Jo’s Monday walk : La Rábida and Muelle de las Carabelas

Just in case you think it’s Portugal all the way from now on, I thought we’d pop over the border into Spain today.  It’s about half an hour drive from our home in Tavira, but once there I couldn’t resist traveling a bit further.  We did a lovely walk round the salt marshes at El Rompido with the Strollers, but then we carried on down the coast.  I had my eyes set on the monastery at La Rábida and the Muelle de las Carabelas- the dock where replicas of the ships that sailed Columbus far beyond the Iberian peninsula can be found.

It’s a pleasant spot, looking out on a vast expanse of water.  Boarding La Santa Maria, La Niña, and La Pinta I have to admit that I was in awe of the courage of their sailors, navigating by the stars.  The reproductions were constructed in 1992 to celebrate the 5th centenary of the Discovery of the Americas.  I could not imagine myself even sailing around the bay in them.  The museum tells the story of Columbus and the locals who shared his spirit of adventure, brought to life on a wide screen video.  Note that they are closed on Mondays.

My chief purpose in being there was to visit the atmospheric monastery of La Rábida, the Convento de Santa Maria.  A broad, palm lined avenue leads from the dock of the caravels, past a huge amphitheatre and up numerous steps to the grounds of the friary.  Surrounded by greenery, it’s a peaceful and lovely spot.  The Franciscan friary was founded in 1261, on the site of a former Almohad watchtower, from which its name comes.

The loveliest aspect of the monastery, for me, was the tiled courtyard surrounded by richly patterned cloisters.  The second storey, complete with battlements, was added in 17th century to protect from pirate invasion, but provides the most tantalising overlook on the mosaic tiles.

The friary is best known in history for the visit of Christopher Columbus in 1490.  His request for funding his first expedition to the Indies had been turned down by King Ferdinand of Spain and Queen Isabella, but with an intervention from the friary it finally went ahead.  The church lies just off the cloisters, still, serene and beautiful.

The artworks include frescos of Columbus and his adventures, by Spanish artist Daniel Vázquez Diaz, and some with an interesting 3D effect.

A wander through the grounds eventually brought us to some botanic gardens, a good place to sit and look out over distant Huelva, absorbing the surprising heat of December.  A rill of water, a koi pond and identifying magnolia seed heads completed our afternoon.  Time to head for home, waving goodbye to the Columbus statue as we pass by.

You know I can’t leave you without cake.  🙂  I only ate the raspberries, one wafer and a mouthful.  Honest!

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Hope you enjoyed my little sidestep into Andalucia.  Back in Portugal next week.  Meantime, many thanks for sharing.  I have some more great reads for you.  Join me next time on Jo’s Monday walk?  I love a bit of company.

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Suzanne shares the beautiful landscape of New Zealand- a special place, I think you’ll agree :

Life at No.22 – Photo Walks – Papamoa Hills

It’s certainly shopping time of year.  Join Alice in a stroll round the shops :

Strolling and shopping in the city of Bayreuth, Germany

An ardent Liverpool supporter, my friend Drake :

You’ll never walk alone

A foodie and Barcelona- a match made in heaven for Jackie :

Buen Provecho

Kicking leaves rather than ass, with Geoff, this week :

Moving West #capitalring #walking

Tobias shares some beautiful ‘roofscapes’ in a clear blue sky :

Looking Up in Dijon

Don’t you love colour and drama?  I think this is the place for it :

Colours of Bogota- Outdoors

I like to share joy whenever I can, and this is a lovely post from Debbie :

Living joyfully: A Photo Walk & Memories

Once again Cathy dazzles with her photography and epic tales of the native Americans :

Canyon de Chelly: Spider Rock & other overlooks

Thanks again, everybody!  I suspect you can tell how much I’m loving this new life.  Wishing you all a great week!

