Kinda cute, aren’t they? A nice clean start to the week. Becky’s into her last week of s4uares and Sami’s feeling colourful. Why not join them?
Striding with determination along the boulevard at Quarteira.
Leaving the sea behind for a little while, one of my favourite roads in the Algarve is the N270. It winds steadily up into the hills, a series of twists and turns, with glimpses of small villages in the valleys below. As the road levels out you come to the market town of Sáo Brás de Alportel. It’s a nice peaceful spot for a wander. Come with me and we’ll see what we can find.
As with most traditional towns in Portugal, the streets are mainly cobbled. Claiming a convenient patch of shade, a snowy white cat regards me solemnly with its one green and one blue eye. Is it my imagination or does that lady on the wall look more anxious as I look back at her?
Around the corner, the entrance to the episcopal palace gardens, beyond which sparkles the municipal pool. This lovely outdoor facility was renovated last year and I expected to see it busy on this warm summer day. Another casualty of Covid-19, I suspect.
Much of Sáo Brás is a little dog-eared and worn, but resourceful locals have done their best to brighten the shabbiest walls. The local tourist information office and art gallery was open and I popped in to examine current trends. An interesting perspective on a corn field?
The town has a lovely church, the scene of devout and colourful celebrations at Easter. The streets are decorated with a multitude of flower heads and floral torches are paraded through them to a chant of ‘Hallelujah’. Not this year, of course, but at least they can’t take away the beautiful view.
Somebody must have had a job lot of paper swallows, because they appear on several of the artworks. How many swallows make a summer?
But the town is not short of more conventional beauty. The azulejos are as fine as any you will see. This cheerful scooter picks out the lemon of the background tile rather nicely, don’t you think?
The central square had a makeover a couple of years ago, and has become home to several modern art pieces. I was happy to find this metal family in a nearby street. Very appropriately, wearing their masks.
Perhaps you’d like to see the town in happier times, Celebrating life at Easter. We have to believe they’ll come again.
Meanwhile, just a few walks to share this week, which inclines me to think I could make Jo’s Monday walk a fortnightly feature, and confuse everyone! Today I’m going to join Sami, who shares street art every week on Monday Mural.
Ducks and dragonflies… I’m smitten, Janet :
He’s home again! Not such a terrible place to be, Drake :
Is anything more splendid than this? A Cornish garden, much loved by Jude :
While Albert goes in search of another splendid view :
Ending with Janaline in exotic Shanghai :
Wishing you all a good week, though I know life is difficult right now in many places. Take care till next time!
Strolling through Faro the other day admiring the storks I came upon these two, and thought at once of my friend Sami’s Monday Murals. For those of you wondering where I’ve hidden my Monday walks, I’m in laidback mode for the summer. I will be doing a round up of walks next Monday. Nothing too strenuous! Take care till then.
In complete contrast to Saturday’s post, I’m sun-dazzled in Carvoeiro today. Not my favourite place in the Algarve but, after the enormous success of my Street Art in Silves, I made it a mission to visit Carvoeiro for more of the same. Most of its charm fled with the influx of tourism, but in winter months you might still catch a glimmer. Just don’t attempt it in high summer!
You can forgive a lot with street art like this, can’t you? I wandered through the centre, beaming at each new find.
Do you have a favourite yet? I confess a weakness for the frog. A handsome prince if ever I saw one.
The background can enhance or distract, the musculature of Ronaldo seeming a little out of place beside that delicate chimney. But he’s everywhere in Portugal. Sometimes it’s good to see things in context, like this box outside the mosaic shop. And the lovely azulejo panel of the bay.
Just a morsel of cake. Not my preferred choice but very nice. However disparaging I may be about Carvoeiro, there’s a place just along the coast that never fails to delight me, even though commercialism has done its worst. The awe I felt when I first saw Algar Seco remains.
Fashioned by the raw power of the sea, the convoluted shapes and whorls cast a spell. A gentle whoosh, or a blast and a roar! The ocean always keeps you on your toes. You can follow the boardwalk along the cliff top to take in the views, or descend to peer through the lattice of holes.
The painted electricity boxes were there too. I hope you enjoyed them.
I’ve tried to catch up with as many of you as I can. Please give me a nudge if I’ve missed you. It’s meltingly hot in the Algarve right now, so I’m glad of those cooler weeks in the UK. Many thanks for your company and contributions. Feel free to join me next time here on Jo’s Monday walk.
Debbie captures the action on the streets of Edinburgh. What a venue!
