Cobbles and Blue Sky, a Tavira Stroll

The morning after I arrived in Tavira I was awake and up way before I heard my friend stirring. I was raring to go, so I went out to try to find my way around the neighbourhood and check out the distance to the bus station, as we planned to use public transport in the Algarve.

I walked over the level crossing and noticed a sign to the Estacao Rodoviaria, the bus station, but decided instead to take the cobbled one way street, Rua Dr Miguel Bombarda, down in the direction of the town. Cobbley streetI can’t stay on a path too long in a new place, and Tavira’s old town has many interesting and distracting little corners.

Blue everywhere
I couldn’t resist a closer look at this blue rooftop. There are many little single storey homes, and in the quiet of the morning, several elderly ladies greeted me as they popped from house to house for their early morning chats.
Street sign
When I saw this street sign I decided to photograph it to help retrace my steps if I got hopelessly lost. That would be rare, but I had said I’d just be just half an hour. Next I went kind of diagonally through some streets that really shouldn’t have cars, but did. I managed to get to a main road which led to the bus station. The way was obvious so I didn’t follow it, but I did get a sneeky peep at the Bombeiros station – that’s where the firemen hang out girls 😉
Down Portas do Postigo
There are tiled buildings everywhere and this one seemed to have some interesting structures behind it, I found out what they were eventually. Back into the maze and near the bottom end of Do Postigo, I recognise a building from photos I’d seen on the internet.

The Pousada Convento da Graca is now a smart hotel, but originally a convent built in the 16th century. It is supposedly beautifully restored, and has a Renaissance cloister and a Baroque staircase. It would be lovely for a short break, but personally too expensive for any longer. I wish I had remembered to go back for dinner or even just morning coffee, next time maybe.
Golden pousada
Here’s a closer shot, I’d like the room with the tiny balcony, it would have a nice view of the public gardens opposite. I chatted to an English lady in the gardens. She was walking one of her three Dalmatians and she told me that the church up the hill was Santa Maria do Castelo, one of my must sees, but that it was shut most of the time. She did direct me to the one I really wanted to see, saying that it was always open. Just behind this one she said. I checked the door of Santa Maria and then looked just behind.

From church to church

I see no church! but at the first corner the path opened up.

Silent squareThis silent square with views of the rooftops was scorching even at 9am. The tower had to be where I was heading, although there are around 36 churches in the city, so who knows? I had no doubt about the building facing me, it was the Palacio da Galeria, from the 16th century this handsome building now houses a museum of local history, as well as housing temporary exhibitions. I was an hour too early, so I’m adding it to my list of reasons to return to Tavira.

Palacio da Galeria
backto the Palacio

So with the tower in mind, the cobbled hill led me on down.

and down
deeper down
By now I’m wondering how on earth women wear heels in Tavira, I took four pairs of flat shoes on holiday with me, but already I couldn’t see any use for two of them. At the best my knees would be shot and there was potential for bone breakage!

Igreja da Misericordia
One more corner and this is it, the Igreja da Misericordia. The exterior doesn’t look especially promising does it, but you’ll see. I took a peep in and got some useful information chatting to a lady at the desk, but then I headed back to the apartment – I’d said I’d be half an hour, my time was up and there was lots more to explore. I went back  to the Misericordia later in the day, so I’ll show you the inside in another post.

This post is for Jo’s Monday Walk, I hope you enjoyed it and didn’t get your heels caught in the cobbles. Maybe you have a walk to share this week?


37 thoughts on “Cobbles and Blue Sky, a Tavira Stroll

  1. Fabulous, Gilly! 🙂 I’d just took some jam tarts and an apple pie out of the oven (not like me to be culinary- don’t ask!) and feeling virtuous, put the laptop back on for a cup of coffee, and there you were! It feels so comfortable and lovely wandering those streets with you. I did wonder what you’d make of it all, but it does have charm, doesn’t it? And I’m glad the locals were friendly. 🙂 Big Sunday hugs to you, honeybun, and many thanks for making me feel ‘at home’.

      1. Just given Dad the apple pie to take home and the jam tarts get a bit stuck coming out of the baking tray. 🙂 Taste good though. I did say I’m not a cook!

    1. If you made some pastel de nata I’d be seriously impressed x:-)x
      I’m glad you liked our walk, it’s a totally charming place for wandering and doesn’t the camera love it? I’m still glowing from the trip and wondering what it’s like in other months., it’s definitely my kind of town and you’re very lucky to be able to go so often 🙂

  2. What a picturesque walk, Gilly. I love the way you described those women popping from house to house for their morning chats. Cobbles aren’t my favourite walking surface, but they do look so attractive. Love the bicycle pic. 🙂

      1. Oh thank you so so much. I do set the Algarve posts to no comments after 30 days but thought they could still be liked. I’ll investigate and perhaps I should take that 30 say rule off too!

      2. Just tried again with the chameleon post, because I passed that forest on a bus to Seville, but still couldn’t like, the screen froze for some reason. It’s probably not your site but I can post on other peoples!

  3. Very nice. I like rambling with you, you look at the things I like to look at. Tavira looks bigger than I had imagined. Was it easy to get around using public transport? And that hotel does look rather attractive…

    1. Jude for observers like you and I there is a lot to see. I skimmed the surface and really need to go back. Public transport was easy and cheap, when I go again – possible in two years – ideally I’d hire a car so that I could get off the beaten track, even if it was just for a couple of days. But I didn’t try the train despite the station being just minutes from our apartment. 🙂

  4. I loved this rambling walk with you. Magnificent light. Lovely buildings. Following your nose and seeing what turned up (Not the bus station? – good!) I felt quite deprived when I didn’t get to go into the church at the end – the perfect cliffhanger. I love those first early morning walks in new places, and you describe yours so well. Cobblestones are definitely killers: I blame them for all the people with leg problems I see in Warsaw.

    1. The little streets were alluring and so quiet for a Saturday monring! When I found the church I didn’t linger because I wanted my friend to share the impact – I’m building it up now and I don’t want you to be disappointed, I’m not sure how to post about it.

  5. Loved this wander with you Gilly. The locals sound so friendly. How did you get on with the language? I’m looking forward to seeing the inside of that church.

    1. Most people speak enough English and if you can manage a please, thank you, hello, goodbye and beer you can’t go far wrong!I can work out written Portuguese to read a menu too 🙂

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