Jo’s Monday walk : La Collina Verde to Moncarapacho

I don’t mind to watch a bit of golf on TV, especially if Tiger is in town, but I’ve never had the coordination or a serious desire to get involved in the game.  Portugal is famed for its golf courses and it was inevitable that our paths would cross at some point.  A couple of walking friends have a very nice villa on the small, countrified La Collina Verde course, in the Eastern Algarve.  They very generously provided coffee for all as we gathered to start our walk.  With the Strollers this time, it was a shortish, level walk at a gentle pace.

Skirting the golf course, we passed by pomegranate and orange groves, lush fruit dangling temptation on all sides.  A very obliging local squeezed his cart to one side and posed for the camera, his animal in full regalia.

Hot pink blooms assaulted my senses, while shadows fell across a rusted wheel, and a once-loved cottage trailed its timbers in the dust.

We had soon reached our halfway point, Moncarapacho, for a coffee stop.  It’s not a village that I know well.  My last visit was on a rainy February day, dodging umbrellas to watch the lively Carnival parade.  This time I was very taken with the old square, wedged between a couple of churches and a café or two.  While the others sat and chatted, I couldn’t resist a wander, especially thrilled to find the church door ajar.

We lingered a while, in no hurry to leave a sunny and engaging spot.  The locals gave us curious glances, till eventually someone got us all moving again.  It’s quite a big group and you can saunter at will, exchanging dollops of information with whoever is your neighbour at the time.  They’re a friendly bunch and conversation is always easy.  I count myself lucky to have come across the group in my early days in the Algarve.

The contrast with extremely stylish elegance and the tumbledown never ceases to amaze me.  Moncarapacho is well equipped with both.  A right turn or two and we were back on country lanes.  This is ‘nora’ territory and the wells abound, some still in working order but many just a legacy of times gone by.  Polytunnels seem to proliferate now.  I’m never sure what is being grown, but am simply grateful that this beautiful climate is being used to provide people with a livelihood.

We wended our way back to La Collina Verde.  No golfers in evidence but the clubhouse had been opened to provide us with a splendid lunch.  Should I leave you with a choice of dessert?  Don’t ask me which has more calories.  I haven’t a clue!

You can probably tell, I’m more than content with life just now.  A certain person has hinted that I may grow fat and happy.  With the miles we walk?  Seriously!  Besides which, I’m still running up and downstairs, finding homes for things.  Perhaps some of them should have been left in the UK.  I’ll know better if I ever move again.  Or I’ll buy a bungalow.

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I’m back in business, sharing walks again.  If you have a favourite I’d love to hear about it.  Join me any time, here on Jo’s Monday walk.  You’ll always receive a warm welcome.

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Eunice kept up the walking while I was gone, so here you have a choice of two :

Preston Dock – some history, useless information and curiosities

Radcliffe Tower and Close Park

A whirlwind tour of Spain with Jackie.  Stopping to eat, of course!

Spanish Tapas

Jaspa revels in the cold.  Rather him than me!

Old Town Montreal in the COLD!

I’m seeing a lot of cold water with Drake these days, but it’s very beautiful :

Water can be stiff

Us easterners have to stick together, don’t we Geoff?

Where The East Begins#capitalring#walking

I would never accuse Nadine of cheating!  I’ve ridden that steam train but I simply couldn’t shoulder the backpack :

Men in the hills and bulls in the field; day 5 on the Pennine Way, Haworth to Malham (with a train ride… 6 or 7 miles of walking)

Absolutely on top of the world, with Irene :

Top of a Rainforest

I did pretty much this same walk last week.  It’s a wonder I didn’t meet Becky!

Glorious views abound

And Cathy continues to astound with the most incredible landscapes and stories :

Canyon de Chelly: Antelope House, Mummy Cave and Massacre Cave overlooks

I’m currently walking Tuesdays, Fridays and Sundays, with occasional time off for good behaviour.  Or otherwise!  Have a great week and I’ll see you back here on Monday.

Jo’s Monday walk : Lagar da Mesquita

Better late than never?  It’s still Monday in my part of the world, in my ‘new’ home in the Algarve, and I’ve just about got time to share a short walk with you.  I’m going to be deliberately vague because this walk was about 8 weeks ago, an outing with the Striders, and I was too busy chatting and catching up with everybody to pay much attention to the route.  A common fault when I’m walking in a group.  Our start point was a little way inland from Tavira, at Lagar da Mesquita, on route PR1.

