June Square Roofs

I’m not sure what time it is up on the roof!

Perhaps it will be two minutes to something forever.

Becky’s found a mural of rooftops in Lisbon, is it tiles or a painting of tiles?


The Doors of Tavira

Last year, after a visit to Tavira in the Algarve, I posted about the interesting door knockers there. I always intended to post some photos of the equally interesting doors, but forgot all about it.

Any favourites? Mine is the one that say ‘6door’ when you hover over it.

Then I say Becky’s Thursday Doors post, which has beautiful doors from various places in Portugal, and a link to an earlier post with an almost identical photo to this one.
Like me she found it irresistible!
Do you have a passion for doors? I’ll always remember a silver one I saw in Rajasthan.

It’s Daily Post Time

This week, think about time and portray it photographically.
Perhaps you have a fascination with clocks. Or maybe contemplating time takes you somewhere else completely. I hope you enjoy this week’s challenge.

Time is Lignum Draco’s photo challenge this week.
I’ve always been fascinated by time zones, daylight hours and changing our clocks forwards and backwards in spring and autumn. I can’t wait for clocks to spring forward on March 27th so that evenings are longer.
Last September I took a ferry trip, I got on this one, at 11.32


enjoyed the river for ten minutes and then got off


here! But it wasn’t 11.42, instead it was 12.42 because Spain is an hour ahead of Portugal.

Did I lose an hour? If so I found it again later in the afternoon,

somewhere on the return ferry.

A Little more of Tavira

The day after we arrived in Tavira, my friend and I went to the market, catching the local bus. We had learnt that both the Linha Azul and Linha Vermelha buses stopped close to our apartment, at the Estacao. For a couple of euros we bought a ticket that allowed us to get on and off all day.

The Municipal Market like any other, is best visited early in the morning, but I’d had my walk around town, so the bus dropped us nearby at around noon. I’d been careful to fix landmarks in my head from the bus, but we knew they were frequent and planned to jump on another in about an hour, and see where it led us.

Although it was winding down for the day, there was still lots to see there. The building itself was modern and very well designed.

The array of fresh fruit and veggies was wonderful, but we were only having breakfast in our apartment so we didn’t buy.


Of course the local honey was a necessity for breakfast!
The Algarve is renowned for its fishing, so there was an abundance of the freshest and choicest on sale.

There were fish I’ve never seen before, some of which I wouldn’t want to try, the shiny eel-like ones for instance!
I like these though.
There were several stalls selling spices and herbs, some with leaflets explaining the medicinal properties, sadly no English versions.
We left the market, hungry and walked back to where we got off the bus, to travel on round the circuit, hoping for fish for lunch. The sun was full on and we soaked it up, summer at home hadn’t been very hot. We waited, nothing happened. There was hardly a soul around and not much traffic. We checked the sign and our bus map, yes both red and blue routes stopped here, including on Saturdays. After perhaps half an hour we started walking, back towards the market and in the direction of the river, it runs through the town so we couldn’t go far wrong. Getting ever so slightly lost uh, misplaced is a great way of discovering a town so we weren’t concerned. Before long we found ourselves in a square, a bit sleepy but with an Italian restaurant – tut! that served our purpose very tastily.

Then we were off exploring again, in and out of the narrow alleys until we reached the Praca.

Tavira is a city of white towers and blue sky.
A nice view across the river, to an Irish pub, Tavira is definitely cosmopolitan.
This shiny Beetle was lurking in a back street, waiting for someone.

Here she is! It makes me very happy if I see a bride when I’m in a different country, and just look at the pure joy on her face, I love her bouquet of sea shells too.
We couldn’t hang around any longer as we had to rush up the hill to the Egreja in time for the Fado performance, but the atmosphere in Tavira was great. I’ll be back with some more about the city soon.

The Igreja da Misericordia

A week ago I left you standing outside the church remember? Let’s have a peep inside today, in we go and turn around.
See the walls? they aren’t painted, they’re azulejos, traditional blue and white Portuguese tiles, and they were created in the 18th century. The Igreja da Misericordia is a 16th century Renaissance building, with an 18th century Baroque interior. On the walls the azulejos depict the Corporal and Spiritual Works of Mercy. There are seven on each side.

The left side

and the right. Here they are in situ.

You can probably tell that I was totally bowled over by the Igreja. I’ll show you some of the details that I loved.

When you visit the Igreja you are greeted warmly by a local lady. She gives a brief explanation of the inside. There is no entrance fee, but donations are welcome. Earlier that day, she said that very afternoon would be the best possible time to come back. So I’ll be back one last time to show you why.

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?

Strolling around Tavira, Jo’s patch!

Hello, how are you? I’ve missed you all and I’ll be round to see what you’ve been doing while I’ve been away. Meanwhile, some of you know I’ve been to Tavira, Jo’s town in Portugal, sadly for me, Jo was in Poland so I didn’t get to meet her.

The day that my friend Lindy and I arrived, we sorted out what we needed for the nice Air b’n’b we stayed in, had a rest after a 5am start and then went to find dinner.

The river Gilao runs through the town, and the river front is a very pretty area, with a garden that is popular with locals and visitors of all ages. bandstandThe garden also has the best gelato stand out side of Italy, my favourite was very dark chocolate with forest fruits, unforgettable! There are bars, restaurants and cafes everywhere you  look, and being late in the season they are all keen to fill your tummy. We chose a fairly new one, Gilao Restaurante, for our first night. My choice of a simple salad was lovely, Lindys less so and the service was not good. The manager tried his best to make it up to us with a delicious and potent local liqueur, and a promise to do better if we returned.

Tavira parkWe walked through the garden where the cobbles glisten in the light, these decorative paths are everywhere in Tavira and some of the other places we visited in the Algarve.

Rio GilhaoThe river is lit at night and is really atmospheric, especially the Ponte Romano. It’s believed that the bridge originates from Roman times, but it was rebuilt in the 17th century after an earthquake.

The Praca da Republica is a stunning central meeting place on the south bank of the river, it has an curved and stepped area perfect for watching performances.


Again, beautifully lit at night and buzzing with activity even in late September, the Praca has many places to eat, drink and people watch.

Jo, I don’t want to tread on your toe’s – I don’t think its possible anyway because you are the expert, but I’ll probably do a couple of posts  about it. I can’t thank you enough for introducing your second home to me!