided to tackle the United Kingdom music streaming market.

The company has launched Google Play Music All Access in the UK, entering an already crowded market in an attempt to challenge Spotify, Deezer, Rdio, Xbox Music, Sony’s Music Unlimited, and Rara.

The new service will cost £9.99 per month but new customers will get it for £7.99 until September. The other services have free options while All Access does not.

All Access has already been launched in the USA, New Zealand, and Australia and there are plans to launch the service in other parts of Europe such as Austria, Belgium, France, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Portugal and Spain.

The service will offer a range of features including unlimited “on-demand” access to millions of tracks; Smartphone apps; recommendations for new music, and a personalised radio feature.

The UK is the fastest growing market for streaming music in the world. Over 20 million people paid for subscription music services last year.

People in the UK streamed more than 3 billion tracks in 2012 earning more than £49 million in income for British record labels.

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