We followed country lanes and narrow tracks out of the village, with the promise that there wouldn’t be too many inclines.  Villas nestle among groves of olives and oranges, some with quirky touches, like the pair of legs protruding from a cement mixer.  One of them is serenaded by a profusion of pink flowers, while everywhere the vines have developed a beautiful rosy hue.

A crossroads is signed Desbarato but we carry on, beneath spreading holm oaks and over a carpet mulch of leaves and acorns.  I cannot take my eyes off an ancient cottage, tenderly wrapped around with the softest, creamy pink bougainvillea.  Petals litter the floor like a rag rug, the ornate metal door knob, set into marble, something of a mystery.

We loop back to the start, a little gentle exertion for the inevitable reward.  Short, but sweet, I hope you’ll agree.

So much has happened in the last couple of weeks that I’ve hardly had time to draw breath.  Yet here I find myself, living the dream.  I hope you’ll come along with me.  This is just the beginning.

Thanks to all of you who’ve waited patiently, and for your generous support.  If I’ve missed anybody out, do give me a nudge.  Meantime I’d love you to join me on Jo’s Monday walk. Please read and share the following walks.

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You’d best tackle Debbie’s walk when you’ve got plenty of stamina, but you’ll be encouraged by lots of smiling faces :

A steep climb accompanied by Buddha

Geoff and Dog take to those London streets again :

A Wander Across the Far North #capitalring #walking

Mondays are murals day with Cactus Catz.  I know you’ll enjoy these :

Monday Mural : Trashcan Mural, Downtown Tucson, Arizona

Mural : Joe Pagac’s Harboring  Beauty

Drake shares the warm colours of North Africa :

Not alike, but fascinating

And Jackie goes adventuring in Spain :

Cafe Solo

Wilderness as far as the eye can see, with indefatigable Cathy :

The Blue Mesa Trail at Petrified Forest National Park

The Painted Desert Rim Trail at Petrified Forest National Park

And Miriam is clearly on top of the world!

Walking in Wonderland

While Carol comes up with the most stunning views!

From the Sea to the Sky

Hidden Wonder

Life in a Sussex backwater ?  Many thanks to Mari :

Steyning – A Sussex Town

It’s so nice to be back!  In every sense.  I arrived ‘home’ to Tavira last night.  Today I met a lovely new neighbour, walked on my favourite beach and caught up with friends.  I hope your week is as good as mine promises to be.

Jo’s Monday walk : The last lap

At long last!  Finally reunited with my download cable, I am able to share a few photos from my 6 whirlwind weeks in the Algarve.  We landed back in the UK, at damp and drizzly Leeds airport, on Friday.  Despite the gloom I was delighted to see a last glow of Autumnal orange clinging to the trees.  One last hurrah!  Which is how I feel, as we are now working towards a completion date on our house less than 2 weeks away.  Laying, listening to the creaks of our old house at 5 in the morning, the check list of ‘to do’s’ tumbles around in my head.  Easier to get up, and start doing.

This isn’t a walk- more an update and a collection of swift reminiscences.  That tortoiseshell never did befriend me, though I fed her faithfully.  But at least I avoided spending the week confined with her in my neighbour’s lovely back garden.  The weather became less reliable, as it tends to in late October.  Which was a shame for my son, who wanted nothing more than to idle on a beach.  After a nightmare journey, where they almost failed to reach us and had us pacing up and down all evening, we finally all got to bed at 3 in the morning.  Nothing stops a 6 year old from being exuberant, especially when there’s a birthday in the offing.  Improving his minigolf handicap, an icecream almost as big as him, and a Bola de Gomos (‘cake’ comprised entirely of marshmallows wrapped around jellies and gummy teddy bears) all produced that heart warming smile.  The small science centre in Tavira kept him captivated as he helped to create a volcanic lava ‘eruption’, using vinegar, baking soda, washing up liquid and red food colouring.  The rain dripped off all our noses at Zoomarine, but what do dolphins care as they leap and glide, to enthusiastic applause?  And the giant seahorses in the aquarium didn’t seem to mind our awed gaping.  So many giddy patterns were run round the beach, whilst my husband demonstrated his castle building expertise.  Small person’s best bit?  Sharing the winner’s podium with my son at Karting Almancil.  To pilot a car on your own you have to be 7, but dual controls gave both of them a hugely enjoyable ride.  ‘Next year, Mum?’

