I thought I’d told you about Aljezur? It’s a place that’s indelibly printed on my memory because on my last visit, albeit a good few years ago, my left flipflop disintegrated as I trod the narrow winding streets up to the castle. Now you might say this was my own silly fault for wearing inadequate footwear. To be fair we were heading for a beach, but I never can resist a castle on a hilltop. I’d persuaded my husband to drive up the cobbled hairpin bends so we could have a swift look. He wasn’t best pleased, but there’s a limit to how far you can limp over rough ground. Our visit was curtailed in search of a flipflop shop, so my memories of Aljezur are fleeting. Let’s just say it didn’t make a huge impression.
Roll the clock forward a few years and I’m back. Not going to the castle. Been there, done that! But I can’t help noting a few changes. A new pedestrian bridge over the river, so you no longer have to put your faith in haphazard motorists, and an updated square. But still an overwhelming feeling of stepping back in time. Where else are you going to see a mule pulling a plough, on the very edge of town?
It was hard not to stand and stare at this anachronism, but we crossed over the river on the new bridge. An entwined sculpture looked back at my favourite building, an inviting bottle green and white construction, side by side with the mercaria (market). Now, where to eat? The café Mioto had a trendy vibe, but a very inviting terrace, overlooking the river and the fields beyond. And very nice food too.
Deciding to defer cake till later, we set off on a gentle explore. I had hoped to follow the river out to the sea, but in the heart of town it meandered serenely under the bridges. I gazed a while at the ducks as they disappeared beneath a bridge and popped out again on the other side. They can play this game all day long.
Even here, street art has a role to play, the modern football stadium in stark contrast with the azulejo panel, depicting the town as it once was.
Show me the small Portuguese boy who doesn’t like to kick a football. The older ones love to ride their bikes noisily through town, tooting and waving as they go. Modern day pirates, for back in time their Moroccan ancestors may well have descended on the town, leaving their corsairs anchored in a nearby cove. A little looting and rounding up of villagers to be sold in the slave markets in Algiers. Who would think in so peaceful a place? Yet that castle was built to defend the town from just such events.
Aljezur was badly impacted by the earthquake of 1755, and the Church of Nossa Senhora de Alva was built a little way out of town to form the nucleus of a new population centre. I found that Aljezur had grown on me since that last unfortunate visit. It’s a place I might well come back to, not least because of the nearness of the stunning west coast beaches. But more of that next time.
I keep meaning to take a break from the blog, but walks keep coming in, and I do have at least one more lovely one to share with you. So, for now, please enjoy these, and I’ll keep you posted.
Idyllic Dales scenery and sheep! That’s Margaret’s offering :
Or there’s a fascinating walk with Sarah :
Who wouldn’t want to walk with Suzanne? She’ll tell you a story or two :
Got to love Drake’s sense of humour :
While Marsha takes us to some beautiful Dutch gardens that aren’t even in Holland :
And Susan joins us with a little poetry, and a variety of cats and dogs :
Here’s a challenge for you! Zara takes us on a few ups and downs :
Lady Lee likes to keep busy :
All you could want to know about oaks and pines in Binsar National Park :
If there’s anything I love it’s a rose garden. You can always find beauty with Rupali :
Anabel finds plenty of interest close to home :
And Carol has some wonderful street art to share :
An old friend walks the streets of London (I know, Geoff- not so much of the old! 🙂 )
Not the Troggs, but natural beauty from Irene :
And Teresa shows us how beautiful black and white can be :
Tiptoeing through the bluebells with Jude seems a good way to end :
Hope the sun’s shining where you are. That west coast breeze was freezing! Have a great week everyone!