At 8:15am I order the Uber and it arrives in literally one minute. The driver has to wait a couple of minutes for us to walk down the pedestrian-only street from our apartment to the pick-up spot. We arrive at the station shortly after 8:30 am. We spend a little too much time in an unheated train station for me, but we don't stress about missing our train! We fill some of the time having coffee and pastry at one of the cafe's.
We watch the board and see that our train will depart from Track 7 so we are waiting there as the train before ours departs the station. Our train pulls in and a gentleman helps us find our car - it turns out to be the other half of the bar car. As we settle into our first class seats we find them comfortable. We can only speculate if they are worth the extra 8€ each that we paid for the comfort as we did not have a chance to see a second class car.
The train ride is smooth as we pass through the western portion of Alentejo. As in the eastern area we see umbrella pines and oak trees. We pass from Alentejo to the Algarve region, arriving at Albufeira-Ferreiras station. We catch a taxi at the station and within 15 minutes we are greeted by Reinaldo, the owner of the AirBnB that we are renting for the next four weeks.
Reinaldo shows us around the apartment and answers our questions. We confirm that the wifi works and that we have each other's WhatsApp numbers.
The apartment is within Albufeira's central /Old Town area, just a few blocks from the beach and 6-7 blocks to the town square. Our first order of business is to find a place for a late lunch. We Google "restaurants near me", pick one and start walking the 4-5 blocks. When we arrive we find a sign posted on the door to Restaurante Rossi. It is closed for "holidays". Then we notice a similar sign on the restaurant across the street saying they will open in March. Oh oh - we knew we were coming off-season but we didn't expect the shops and restaurants to be closed.
We walk along the road leading between beach viewpoints. I spot a couple coming toward us who are speaking in English and ask for their restaurant recommendations. They gladly suggest a few, indicating that many of the the restaurants closer to the square are open. We stop at Restaurant 54 and have a delicious meal of grilled salmon and grilled cod.