Carvoeiro, Algarve, Portugal, 1987

AUGUST 1987 – Countless cars have been parked in the town center of Carvoeiro, Portugal. Photo © by Mark Zanzig/

The story behind the image

As you may know by now, I love to compare the past with the present. Here’s an extreme example for the transformative power that a period of 35 years can have on a street.

This photo shows the R. do Barranco in Carvoeiro. It was late afternoon, and we were standing (approximately) in front of house number 38 and were looking towards west. I was fascinated by the many small cars that had been parked in the narrow yet very busy street. The light was nice, the view was – well, interesting. It deviated from the typical shots you would expect from a vacation.

Fast forward 32 years. The street has completely changed. Where previously tiny, traditional houses and shops were lining the street (and allowing the sunlight to enter the street) modern buildings have been erected. But the Garrafeiras J B store has stayed. The street has been completely remodeled. Gone are the wild parking lots of the past.

But wait! There is one exception! Two tiny houses in the center have been left almost untouched. The left one has been refurbished and extended by a first floor, and the tiny one next to it has been refurbished but left “as is”. Is this a sign for a brave owner who did not follow the mainstream? In any event, it is an interesting reminder of the past today.

Google Streetview image of R. do Barranco in Carvoeiro, Portugal, as of August 2019. There are several new buildings, and the street has been entirely renovated. Photo © Google

I am torn. While I certainly liked the chaos of the busy, narrow street in 1987, I think the 2019 situation looks more like a genuine and pretty tourist village. It’s bright. It’s tidy. It’s organized.

But is it really better?

The high resolution image

Capture DateAugust 1987
LocationCarvoeiro, Algarve, Portugal
CameraCanon AE-1 Program
LensCanon FD 28mm f/2.8
Image Source13 x 18 cm Print
Digital Image SourceEPSON Perfection 4870 Photo
Digital Image Source FormatTIFF, 48 bits/pixel, AdobeRGB
Edited Image FormatJPEG, 24 bits/pixel, sRGB
Edited Image Dimensions5820 x 3968 Pixels
Copyright© by Mark Zanzig/

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