As for my birthday, I cannot imagine a more beautiful setting for a wine tasting than Quinta da Tôr, in the gently rolling Algarve hills.  By then my son and family had reluctantly gone home, to be replaced by my lovely daughter and her husband.  Both were highly appreciative, of both the setting and the produce.  A great deal of wining and dining took place in the few days they were there; a little gentle strolling to a castle not made of sand, plus a ferry trip to pretty Sanlucar de Guadiana, across the river.  Serendipity had it that we were able to be joined by my good friends Becky and Robert, for a fabulous farewell luncheon at Vai e Volta in Olhão.  Seldom has so much fish been consumed at one sitting.  Huge thanks to José and Maria for being such generous hosts.

The fairy tale ended, as these things must, and Michael and me went back to scrubbing floors, painting and changing beds.  Our last evening was largely spent circling each other in the kitchen, trying to keep out from under the feet of the Man from MEO and his assistant.  Our Internet connection had been abysmal, but we thought we were stuck with it as we had been told there was a blockage in the duct.   Hoorah and 3 cheers for Marco, who laboured diligently to find a solution, while we wondered if we were ever going to have supper that evening.  Finally he went home to his wife and child, a successful connection made, and we wolfed down our food and went for a quick celebratory drink at our neighbours.  Great ending to another chapter.

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Meanwhile the walks have continued to arrive.  I cannot commit to a regular Jo’s Monday walk until I’m back in the Algarve at the end of this month, but I will continue to share and to visit you whenever I can.  Many thanks to all of you for your patience.

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Fabulous images from Tobias.  I first saw these sitting in a café in drizzly old Leeds.  A nice welcome home :

Les ocres de Roussillon

Goult – Morning Walk

Street art rules with Cactus Catz.  Do enjoy visiting her :

Monday Mural : Joe Pagac’s Borderland Brewery mural, Tucson, Arizona

Sharing a little fun and a stroll with Judy :

A Walk Around Town

The majesty of the Austrian Alps, in the company of Drake :

Naked peaks

In case I didn’t make it back in time to enjoy it, some lovely Autumnal colour from Eunice :

An autumn walk in Central Park

While Irene finds a squirrel in an arboretum :

What’s that Racket?

Some folk are wanderers for life and this certainly applies to my lovely friend, Cathy.  You can spend hours enjoying her travels, in her native America and abroad :

The Giant Logs Trail at Petrified Forest National Park

The Crystal Forest Trail at Petrified Forest National Park

Sincere apologies to anyone I’ve missed out.  It hasn’t been easy keeping track.  I have 10 days to pack our personal possessions, leave the house in good order, and say lots of goodbyes, and then we are gone.  Oh yes, and replace the washing machine.  It gave a mighty groan and subsided mid-spin the day we left the UK.  Definitely, the last lap!

Jo’s ‘not a Monday walk’

Hi folks!  Normal service is far from being resumed, but I’m aware of collecting lots of walks which I really ought to share, so here I am today.  Could I perhaps ask that you don’t send me any more links for the moment?  I have family arriving at the weekend and they have first call on my time.  I shall have a sixth birthday to celebrate, Halloween to avoid (my daughter more than makes up for me), and then the weight of numbers will come crashing down on my head.  A big one!

