Strolling along the beachside promenade in Praia da Luz yesterday I was struck again by how the town reclaims its Portuguese village status once the tourist season crowd has mostly departed.
On the benches in the square at the end of the promenade, Portuguese couples soak up the sun of a peaceful afternoon.
Walking towards the restaurants at the other end I pass young families joking with each other. The sound of Portuguese is music to my ears. In the busy days of summer and early fall you are much more likely to hear English being spoken (mostly by British and Irish on holiday) than Portuguese near the beach.
While the international vibe during the busier times of the year is energizing and a boon to the local economy, I am happiest gazing out on the near empty beach and listening to the native language of this village that I love.