A North Korean history lesson and a stroll by the shore with Albert :
A glass of wine or two, and a trilogy, with Drake :
Beautiful gardens to wander in, with Sandra :
While Irene enjoys a quiet life :
And Beatrice shares the natural beauty of Austria, courtesy of Ulli :
This one from Eunice seems very appropriate this week (and note it’s a sequel)
And Cathy is still walking the Camino, one step at a time :
I couldn’t resist this walk in Paris. Please say hello to Yoshimi :
Rosemay visits one of my favourite places in Yorkshire :
And how could you not enjoy a port or two, in Becky’s convivial company?
But if none of that pleases you, take a trip with Sheetal. You won’t regret it!
Hope you’re having a wonderful Bank Holiday in the UK, and wishing you all a great week ahead. I’m still battling gently with the new phone, but I had some great news yesterday. My son proposed to his lovely lady, on holiday in Barcelona, and she said ‘si’. 🙂
Where should I be the other day but in Silves, showing my friends from the north east of England this lovely city. Once I’d spotted another alluring electricity box, playfully painted, the hunt was on for some more of these beauties.
If you remember from Street Art in Silves, the colours are vibrant and the subjects very endearing. I might have cheated a little with some of these but they completely reflect the character of the place.
Ian really got into the spirit of things, didn’t he? They’ve gone home again now, but I know they enjoyed themselves. And, boy, did they love cake! Have you added any Street Art to Patti’s collection yet? There’s still time.
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.
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.
Debbie posts some amazing sights, as she whizzes around the world :
A rainy day in Paris? Don’t despair- just follow Jude’s lead!
It’s all a bit weird and wonderful at Drake’s place this week!
There are options for healthy eating with Irene :
Then you could have coffee with Jackie :
Natalie is someone who sets herself health goals and walks for fitness :
It’s a little grey at the beach with Sandra, but there’s beauty aplenty in those Spheres :
Eek! That white stuff is still to be found! But Rupali is happy with blue skies :
Susanne has found plenty of sunshine in her neck of the woods :
Lisa too, but still a little cool, I understand :
I don’t think they have winter in Alice’s part of the world :
Follow Ulli to Germany- it’s beautiful too!
Janet knows I love a glass or two of wine :
Covering up the weariness with a smile; you must be following Cathy’s epic journey?
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!
No doubt about it- street art is alive and well in Knaresborough. Perhaps you remember my interrupted visit earlier this year, when I discovered it’s many windows? Recently I was able to return to collect a few more, determined to make it to the other bank of the River Nidd this time. Leaving the town and castle perched high over the river, let’s get down to Waterside. The weather isn’t any better than last time, but still it’s a beautiful scene.
Despite the dullness of the day, people are still messing about in boats, and marvelling at the antiquity of this town. Did you read the Old Manor House plaque? The chequerboard building is an extraordinary sight.
Let’s cross over High Bridge. When compared with the Railway Viaduct, it isn’t very high at all. On the far shore Knaresborough Forest once provided hunting grounds for royalty. My target today is Ma Shipton’s Cave. Open since 1630, this is said to be England’s oldest visitor attraction.
Past the ghouls and into the woodland we go, following a winding path. Through the trees I can just make out the rushing weir, more audible than visible. Once a mill wheel turned on the opposite bank, where today smart residences overlook the river.
I wondered why the tree was so sad. Perhaps it was the youngsters hammering coins into the coin tree. Or maybe it was missing former friends here on Beech Avenue, site of some of the tallest beech trees in the country, dating back to 1739.
As it’s school holidays I shouldn’t be surprised to find several characters awaiting me in the woods. Maid Marian was particularly charming. Not so sure about the Sheriff! He seemed to be guarding the entrance to the cave and the petrifying well. A strange place, if ever I saw one.
If you read the signboards you will realise what an extraordinary character was Mother Shipton. Born in this cave in 1488, as she grew older her prophetic visions inspired awe and fear. She foretold both the invasion and defeat of the Spanish Armada in 1588, and the Great Fire of London in 1666. The Petrifying Well is a unique geological phenomenon, where cascading water turns everyday objects into stone. More details, including how to get here, can be found on www.mothershipton.co.uk.
There’s definitely an atmosphere in those woods and I felt lucky to escape the wrath of the Sheriff. Happily there was a very nice establishment where I could get my breath back. I hope you enjoyed walking with me.
Thanks for your company everyone. Blue skies have definitely changed to grey here, but we’ll put the kettle on and keep smiling. Lots of lovely walks to share this week. Please do visit, especially if there’s someone you don’t know. Join me anytime on Jo’s Monday walk.
Let’s start with Cathy, because I missed her out last week. A sad story, but some stunning scenery :
Liz and I share a love of the Algarve, but here’s somewhere else we both know and like :
Eunice enjoys a blue sky walk in her local English countryside :
Why not enjoy a relaxed lakeside stroll with Alice, in South Carolina?
