Black and White 5 day Challenge- Day 2

They tell me these challenges are addictive.  Are you hooked yet?  Yesterday I published Day 1 of the Black and White 5 day Challenge and asked if anyone knew where it was.  Turns out not even my husband recognised it, and he was there at the time!  So, here’s another clue for you today.

Hacienda

This one has a distinctive feel to it, doesn’t it, and yet there are a few places it could be.  It won’t help you to know that I like this better in black and white than my original, but there’ll be a better clue coming up tomorrow.

I have to thank Pommepal and Wilbur’s Travels for nominating me for this challenge.  Both of them did a great job, with vastly differing styles.

There are only two rules for this challenge:

1. On 5 consecutive days, create a post using either a past or recent photo in B&W.
2. Each day invite another blog friend to join in the fun.

Today I’m inviting Debbie at Travel with Intent.  She’s a seriously busy lady so she might not have the time but she’s an ace at black and white.  I think she may know where my photo was taken too.  No obligation to join in, of course.

Black and White 5 day Challenge- Day 1

I’m very much a person who thrives on colour, be it vibrant or more subtle nuances, so I kept my head down when I saw the Black and White 5 day Challenge making the rounds.  But when a lovely lady like Pommepal invites you, how can you say no?  Just as I was considering it, Wilbur’s Travels threw down the gauntlet too.  What’s a lady to do but delve into the archives for something you might like?  This is what I came up with.

Sculpture

I really like it, but more for his wonderful expression than the colouration.  Any ideas where it might be?  I’m sure some of you will know.  I’ll give you another clue tomorrow when I post my next black and white photo.

There are only two rules for this challenge:

1. On 5 consecutive days, create a post using either a past or recent photo in B&W.
2. Each day invite another blog friend to join in the fun.

Today I’m inviting Viveka.  She’s another colourful lady, like myself, and not much given to black and white, but I know if she takes the challenge on that she’ll do a cracking job.  No obligation to take part, of course.  It’s meant to be fun.  Apologies to lovely Gilly, whose kind offer I spurned (what a cad!) and many thanks to Pauline and Wilbur.

 

Jo’s Monday walk : Falesia beach

Falesia Beach has its share of plant life

Reach for the skies!

Back to the beach this week!  Well, we are in the Algarve, aren’t we?  It would be rude not to.

Falesia Beach is quite central to the Algarve and runs from Vilamoura, with its huge array of yachts, to Olhos d’Agua, a smaller resort on the run up to Albufeira.  It won’t really require me to say much, as the photos pretty much speak for themselves.  I should warn you though that if you intend to do much of the clifftop you will require the agility of a mountain goat.  But we can worry about that part later, or simply stay on the beach.

There is ample parking at the western end of Vilamoura, beyond the enormous marina.  At the eastern end of the resort, hotels back on to the shoreline, but to the west the red cliffs begin a steady ascent.  A bridge carries you from the car park across a canal and onto the boardwalk. From here you can see for miles.

A path runs along the back of the beach

A path runs along the back of the beach

Aloe Vera grow freely too

Aloe Vera grow freely

I am mesmerised by the shapes and colours

I am mesmerised by the shapes and colours

At intervals there are steps up to the cliffs

At intervals there are steps up to the cliffs

Those leggy trees that I love poke through the grasses

Those leggy trees that I love poke through the grasses

And the cliffs grow ever steeper

And the cliffs grow ever steeper

Can you see anyone on the tops?

Can you see anyone on the tops?

From time to time a couple of people will appear up there, peer down and then disappear from sight.  I’m quite keen to follow some of the cliff top trail, but I know that it is a little rugged in places. (I once attempted part of it in flipflops- not a good idea!)

There are lots of ups and downs

There are lots of ups and downs!

You might have been wondering about the beach?  I’m sorry!  I do tend to get engrossed in the patterns on the cliff face.

Here it is!

Here it is!

Often the blue skies are deceptive but this particular Winter’s day in the Algarve was balmy. Before climbing up the cliff, I sat for a while, just absorbing the sun’s rays.

A sheltered spot to relax

A sheltered spot to relax

Directly from the beach a flight of not very steep steps led up to a hotel complex, nestled among pines.  From here it was easy to head back towards Vilamoura, along the cliff top.

