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. I can’t stay on a path too long in a new place, and Tavira’s old town has many interesting and distracting little corners.
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.
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 😉
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.
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.
I see no church! but at the first corner the path opened up.
This 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.
So with the tower in mind, the cobbled hill led me on 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!
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?