Portugal

Jo’s Monday walk : Street art in Silves

Silves, as one of the loveliest towns in the Algarve and its former capital, is one I seldom fail to take visitors to.  Last weekend, while strolling the streets on my way to a Mediterranean Garden Fair, I was much taken with some distinctive and amusing street art.  Boxes housing electricity cables are seldom an attractive feature, so an initiative to transform them must surely be a good thing.

‘Stencilpes’ is described as an urban intervention project to encourage young people’s interest in art, using images from history, architecture and nature.  I could find little information about the individual artists, but I thoroughly enjoyed spotting the artworks.

Whimsical creatures rub shoulders with cork oaks and olives, grapes and strawberries, birds and butterflies.  On the riverfront, these pieces of modern art pay tribute to Silves’ Moorish past.

High on the hill, the red brick fortress looks down on peaceful streets.  The morning market supplies restaurants and locals alike, but then the town seems to sleep, leaving just the storks to keep watch from their lofty perch.

Great, aren’t they?  No need for me to say much!  A nice change for you.

I found myself wandering into an area I didn’t really know, in pursuit of the boxes.  On the corner of Rua Dom Afonso III stands a pretty little church, Igreja Nossa Senhora dos Martires, and a statue of the martyrs, which looks like it’s seen better days.

I don’t know about you, but I was starting to feel the need for some refreshment.  You’ve been very patient this week, so I’ll give you a choice.

While I was eating, a clattering noise overhead caused me to look up.  What a magical sight met my eyes!  A stork was descending to his waiting mate, on their nest above.  I averted my eyes, politely, from their noisy love making.

The garden fair wasn’t the highlight of my afternoon, but I did buy a couple of plants and a terracotta pot.  I wandered back to the riverside parking, a big smile on my face.  And spotted another couple of boxes!

I’m sure I’ve missed a few, but maybe next time?  I hope you enjoyed them too.  S is for Silves will give you a little background on the city.

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Thanks so much for your company on my little jaunt!  Join me any time you can, here on Jo’s Monday walk. You’ll always get a warm welcome.

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Debbie posts some amazing sights, as she whizzes around the world :

Burrowing into Baku

A rainy day in Paris?  Don’t despair- just follow Jude’s lead!

Walking the Right Bank Passages in Paris

It’s all a bit weird and wonderful at Drake’s place this week!

Third degree street parade

There are options for healthy eating with Irene :

Through the Edible Garden

Then you could have coffee with Jackie :

Espresso

Natalie is someone who sets herself health goals and walks for fitness :

Wellness Post #3 : Ice Breakers 2019

It’s a little grey at the beach with Sandra, but there’s beauty aplenty in those Spheres :

#Alki Beach, #Seattle

#Amazon #Spheres – Saturday Snapshot and Jo’s Monday walk

Eek!  That white stuff is still to be found!  But Rupali is happy with blue skies :

Tour day!

Susanne has found plenty of sunshine in her neck of the woods :

A Walk at Coulon Park on the Last Day of Winter

Lisa too, but still a little cool, I understand :

Jo’s Monday Walk

I don’t think they have winter in Alice’s part of the world :

Step Forward or a Peek into the Past

Follow Ulli to Germany- it’s beautiful too!

Enchanted Forest

Janet knows I love a glass or two of wine :

Monday walk…Vinas De Garza

Covering up the weariness with a smile; you must be following Cathy’s epic journey?

(Camino day 9) Villamayor de Monjardin to Torres del Rio

There’s a regular Monday meetup over at Sami’s Colourful World for all those of you who love street art.  Have a great week, and see you next time!

Six word Saturday

The beauty of an Algarve Spring

‘Some are Spiky, some are not’.  🙂  Share Six Words with Debbie, and don’t forget to find a Spiky Square or two for Becky.  Have a great weekend!

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Jo’s Monday walk : Natural beauty at Fonte Filipe

All that Carnaval razzamataz put away for another year, it’s back to the quiet life this week, in my sunny Algarve hills.  North of São Brás de Alportel lies a beautiful, green area which has provided me with many walks.  Twice lately I’ve started out from Fonte Filipe, a natural spring in the shape of a lemon, where legend has it a young girl appears at sunset, washing and singing in the fountain.