Or join Janet in the peace and beauty of her watery world :
You know I love a sunrise. Rupali watches it rise in a special place :
While Artfulinguist lingers over sunset in the most beautiful of bays :
Lady Lee is off to the Philippines soon and will be so happy to be home with Mum :
Colline joins us with a spectacular firework display from the Eiffel Tower- don’t miss it!
While Geoff and Dog pace out the bridges of London. An excellent way to exercise!
Poor Mel has had a rough time up till now, but there’s finally a reward for all the effort :
More serious hikers, meet Patrick and Paige, and the butterfly socks!
Nadine gamely carries on, and reminds me what a very beautiful part of the world I live in :
Finishing off with more rugged and beautiful terrain with our Cathy :
That’s it, folks! Enjoy, and I’ll see you all next week. Take care till then. Almost forgot to link to Sami at Monday Mural!
One of the great things about our Algarve walking group is the knowledge we can share. Walking one day in Spring I was talking to a lovely lady called Stephanie. She mentioned a favourite walk which included an abandoned, ruined village, and later sent me an email with a map. So it was that, heading west for a wine tasting, we decided to seek out the village. Just one problem- I didn’t have the map with me. But I did have some scribbled instructions, which I thought should do. The start was in pretty as a picture Alte, which we know well.
I always want to linger by Fonte Pequena, the smaller of the two natural springs, but my notes said to cross over the bridge and follow the signs for Julia. Not paying attention, as usual, I turned left instead of right. When the track became perilous and tangled with scratchy shrubs, I realised my mistake. Back down and turn right. Boa Vista beckoned, from the top of a seriously steep hill. Lovely views, and a stunning passion flower.
A sign at the hilltop indicated that it was just 1.6km to Julia. Being June it was a little too hot for hiking and I was grateful for any shade I could find. At the edge of the village I hesitated, unsure of which way, but a villager pointed us in the right direction. So far so good! Down through the small cluster of houses we went, scrambling a bit as we hit some loose rocks. Just as I was beginning to get in a lather, we came to the main road, N124. An accusing look from the other half! ‘Couldn’t we have driven here?’ An all too familiar scenario. ‘But where’s the fun in that?’
The road was empty, but shade was non-existent. A cowardly decision was about to be made. Or should I say, good sense prevailed? The signpost indicated 4km down a dirt track to Esteval dos Mouros, the ruined village. Neither of us fancied getting hotter and stickier, and we still had the wine tasting venue to find. The ruins would have to keep for a cooler day.
Back into Alte, hugging the sidewalk for shade. The spring gurgled down the hill, vivid lemon cactus flowers blinking in the sunlight. A relief to enter the cheerful pastelaria. There’s just time for a morsel of cake.
Back on the road, Quinta do Francês proved tricky to find and we arrived with minutes to spare. A very pleasurable time was spent wine tasting, but I was reluctant to bring an end to such a lovely day. Our route home took us through Silves, where a striking mural caught my eye. A quiet stroll by the river and beneath the jacarandas brought the day to a perfect close.
Linking this to Sami’s Monday Murals, where a bunch of like-minded people love to share. I hope she won’t mind. I had hoped to see Stephanie when the Algarve walkers met at Bolton Abbey in Yorkshire this week, as she lives nearby. If she’s reading this I can assure her that we’ll be back to complete her walk this Autumn. In the meantime I shall be sharing some English walks.
Next weekend is our wedding anniversary and I’m dragging him off up the Northumberland coast. I hope to schedule a walk for next Monday, but my response rate may not be great as I’ll be in transit.
Many thanks to all of you who contribute and comment to keep my Monday walks alive. I appreciate your company so much. How can I possibly quit with you folks to spur me on? Join me here any time. Kettle on now, and settle in for a read :
How fascinating is this, our starter from Rupali?
And these botanical gardens are rather special too. Take a look with Miriam :
If I was looking for a piece of real estate, and I had lots of money in my pocket… I’d join Alice!
The things Janet gets up to in Wyoming!
Lady Lee has been gadding about again! 🙂 🙂
And as for Jackie, what’s on the menu this week? Sounds good!
Melodie takes us hiking and then for a swim, in a quieter part of the English Lake District :
Or you can enjoy a glorious splash of colour with Drake!
Koalas and kangaroos! This is a very cuddlesome post from Carol, though maybe not the echidna!
Eunice is definitely an animal lover too, and she likes a good ramble :
‘Far from the madding crowd’ with Cathy, in the most beautiful scenery!
I’ve watched TV coverage from the Algarve these past couple of days, and am horrified at the fires engulfing swathes of the countryside that I love. What sad times for so many!