As if that’s not enough, I have a cat to feed.  One that hisses at me. (I do understand, I’m not the patient mistress of the house  🙂  ).  Actually, the mistress explained to me how I should place a doorstop to prevent me being locked out in the garden with said cat.  And then the door blew shut, as she was explaining, and both of us were marooned in the garden.  Life, huh?  Her on tiptoe, looking over the wall for a neighbour.  Balanced on the back of a chair.  “Christina?”  Nothing!  I holler too, but my husband is painting, in blissful ignorance.  Finally a workman a few doors down comes to see what the matter is.  ‘Er, could you open my back door and let us in, please?’  The front door is wide open.  Hopefully I won’t repeat the incident in her absence.

So, what else?  Todos a caminhar, the free walks programme aimed at encouraging a healthy population, has resumed.  On a sunkissed Sunday morning we lined up on the boardwalk at Cabanas, with music to enhance the enthusiastic warm up.  Good for a giggle if you’re an observer.  And then we’re off!  Out of the village on a back lane, past orange and olive groves.  Some of us chattering, some striding out determinedly.  At the halfway point, a bottle of water, an apple and a breakfast bar, thoughtfully provided by the council.  And afterwards, an invitation to lunch with a lovely couple.  Sunday became a celebration of life, as we boated across the narrow channel to the ilha, and strolled on the finest of sand.

I’m still dipping into the archives for today’s photos, but you can keep track of most of my doings on Instagram or Facebook.  It’s much easier to share to them straight from the phone.

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Please read and enjoy these, if you haven’t already.  I won’t be sharing any more for a while.  Many thanks to everybody.

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Seems ages since I shared a walk of Becky’s.  She’s back in Portugal later this week.  Whoop-e-doop!

A palace fit for an English Queen

A glass of wine with Drake?  It would be an honour :

Colors of mood

Rupali shares some wonderful colours too :

Leaves in Autumn

Was September beautiful for you?  It certainly was for Lady Lee :

The Changing Seasons, September

Alastair managed to find his way to my walks.  Please do visit and say hello :

My Walk this Week 127 – Autumn Morning

It’s never boring at Jesh’s place, no matter what she’s up to :

Vacation Busyness

Janaline has seen the world, and there’s nothing like the beauty of Ireland :

Why I walk to explore places like Rathmullen in Ireland

Raspberry heaven with Irene :

Take Your Pick

Someone who’s always living the good life- join Jackie for a slice or two :

Pizza toss 

You butter believe it

Let’s hear it for Cathy!  She’s completed the Camino- loud fanfare!- and still shared some beautiful walks with me.  This is just one of many:

Wupatki Pueblo

I’m back in the UK on 9th November.  I should just make it to a Girl’s Night and then it’ll be crazy while we finish packing and handing over our home.  Catch up with you when I can.  Take care till then!

Starting over

Did you notice the John Lennon title link to my last post?  I’m thinking it’s probably easier to write here than to try to keep up with each of you individually, lovely as you all are.  Yes, I wanted to come back with a brand new blog, full of the pure exuberance of life and the beauty of the Algarve, but it’s not practical at the moment, for a variety of reasons.  So, simply an update.

You know those Indian Summers we sometimes talk about in the UK?  We’ve definitely been experiencing one here in the Algarve.  Temperatures have just started to dip a little, which is good news for my walking friends.  The first Striders walk of the season, on 2nd October, was kept to a miserly 10km in the Algarvian hills, but nobody was sorry when the walk was over.  A long table was set up beneath an awning but, by the time we’d finished eating, the sun was avidly gobbling up the shade.  It was time to down the wine and move on.  But not before coffee and cake, of course.

The Strollers walk on the following Friday fared a little better.  We were near the salt marshes, with a hint of a breeze now and again.  A different mix of people, some of whom we hadn’t seen in a long while, and another wonderful accompaniment of hugs, smiles and traded stories.  Does it feel different now that we’re to become a permanent part of the community?  Not yet, but I have noticed subtle differences.  At one time I couldn’t bear to be out of the sun, and would feel myself twitching if I was in the shade a fraction longer than was absolutely necessary.  Now that sunshine has more or less become a constant, I can seek shade with equanimity.  Maybe Winter will change that, but for now we find ourselves adopting the Portuguese custom of pulling down the blinds in our house to keep out excessive heat.