Leaving the fonte, I follow signs for Amendoeira.  Through the frothy wisps of tree branches, gentle humps hint at the surrounding hills.

A steady climb brings you to a villa, and a dog who looks down with casual indifference, lord and master of his landscape, for today, at least.  A drift of wild iris illuminates the path ahead.

Water is always the highlight of a walk for me.  I peer into ponds, ensnared by the meekest weeds, while reeds as straight as guardsmen protect me from the chorus of frogs.  Beyond them, cistus dance gaily in the slightest breeze.

Natural springs supplied the local populations of Amendoeira, Resinas, Carvalhal and part of  São Romão, and were used to irrigate the crops.  Stone pines grow freely here, their cones effervescent with colour at this time of year.  Mounds of cork lie drying in the sun.

It’s the turn of the pink cistus to dazzle now, the bees humming in ecstasy, while the wild narcissus gently nods.  Not to be outdone, there’s a flourish of cream and yellow among the rocks.

Back on the valley floor, a trickle of stream slides past the stepping stones.  I could paddle deliciously, but prefer to test my balance, pausing to enjoy the cool and the entwining of the shadows.

The trail from here is flagged, making easy walking.  It’s part of the Via Algarviana, which crosses the Algarve from the sea at Sagres to its border with Spain.  You need to keep your eyes wide open, for some jewels hide their beauty in the shade.  The bee eater orchid can be a shy creature.  Back into the sunshine, I pass a mill race, on the home straight now.  One more flurry of beauty and I’m back where I started.

From Fonte Filipe it’s an easy drive down into São Romão.  I stop to purchase homemade honey from a café, and a favourite restaurant, with views over the valley, supplies a wonderful panna cotta.

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Bombarded with walks this week, so you’re going to need to spend a little time here.  There are some beauties so please do visit if you can.

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A hard invitation to refuse, from Debbie :

Come Dawdle in Delphi

I just can’t believe I’m still sharing snowy walks!  Who’d be Canadian, Natalie?

A Walk to Canoe Landing Park

Drake knows where to find sunshine when he wants it (though he likes snow too  🙂  )

All day outdoors

I don’t mind a spot of rain sometimes, if we’re going somewhere interesting.  Thanks, Susanne!

A Walk through St. Augustine and Castillo de San Marcos

Janet’s post reminds me of the Leonard Cohen song, ‘Ring the bell!’  Funny the associations people make :

Goin’ to the chapel

Why not take it slow, and just enjoy the beauty, with Rupali?

Walking around 

Or you might prefer a bit of rough and tumble, with Alice :

Saint Patrick’s Day Rugby Tournament

And then you can always visit Jackie for sustenance :

Menu del Dia

Any baseball fans out there?  You might recognise this place :

China Basin Park

Mary shares some very beautiful murals :

Haibun : Cesar Chavez Elementary School

Short but sweet, and very familiar, from Becky!  Did you spot my Spiky Squares to welcome her back?

A stroll in the Barrocal

There’s nothing like looking at beauty through the eyes of one who appreciates it.  Double helping from Jude!

Godolphin Gardens in early Spring

Paris Focus : A Stroll along the Seine

Memories and much more, with Susan :

Walking Quito, Ecuador

And talking of memories, Amanda is testing my Polish this week :

A Little Polish Never goes Astray

Cathy plods on along the Camino, taking some interesting rest stops :

(Camino: day 8) Lorca to Villamayor de Monjardin

While Carol gives us a brand new definition for ‘close to the edge’ :

Edge Walking

Hope you enjoyed my company this week.  I certainly enjoyed yours.  Take care, and catch you next time on Jo’s Monday walk!

 

Six word Saturday

My last few Carnival Spiky Squares!

You can have too much of a good thing, but I couldn’t leave Loulé out of my Carnaval spikes.  No more- I promise!  But you’ll find plenty of Spiky Squares over at Becky’s place, and some excellent advice on Debbie’s Six Word Saturday.  Have a great weekend, everyone!

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Jo’s Monday walk : A very traditional village

In the past few years I’ve watched Carnaval parades in many different Algarve towns and villages.  They all share a sense of fun, exuberance and a zest for life that is infectious.  High in the hills, nowhere is more traditional than Alte.  I couldn’t wait to see how they celebrated.

