Portugal Day 6

Thursday November 21st

Today turned out to be a bit of a damp squib. The original plan was to get up early and go up north to Évora to see Megaliths and pre-historic stuff. Google maps had claimed it was just a two hour drive but the satnav reckoned more than three hours each way. We decided it probably wasn’t worth it as we would not have time to see much and drove east to Tavira instead.

Tavira is very pretty, with cobbled narrow roads, bits of castle walls and fancy old churches. If you have been reading my Portugal blogs everyday, you will have heard all of this before and at this point, both Glyn and I realised we were getting a bit bored of this kind of stuff. So after spending over half an hour looking for the car, we headed to Olhao where there’s meant to be nature reserves and coastline protected from buildings, sand extraction, pollution etc But we couldn’t find the reserve and the journey along this protected coast looked no different to any other.

Had it been a sunny day we would have opted for reading at the beach or pool. But it was a cool and cloudy day and we were getting a bit bored. So we decided to head back to Albufeira to do rope climbing activities but it was booked until tomorrow. So we headed to the crazy golf in Vilamoura and that was shut until next year.

Looking around, most of the touristy stuff was closed for the winter – maybe this is why we’d gotten a cheap deal coming here? So we headed back to Almancil to see the inside of the Igreja Matrz de Sao Lourenco as it wasn’t open last time we were there. It was shut when we arrived and we waited outside for over 15 minutes to get in. When the doors finally opened, I realised I’d forgotten my camera and ran back to the car. When I got inside the church, it was no photography. Sigh.

Now I’m not at all religious, but can appreciate a beautiful building. I’ve seen plenty of fancy churches and cathedrals in many countries and to be honest, apart from one at the baptismal site in Jordan, none have really stood out in my memory. But the inside of this church was truly stunning. If you only visit one church in your life, this is the one. The inside is completely covered with blue and white Azulejos tiles. In previous blogs I have harped on about tiled houses, these are the same tiles but interior. Such a vivid blue, like the willow pattern on Wedgwood, depicting the life of St Laurence. The tiles are on the ceiling too and it’s so bright and colourful. The altar is gilt in contrast, it is a building just nice to sit in for a while. As said, photography wasn’t allowed, so I bought two postcards and have photographed them!

After leaving the church it was half past three and we were stumped as to what to do. So we headed to Loulé, decided not to go in the castle museum as it was just going to be broken pottery. So we went for a meal at 4.15. The service was slow, but the food ok and I got a jug of sangria, and Glyn got his coffee, so we were happy. We just went back to our apartment to chill, read, write blogs and plan for tomorrow!


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About the author

Having only one cat, Claire is currently failing at being a mad cat lady, but she does have a mad cat, Bod. When Claire isn’t chasing cats and other animals with her camera, she works as a Graphic Design Manager.

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