Our third walk included a train ride with a ticket collector who was greatly amused by 27 Brits, smiling and brandishing passports at him at 8.30 in the morning.  Our discounted fare was 80 cents for the 10km, two stops, ride.  We then walked back, a loop of town, pine forest, beach and countryside totalling 14km, all on the flat.  More reunions and friendships renewed, and lots more hugs and smiles.  We are all so appreciative of what we have here.  Not just the wonderful climate, but the lasting warmth of companionship.  Few of us have been unscathed by anxiety or illness, but a sympathetic shoulder is never hard to find.

Since coming here, I’ve cast a fresh look around our home.  Aside from outstanding DIY (phew, Mick’s department!) there are a few issues about storage and how we use the space we have.  Cupboards and wardrobes have been given a stern looking at.  We’ve joined the local library and a small army of English language books will be making their way to a new and worthwhile home.  An antique television set, weighing a ton but producing not a single programme, in any language, has made it’s way to the refuse collection, located down an exceedingly pretty back lane.

The negatives?  Knee deep in photo albums prior to departure, I forgot a couple of things I normally regard as essential to my Algarve life.  The cable to download photos from my camera and my memory stick, so I’ve had to improvise for photos.  And my diary!  Unheard of, this last, so I’ve taken to recording events online on the notepad.  Not entirely satisfactory.  🙂  Still to do?  Partly due to a wretched cough I’ve not yet joined an exercise class, nor a language class, but I will!

You’d laugh!  As I finish writing this, rain is bouncing off the table on the patio.  But I’m smiling indulgently and enjoying the sound.  Good thing we finished that painting!  And tomorrow is set to be dry for another walk.  Have a great weekend, and I’ll catch up with you when I can.  Our Internet is feeble, but we’ll fix that too.

Liverpool : From Cavern to Cathedral

“Imagine I’m in love with you, It’s easy cos it’s true…”  It’s a bit of a crazy leap from Terracotta Army to Beatles, but the Cavern drew me like a magnet.  I left the enthralling exhibition somewhat dazed and wandered in what I hoped was the direction of the Beatles’ old haunt.  Alone, and beginning to feel weary from an early start, I hovered beside Cilla, trying to find the confidence to descend those steps.  If in doubt, have a glass of wine?  Perhaps not the best motto for life, but I retreated to a nearby restaurant, overlooking the comings and goings on Mathew St., and gathered my courage over a very nice chicken curry.

I needn’t have worried.  It was early evening and the warm up ‘lad’, Tony Skeggs, was on, and what a very fine job he made of it.  I was soon singing away, balanced on my stool, without a care in the world.  Aside from getting back to the hotel afterwards, of course, but eventually I hummed my way ‘home’ without misadventure, and sang myself to sleep.

I had a rough plan for the following day, part of which included a Magical Mystery Tour.  The forecast wasn’t great and I ‘imagined’ I might be better on a bus, but with a dry start I thought I’d do a little exploring on foot first.  Restless always comes naturally.  But first I had a bit of a treat.  The lovely lass on reception in Sleep Eat Love informed me that their new bistro was opening that morning.  Their first ever customer, I was greeted like royalty.  Fortified with scrambled eggs and coffee, that smile still on my face, I ventured forth.

I did try to plot a course to the cathedral on Google Maps, but I’m a pretty hopeless case and soon ended up following my instincts.  That can be disastrous, but I was lucky this day.  Signs for Lime Street Station kept me on track, and right opposite, magnificent St. George’s Square.

Passing the busy station, I paused to gape at the frontage of a grand looking hotel.  I was peering inside, with my usual curiosity, when a cheerful voice said ‘Come on in, love, and have a look!’  I can’t get over the friendliness of the locals.  The cleaner was still hard at work and there was a lovely smell of polish in the air.  I had entered an Aladdin’s cave of Art Deco, being transformed into, of all things, a food court!  I know my daughter would have revelled in the extravagant curls and swirls of Barcelona Bar.

