Jo’s Monday walk : Step back in time in Aljezur

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 cafΓ© 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.

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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.

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Idyllic Dales scenery and sheep! That’s Margaret’s offering :

Another day in the Dales… revisited

Or there’s a fascinating walk with Sarah :

A village built on shells

Who wouldn’t want to walk with Suzanne? She’ll tell you a story or two :

Weekend Walk – The Strand Reserve – Tauranga

Got to love Drake’s sense of humour :

Dusty field

The dry side of the coastline

While Marsha takes us to some beautiful Dutch gardens that aren’t even in Holland :

#LAPC#147: Bellagio Gardens in Las Vegas

Purple Butterflies in the Bellagio Gardens

And Susan joins us with a little poetry, and a variety of cats and dogs :

Hiking Haibun and Haiku

A Stroll in the park with Luce

A scenic walk with Ollie, the Cavalier, Children’s Garden, geese and baby ducklings

Here’s a challenge for you! Zara takes us on a few ups and downs :

South West Coast Path: Minehead to Porlock Weir Coastal Walk

Lady Lee likes to keep busy :

Gardening and cycling

All you could want to know about oaks and pines in Binsar National Park :

A walk in an oak forest

If there’s anything I love it’s a rose garden. You can always find beauty with Rupali :

Rose gardens

Spring is in the air

Anabel finds plenty of interest close to home :

A church walk

And Carol has some wonderful street art to share :

Telling Stories in Pictures

An old friend walks the streets of London (I know, Geoff- not so much of the old! πŸ™‚ )

St. Pancras to Westminster

Not the Troggs, but natural beauty from Irene :

Wild Thing

And Teresa shows us how beautiful black and white can be :

A Walk in Emerald Lake Park

Tiptoeing through the bluebells with Jude seems a good way to end :

A Bluebell Walk

Hope the sun’s shining where you are. That west coast breeze was freezing! Have a great week everyone!

95 comments

  1. How wonderful that you have had the chance to visit more than once! It’s always interesting to note the changes and also to appreciate some of the beautiful aspects that don’t change over time! A lovely walk, Jo.

    1. My impressions totally changed this time, Debbie. I must have been wearing blinkers last time, as well as my solitary flip-flop. It’s a lovely little town πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚

  2. You are so funny with your flip flops, deferring cake, and playing games with ducks. They can play this game all day, or the onlookers can. They’re putting on a show. Your skies are the most brilliant blue of anywhere I’ve ever seen. If you don’t start posting some drab skies, I’m going to have to come over there and visit as soon as Covid is done doing its thing. I’ve got a new post for you tomorrow, Jo. Thanks for the mention of the Bellagio Gardens. Have a great day, and I’ll be back tomorrow. Don’t take a break from blogging and deny us a bit of joy in our day. πŸ™‚

    1. I have to say that it’s comments like this that keep me coming back, Marsha. Thank you so much, and I’ll catch up with you later. πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚

      1. I’m so glad. It’s such a joy to read such easy humor about life. That’s my kind of humor, the kind I love and I think the kind that makes life “a piece of cake.” I aim for that in my writing and in my life in general. My figure shows that I succeed most of the time, too πŸ™‚

  3. Jo, it is lovely to be able to revisit places and make new impressions. We did not visit this town when we toured the Algarve by motorhome, but sounds like we should have visited. Particularly since you have mentioned that there is a castle in town? I love visiting castles πŸ™‚

  4. What a pretty town for a stroll, Jo. I love the donkey and the azuelos. I’m guessing you wore sneakers for this trip??!!??? Take care and enjoy the sunshine this week.

  5. Jo I found myself nodding during the description of the flip flop blow out. I had a similar experience in Istanbul where I duct taped my show together until a suitable shop was found. It made quite the fashion statement.
    Although I missed the cake, the shite walls and stunning blue skies made for a lovely stroll Jo.

    1. I live my life in flip-flops, Sarah, and usually as near to a beach as I can get. πŸ€£πŸ’• I don’t recall the castle being up to much but the views were good. I think next Monday will be my last walk for a while so thanks a lot for contributing πŸ€—πŸ’•

  6. I do remember a post where you had lost your flip flop Jo (they are called thongs her Down Under!) and the name Aljezur sounds familiar! Lovely you have been able to get back there and see how its changed a bit but I do love the timeless feel. A mule pulling a plough is certainly a hark back to the past. I will have to get another contribution for a walk in in case you take a break! I also love to read about the history of these little towns – it must have been such a cultural melting post back in the day. Beautiful photos as always – I could look at photos of the azulejos all day long. Hope you have a lovely week – it’s so cold here (there was snow on the Stirling Ranges a few hours south of here yesterday)! xx πŸ™‚

    1. Unfortunately it’s something I have a track record of, Rosemay, and Mick never stops reminding me. Husbands can be cruel πŸ€£πŸ’• I’m thinking I’ll post my last walk next Monday but I daresay I’ll be back in a few weeks. It’s a bit of an addiction so don’t worry if you don’t make it. πŸ€—πŸ’•

      1. Hopefully will get a post out this weekend Jo! I can well understand that you’d need a break as it must be a big commitment keeping up with it all! xx πŸ™‚

    1. I always love that experience of not knowing what’s around the corner (well, so long as it’s not a charging bull πŸ™‚ ) Portugal is diverse and interesting, and I’m glad you could join me.

  7. What a fabulous walk and I love all that street art. Isn’t it great revisiting places and rediscovering all the sights and delights, knowing there’s still more to explore. Have a great week Jo. 😊

    1. This was just me tiptoeing into an exciting weekend, Miriam, but there’s always more to find, when you go looking. πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ Thanks, darlin- you too!

  8. Although I enjoy seeing new places, I find a special pleasure in returning to favorite spots I’ve visited before. It’s always different than it was before. This time, I assume, you wore good shoes.

    The soccer mural is so joyful!

    1. To be truthful, I still had flipflops on, Nicki (I hate shoes πŸ™‚ ) but we didn’t climb up to the castle. I did have a sensible pair in the car though.

  9. Lovely place for a walk. Seeing the ploughing mule would be a treat in my book as would the castle on the hill. And I like your cafe with the great view. Enjoy your week.

    1. I thought I’d shared my visit to the castle in an older post, Graham, but I couldn’t find it, so perhaps I was too busy hobbling to take photos. πŸ™‚ The link to Wikipedia gives you a good idea though. Thank you!

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