Here we are, rolling into May, and a happy Bank Holiday for many of you. Here in the Algarve it’s Dia de Trabalhores (Labour Day) today and Mother’s Day tomorrow. The restaurants are allowed to stay open into the evening for the first time in ages and the borders reopen too. Cause for celebration? I’m having 3 bites at the cherry with this random selection from Faro (and my patio). Six Words for Debbie, a smidgeon of Pink for Jude and a Last on the card, for Brian. Happy weekend, everybody!
I feel a bit like that White Rabbit today, and if I had a pocket watch I’m sure I’d be consulting it and shaking my head. Whose ever idea was it to make my Monday walks a fortnightly event? Oh- mine! Well, not the brightest idea I ever had, because it’s too easy to forget which Monday my walk is due. If I can’t keep count, how can I expect you to? So, yes, I’m late! Having gleefully published a bevy of greens this morning, I then realised that I had a pressing engagement with my walking friends. I do apologise! But it’s still Monday in my part of the world so, shall we go?
We probably need a word or two of explanation here. Our neighbour and close friend needed to be at Faro hospital one day last week, and we agreed to take her. We are still expected to remain at home, but with certain exceptions and this was a necessary journey. Not sure how long the appointment would take, we set off to wander the streets of Faro, to see what changes had been wrought by the pandemic. All was eerily calm- no blaring traffic horns, and most of the shops closed. Like many a city centre, and especially here in Portugal, the streets are a total melange of architecture. New rubs shoulders with old and care worn, if not completely derelict, while some old and stately residences have been beautifully preserved. Street art has become commonplace.
The railway runs along the front at Faro and just beyond the railway station stands an imposing but not pretty building. A former flour mill, starting in May it’s set to be turned into an apartment block, so I was glad that I had an opportunity to inspect the artwork. Normally I would turn right from the railway, passing the bus station and head towards the marina and old town. The hub of the city, the cafés are usually busy and the shiny red fire engines on standby for duty.
Sturdy walls enclose much of the old town and vendors ply their trade beneath them, selling trips to the barrier islands and to observe birds and dolphins. Across a vast expanse of water lies the airport, and planes normally roar overhead at regular intervals. But not today! All is silent, until the train trundles along the tracks to discharge its pitiful cargo.
The kiosks are shuttered and the former fishermen’s huts stand forlorn. The occasional passerby passes, masked like ourselves, usually with averted gaze. The gaiety has gone from our lives, leaving behind suspicion and mistrust.
A sign of life, and even laughter, comes from a bizarrely painted shop in the city walls, and beyond that, the strange mournful sound of a didgeridoo. I recognise the sound before I see the performer, a young man in a beanie, sitting propped against the wall, playing for himself alone.
We’re happy to return to the hospital, past the empty car park, and pick up our friend. Faro, like many another, no longer feels like the city we love. But finishing on a positive note, life is set to return to the Algarve when current restrictions start to ease after Easter. And in the meantime, I’m sure Sami will be happy to add this to her collection of murals.
There were more storks than people in Faro the other day.I looked hard for babies but it wasn’t easy to tell with all the bobbing heads. Today Debbie is seeing triple on Six Word Saturday. Why not join her? Have a nice day!
I”m so pleased to see that the subject of this week’s Thursday’s Special is Urban Art. Wandering through the back streets of Faro a few weeks ago, I came upon this down-at-heel, ramshackle building. It stopped me in my tracks. I’ve been wanting to share it ever since.
It’s a total jewel, transforming the corner of a drab street. I hope Paula likes it. I love a bit of drama. Don’t you?
In Faro old town, in the Algarve, it was mating season for storks. Everywhere you looked, they were swooping through the sky, calling and shrieking to each other. The cacophony had everyone riveted to the spot, staring upwards. Try as I might, I couldn’t capture a good photo of these magnificent creatures in flight. I was always a wing beat, if not two, behind them.
Fortunately, the architecture almost compensates. Have you noticed the seasons changing? The Weekly Photo Challenge would love you to share. Me, I’ll probably be singing ‘that song’ all day!
And popping in to see Cate at Six Word Saturday, of course. Enjoy your weekend! Hope to see you on Monday, for a walk.