A great deal of the photos I have found on historical Luz emanate from a source called XRX. http://www.xrx.pt.
This source is a bit of a mixed bag. I have no idea what XRX is meant to stand for. It seems to match up with the stock market code for Xerox, but I don’t think that is why it was picked here.
It is a local group of ‘lads’, interested in the things young males are interested in – girls in bikinis, fast cars, good times , and hoping that the idosa (elderly) will kindly get out of the way so the young can get on with it. Plus some jokes and ‘artistic’ material.
And then, strangely, they are interested in the photographic history of Luz, Lagos, Espiche, Burgau and Sagres. Oh, and there is some Madeleine McCann related material, typically hostile to the parents.
My main interest in XRX is the historical angle. A great number of photographs of the development of the area have been unearthed, and many of them I can relate to personally, knowing what has gone, what has remained, and what has been added.
A very simple but odd example of this is junctions on the N125, the ‘old’ road that runs along the Algarve, built prior to the A22 motorway. For years, junctions on the N125 have been being converted from traffic lights to roundabouts. A single junction often takes several years to convert. Examples include the junction of the M537 and N125, which was traffic lights in the McCann day, but is now a roundabout. And the junction on the N125 between Luz and Espiche, again traffic lights in the McCann era, but a roundabout nowadays.
This is the Operation Grange dig of the mound in central Luz in June 2014. This is a small slice of what I remember personally. Unfortunately, I was not interested in the Madeleine McCann case at the time, so I never bothered to take my camera when I went down to view the proceedings. Most of what I learned was gleaned from the news, though I never actually saw a single news broadcaster in action.
This one is interesting because it is dated to 1981. It shows the land east of the church is undeveloped, which means the Ocean Club was not yet in situ, though clearly new buildings were going up in Luz.
This is another photo that is dated, this time to 1996. The Ocean Club appears to be in place, complete with the Tapas tennis courts.
Supermercado Baptista as I know it has not been started. At this time it was working out of Luz Tur.
The fishing fleet seems to be gone. The tourists are out in great numbers. It still seems to be the Paraíso restaurant in its first incarnation.
Rua da Escola Primária had now been developed, complete with Pedras Brancas, which would house many of the Ocean Club staff. I cannot see Estrela da Luz, so not all the ingredients for the Smith sighting are in place.
Just behind is the Mound, looking much in 1996 as it does 20 years later.
And I have just noticed that the urbanisation we lived in for a year when we first arrived in Luz had not been started in 1996.