Seeing church spires ahead I thought I might have reached the cathedral, but it turned out to be the Bombed Out Church, a rather forlorn relic, whose railings were adorned with poetry.  A sad looking tramp had made it his home.

Strange how such a very large cathedral can become invisible.  I had to ask for directions, but soon I was gazing upwards at the rosy might of the Anglican Cathedral.  Not sure if it was open, I noticed a couple coming through a narrow gateway and went to investigate.  I’m so very glad I did because, for the next half hour, I wandered beneath the greenery of St. James’ Gardens.

I was intrigued to discover that the gardens had once been a quarry, from which the stone for most of Liverpool’s public buildings had been cut, in the 18th century.  From 1825 to 1936 it became the city’s main cemetery.  Today it wraps around the cathedral like an ancient skirt.

And what a cathedral!  Designed by Sir Giles Gilbert Scott and built almost entirely of the local pink sandstone, it is the largest in Britain, and the largest Anglican Cathedral in the world.  The foundation stone was laid in 1904 by King Edward VII and it was finally completed 74 years later in 1978.  For me the Lady Chapel was the most beautiful part of the church, and I paused to light a candle in the gallery overlooking this quiet, lovely place.  The stained glass panels depict women of significance from the bible, and important Liverpool women who were missionaries or worked for the poor of the city.  The central space of the cathedral was vast, and laid out at one end was an array of beautifully dressed tables and chairs.  I had read somewhere of a cafe in the cathedral and wondered if I was appropriately dressed to grace one of these tables.  But first, the Tower!

I never can resist a view, even though it usually involves a climb.  There are 3 stages to this one.  First by lift, followed by a narrow corridor that overlooks the bells, then a second lift and 108 steps to the top.  All worth it!  You can, apparently, on a fine day see Blackpool Tower in the distance, but I was more interested in closer range.  And yes, we’ve finally earned a cuppa, so it’s back down again, via the embroidery exhibition, and over to the mezzanine cafe.  I was half disappointed to find that those grand tables weren’t for the likes of me, but I had a lovely chat with a young woman and her daughter, enjoying both the fruity Liverpool cake and listening to her wonderful ‘Scouse’ accent.

The weather had finally caught up with me and, as I headed down Hope St. towards the Liverpool Roman Catholic Metropolitan Cathedral, the first spots of rain arrived.  Just time to scurry up the steps for a quick look.  I remembered seeing it on TV when Paul McCartney conducted the Liverpool Oratorio from there.  Originally the cathedral was to have been a Lutyens design but World War II intervened and in the 1960s ‘Paddy’s Wigwam’, as it is affectionately known, was completed, to the design of Sir Frank Gibberd.

All thoughts of a Magical Mystery tour had long since been abandoned and, as the rain began to pelt down, I headed back downhill to the Waterfront and a world class selection of museums.  I was beguiled and saddened by John and Yoko in the Museum of Liverpool, and spent an hour or so absorbing modern art in Tate Liverpool.  As I looked out on Albert Dock in pounding rain, I reflected on the brilliant couple of days I’d spent.  I hope you enjoyed them too.

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This isn’t officially a Jo’s Monday walk but, as I’m taking time off to get settled in the Algarve, I thought I’d do a round up of the walks I received this week.  Please take a few minutes to visit if you can.

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Lady Lee is sharing churches too.  She says to make a wish in each :

Visita Iglesia

We all need a little peace sometimes.  Irene has a lovely spot too :

Place to Read

Murals are always popular.  How about these?

8 mural project Downtown Tucson

You think I walk a long way?  You should try accompanying Geoff and Dog :

Ring of Walking – #CapitalRing#Crystal Palace to #Richmond

There’s always food on offer at Jackie’s.  And today’s accompaniment is…

Relish

Jaspa takes us on a wander in another beautiful city :

Prague Pastels

That’s it from me for a while.  I’ll pop in whenever I can.  Take care of yourselves, and bye for now!