Thursday’s Special in Cacela Velha

Beyond the wall

Beyond the wall

There are few places more special to me than the tiny village of Cacela Velha in the Algarve.  Long before I ever came to Portugal I had read about it in the Rough Guide.   A cobbled path surrounds the church, and on a day with even the merest hint of sunshine you can sit on a bench, with your back against the church wall, and gaze dreamily out to sea.

The occasional footfall disturbs and a visitor will appear, round the corner.  Some will nod, “Bom dia!” with a trace of a smile.  Others avert their eyes or focus on the view beyond the wall.  There are two benches and sometimes the other is occupied.  A bike might be propped against the wall. There is no transport into the village.  The birds sing, and alight shyly on the wall.  All is peace and tranquillity.

The lagoon stretches as far as the eye can see

The lagoon stretches as far as the eye can see

The clouds stir and endlessly fascinate

The clouds bump and blend- endlessly fascinating

After a while I rise from the bench and walk round to the front of the church.  The carvings around the door each tell their own story.

The village is Sunday quiet, but then, it’s like that most days!  All of the activity centres on the cemetery and the bringing of fresh flowers.  But I know that this village can erupt into life.  I was there once for the Festival of Enchanted Nights.  Hookahs, Turkish tea and dancing ladies!  Can you imagine it?

Changes come, as they surely must, but I so hope that Cacela Velha hangs on to the integrity which, for me, makes it a very special place.

Wishing Paula a very special Thursday.  It’s her birthday!



  1. i love the carved details on the church door. What a heavenly place to be able to spend your retirement in. i would be in a hurry to pack my bags Jo 🙂

  2. You paint a beautiful canvas with your photos and words. Those white houses with the blue details … how picturesque. My favorite of this beautiful bunch … the last photo.

    1. You’ll have to come visit some day, to check I’m not falsifying the evidence! 🙂
      I like that one too, Vivi. Back from t’ai chi. Time for a teatime hug! (or a cup of coffee in my case, but that doesn’t sound so good 🙂 )

  3. Your tranquil description and peaceful pictures really capture the serenity you must feel in this special place. Can’t imagine the shift to Turkish dancing, but I bet it’s fun to watch. Love the new look of your blog, Jo. 🙂

  4. It does look very serene, Jo, and it’s hard to imagine the town filled with hookahs and Turkish dancing! I love the way you describe the scene. Lovely. Your pictures are looking good on this theme. I also like how some of them have black frames. Do you do this with a photo editing program? Hugs…. xxx

    1. If we’d had more time, Cathy, you’d have been there for sure! 🙂
      The black frames is a nifty little trick I picked up from Vicky. The borders are in Advanced Settings on WP so after you insert the photo you can click on Edit and put a frame in 🙂 I like it, too. I tried your suggestion about increasing size to the page edge. It works in Edit but then I was very disappointed to find that they don’t look any different in the published guide. I must be doing something wrong (as usual) How do you get yours to fill the screen, or is it just the theme you use? Hugs to you, too 🙂

      1. I’m going to see if I can try the black frames in my post today on 17 mile drive. I don’t think you can increase the size in Edit; at least I’ve never figured out a way to do it. Try this: upload the pics to the media library. Before adding them to the post, go to the white column on the right, at the bottom, and you’ll see: Attachment display settings. You can choose left, center or right. Then at the botttom, click on the dropdown menu to full size. Maybe that will make a difference in the size as it appears on your post. Let me know how it works. (Or I’ll just see it in your post!). 🙂 xxx

  5. Looks like a very special place, Jo. It looks like the sort of village where one could just meander endlessly, taking in the quiet and solitude. No traffic would be a huge plus for me. Just imagine, no pollution! I love the blue and white buildings. Just like Santorini, but without all the tourists.

    1. Very different, Ad, but stunning in its own way.
      I had a terrible thought. What if all that piano practising and adrenalin was keeping you thin? (ha! ha! Keep up the good work 🙂 )

  6. I’ve been feeling a little bit bogged down in work and impatient for summer today. The thought that I could jump on my moped and be at this very place in 20 mins makes me feel very thankful!

  7. I was planning to work through my lunch but your post tempted me and now I am grateful. I apsorbed every image of promised tranquility. I have so many questions: when did you discover Algavre for the first time, how many months a year do you spend there…. Obriada pela tua atencao, Jo. O lugar e uma beleza. Abracos…. 🙂 xx

    1. So funny! I was doing my “tranquil” post and you crept into my mind. I was going to post it this evening because I already posted some windows from the cemetery in Cacela Velha this morning. Then I came to link to your post and saw that it was your birthday, and couldn’t resist going straight ahead. Shame to have to work but I hope maybe you are going out for supper this evening. My very best wishes to you, Paula.
      10 years ago last October I saw Cacela Velha for the first time, on a week’s holiday in the Algarve. We had never been to Portugal till then. By the following January we had bought our house. The rest… you know 🙂 We are only ever there for a few weeks, sadly, till we retire.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s