Approaching the quiet village, the empty dragonboat’s hopeful gaze was the first sign that all was not quite normal.  A horde of Norsemen, carousing outside the café, helmets under the table, was the second.  I climbed the steep streets to the church, in search of more evidence.

Paper flowers wreathed the church, gaudy competition for the real ones.  Respected elders sat patiently in a little leafy shade, recalling the parades of their youth, while the young cavorted excitedly below. Plenty of time to inspect the assembled floats before selecting a good vantage point.  No-one seriously believed that the procession would start promptly at three.

It’s a pretty village at any time, but the skillfully decorated floats brought gaiety to the scene. Gradually the noise level built as the cast of characters swelled gently into position.  Bill the Flowerpot Man weaved in and out, genial host with a friendly welcome for anyone who crossed his path.

The decibels increased to deafening level and they were off!  Windy Miller amused me greatly by turning the sails of his windmill by hand, as they swayed around the narrow, cobbled streets, his bakery assistants tending the buns in the glowing oven.

Indians with sweet faces, a fierce-looking biker lady, astronauts who seemed to be auditioning for a role in Star Wars, dinosaurs who kept escaping from their cage, only to be pursued,  captured and returned, only to escape again … Mafia hoods, a float of ‘doces’- not real, unfortunately- two wacky old gents doing a shuffle dance… all slightly barmy but very endearing.  And finally, the Vikings had donned their helmets.

No serious walking this week, but a whole lot of fun.  If you get the chance to visit Alte for Carnaval, I can highly recommend it.

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Thanks to everybody who has contributed this week.  And to all you armchair readers.  That’s what blogs are for- right?  Join me next time, here on Jo’s Monday walk.  You can share a walk, if you like, or simply read.

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Gotta love Sue!  Mother Theresa or Dark Lord? (now don’t take that personally, Sue  🙂  )  I’ll let you all judge :

A very short walk off Brick Lane

Many years ago I witnessed ‘June Gloom’ in La Jolla.  It looks much prettier through Rupali’s eyes :

La Jolla Cove

Dog looks so very intelligent!  I guess he’s seen a lot of life, Geoff?

Walking While Pondering #dunwich #suffolk

Did you know about oyster shell recycling?  Nor did I till I asked Alice :

Camelia Garden Walk

Something I’ve missed this year, but they seem abundant in Wales :

The Snowdrop Walk at Chirk Castle

Oh, my!  You’ve not seen cherry doughnuts like these!  Thanks, Janet!

Fougerolles cherry festival

And one of Jackie’s Mojitos might be nice, too!

Happy Hour

If you’re really trying to make me happy, a veranda would be wonderful.  Rocking chair ready, Karen?

Stratford Walk 2: history and houses

Meanwhile Jude is treating us all to a feast of Spring, complete with lurching rhododendrons!

An Early Spring Walk

I suspect she’d like to join Margaret for this one, too  🙂

Botany and a bus ride

Becky’s back in the UK for a short while, but not without leaving a flavour of the Algarve behind :

A glorious walk in the ‘Serra do Caldeirao’

While Georgina crosses the Guadiana to take a closer look at our hillside flora :

Asphodels in Alcoutim

In the Canaries, meanwhile, all is peaceful :

Time for a Siesta

The Vikings were not the most peaceful of folk, but Amanda has found us a beautiful, ancient church :

Vaernes Church, Norway c 1085

How about an indoor forest?  That’s what Sandra has in store this week :

#Spheres -#Saturday Snapshot and #Monday Walk 

And Drake?  A few tubs of luscious dates  🙂

Marketplace mood

Walking in heat, and running out of water!  I can relate to that one, Cathy!

(Camino: day 7) Muruzabal to Lorca & ruminations (week one)

Because she really is an inspiration, I’m submitting this walk for Cathy’s Photography Invitation.  Let her show you wonderfully scenic Ouray, Colorado.  Have a great week, and see you next time!

 

 

Carnaval in Tavira

I know Becky will forgive me for this.  Tavira doesn’t have a full scale Carnival procession but, weather permitting, each year the schools in the area gather together for their very own celebration.  Rather more soft and cuddly than Spiky, but that sword is quite sharp.  Don’t miss the gallery today!