Weekly Photo Challenge

Six word Saturday

Spinning and spinning and spinning around…

There’s always Liquid to be found when you live on the coast, but it’s not every day you find a jet ski showing off inside the lock gates.

This view is a constant, though… so long as the sky is blue!  Wishing you a happy day, whether you spend it watching Harry and Meg, outstanding tennis, the FA Cup final or none of those.  The one thing you must do is share Six Words with Debbie.

In an English Country Garden

At the weekend I was at Thorp Perrow Arboretum, near Bedale in Yorkshire.  No need for words really.  Just wander with me, in the warm sunshine.

Many of the daffodils are past their best, but an army of compatriots leap to attention behind them.  I’ve seldom seen such variety in one place.  Arum lilies quietly stand guard over the pond.  The soft colours of Spring are all around me, pierced by the vibrance of Japanese acers.

At this time of year, and with such weather, my Place in the World would have to be in an English country garden.  Ask me in Winter though and I suspect you’ll get a different answer.  Revelling in my surrounds, my intention had been simply to capture an armload of beauty for Cathy’s photographic challenge over at Wander.essence.  But I’m sure she won’t mind to share.

 

Lines that make me happy

I love the surprises that a garden springs.  How could I forget these fritillaries, and yet every year they surprise me anew.  I thought the beetle was very cute, but I’m told to keep him away from my lilies.

Lines are everywhere, aren’t they?  Cheri’s Daily Post Photo is beautiful this week.

Six word Saturday

A place to go back to?

I think so.  Wouldn’t you?  Do you have a Favourite Place asks Cheri in this week’s Daily Post Challenge.  This is mine.  The Eastern Algarve.

Have yourself a beautiful weekend and visit Debbie with Six Words.

I’d rather be in… Caldas de Monchique

You might remember the camelias from my Monday walk post? I thought I should finish that lovely day off, whilst it’s still in my head.  And those darned March Squares– there’s just no getting away from them, is there?

If you drive up the N266 towards Monchique, from the coast, you will pass the sign for the thermal spa, Caldas de Monchique.  It’s easier to turn off on the way up, but be warned- you mighty dally there longer than you had planned.  You also need to like gradients, but if you just want a flavour of the place you don’t have to climb much.  Set at the bottom of a valley, it’s in a world all of its own.

Better in Spring, the season of wistfulness here on the serra, because in Summer the spa becomes a popular place.  The path drops down to the main buildings, or you can follow a series of woodland paths, in and around the boulders.  The fonte chuckles to itself and, even on a not-so-sunny day, families will be having picnics at the shady benches provided.

Caldas de Monchique was a spa even in Roman times, and was once popular with Portuguese royalty.  The springs (caldas means ‘hot’) are at a temperature of 32C, and are used as a curative for rheumatism and respiratory problems.  The water from some of the springs is bottled.

The combination of Moorish styled main buildings and more rustic dwellings, in such a setting, seems to lend an element of fairytale.  It’s one that appeals to me very much.  I hope you like it too.

The storks?  If you remember, they line the roadside on the way to Monchique.  These are just two of many.  Where would I rather be? asks Krista.  Well, it’s not a hard question, is it?

Spot the theme?

I’m interpreting the Weekly Photo Challenge to suit myself this week.  On Monday’s chilly walk I suggested that I still have a few warm Algarve images to share, and here they are in  Variations on a Theme

Those of you who know me will have spotted that the theme is Tavira.  I’m heading there this weekend and this will be my last post for a while.

I couldn’t leave without one more tribute to Paula.  She works hard and still manages to bring us Thursday’s Special each week.  Two views on the same subject.  What do you think?  Take care, till next time.

Mosteiro dos Jerónimos – Lisbon

If you came on my Monday walk to Belém, in Lisbon, you will have guessed that this is the Monastery of Jerónimos.  Not hard to see why it is a UNESCO World Heritage site, but I hope you will join with me in celebrating its beauty.

My expectations were high, for this was the third time I’d come to Lisbon, hoping to visit the monastery.  They say God works in mysterious ways, and it’s not for us to understand.  I was happy simply to stand in the midst of all this glory.

A church dedicated to Santa Maria de Belém was the forerunner to the monastery.  This stretch of the River Tagus provided a safe harbour and anchorage for shipping back in the 15th century, and the monks of the Order of Christ gave assistance and spiritual guidance to seafarers.  The church was already in a state of disrepair when Vasco da Gama and his men spent the night before their voyage of discovery in 1497, praying.

King Manuel 1 sought a dispensation from the Vatican to construct a monastery on the site, and building began in 1501.  Completion was to take 100 years.  The elaborate style of architecture, involving knots, anchors and all things maritime, came to be known as Manueline, the work originally being funded by the spice trade.  Manuel chose the Order of St. Jerome, known as Hieronymites, to occupy the monastery, tasking them with praying for his eternal soul.  It was to be a final resting place for him and his successors.  The religious order was not dissolved until 1833.

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The first room that you enter is the monk’s dining hall.  Fortunately I can simply share a few azulejos, as Becky presents you with all the details in 500 years old this year.  You will be wowed!  I walk through the cloisters agape.  There is nowhere I can look that doesn’t delight me.  When I’ve almost looked my fill, I mount the stairs to look down on the courtyard.

An incredible moment arises at the top of the stairs.  You step into a chamber arching high above you.  As you perceive the body of Christ on the cross and the stained glass Madonna, you notice people gathered at a stone balustrade.  Stepping forward your eyes light up!  You are looking down into the body of the church.

Back into daylight,  the gargoyles and faces, intricate knots and flowers combine to seduce.

Until finally my mission is accomplished and, with sensory overload, it’s time to leave.  The monastery was secularised and handed over to a charitable institution in 1833.  The many twists and turns since then can be read on the monastery website.

It’s that time of year and the Weekly Photo Challenge suggests that you might want to share your 2017 Favorites.  For me the last post that I wrote is invariably my favourite, but I do have one particular image that sings out to me from this post.  I wonder if you can guess which it is?  It simply remains to wish you all a blessed Christmas, and good health and happiness in the New Year.