You may remember my saying that the cliffs were fit only for goats.  There are some stretches that are fairly level and you can choose to descend to the beach if the going gets too rough. A couple of flights of steps lead down.

Just one last look!

Just one last look!

And then it’s safely back to earth.  I hope you agree it was worth a little bit of climbing for those views.  And when you get back to Vilamoura there are plenty of places to eat and relax.

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I’d love it if you could join me with a walk of your own.  It can be long, short, or in between- I really don’t mind.  For details just click on my logo, or go to my Jo’s Monday walk page. It’s time to say a big thank you to my contributors again this week.  Let’s put the kettle on, sit back and enjoy!

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The last of Jude’s Australian walks.  Oh NO!

Oasis in the Suburbs

A trip to the loo, with Esther?  And a poem to make you smile :

A walk in the dark

A tour of Old Montreal, for history and culture lovers.  Thanks, Ana!

Walking tour of Old Montreal

Or an eating frenzy in Vegas with drums and Boba tea?

Chinese New Year at China Town in Las Vegas

These salt fields look very like those in the Algarve, but Kampot is totally different :

Kampot : Colonial town and salt fields

Back to Suffolk with Geoff now.  Hope you don’t mind a drop of rain?

Wet, wet, wet- You’ll never walk alone part 2

A little damp on the streets of Strasbourg too, but we can take the trolley!

Walk right In

And finally, Pauline (and Jack) take us to a pretty rural village :

March 1st and a walk through Tyalgum

You can’t beat that for variety, can you?  So glad you could join me.  I hope you have a happy week and some great walks.  You might need to wrap up warm!

Six word Saturday

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Bringing Spring home from the Algarve

Irresistible blossom

Irresistible blossom

Dew-kissed Iris

Dew-kissed Iris

A downy head

A downy head

Deeper blossom

Deeper blossom

A gentle wash of colour

A gentle wash of colour

Over the garden wall

Over the garden wall

A single bougainvillea

A single bougainvillea

Spring’s gentle tones were everywhere in the Algarve.  Has Spring arrived where you are yet?  In Australia they will just be exhaling after the scorch of Summer.  My little corner of north eastern UK is shivery still.  Much to look forward to.

Wishing you all a happy weekend!  Have you got six words to share?  Cate at Show My Face will gladly host them.

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Guest Challenge: Restoration

restlessjo:

Today is my Dad’s 87th birthday and he’s off to Windsor on the coach. You might wonder where I get my restless tendencies, but I have a pretty good idea. He’s slowing up a little these days! I’d like to wish him a Happy Birthday and a happy year ahead. I’d also like to thank Paula for her hard work on behalf of this ‘Lady of the Manor’.

Originally posted on Lost in Translation:

Jo_2

Restless Jo:

Last August I made an unplanned visit to Seaton Delaval Hall in Northumberland.  I was in the area, visiting St. Mary’s Lighthouse at Whitley Bay.  I knew of the gardens at the Hall, but nothing of the house, so when I saw on the signpost that it was barely 2 miles away, curiosity won.  The huge shell of a house that I found astounded me.

It was, by and large, shrouded in scaffolding, and entry looked improbable, if not a little uninviting.  Still, the National Trust signboard proclaimed that it was open.  Entry was via the gardens at the rear of the house and there was an hour till closing time.  Clouds were gathering overhead, so into the garden I went.

There is topiary, parterres, a rose garden, fountains, pools and statues within the 3 acres of this garden.  Anyone who loves gardens will find something here…

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“Fado com História”

The venue

The venue

As I was meandering around the cobbled streets of Tavira, I spotted, several times, a leaflet in a shop window.  Always interested in a new venture, I went to find out more.  ” Fado com História” is situated in the heart of the old quarter, just beside the Misericordia Church and below the castle walls.  What I found delighted me.  If you’ve never experienced Fado, or think that it might not be for you, I can recommend you to this introduction.

Fado originated in Lisbon, and the show begins with a video featuring some of Portugal’s most famous Fado singers, so that you get a feel for the sound.  Most prominent among these was Amalia Rodrigues(1920-1999).  She said that “Fado has to be felt.  Fado isn’t sung, but just happens.  You feel it, you don’t understand it, nor can it be explained.”  Such passion did she arouse that, when she died, Portugal held 3 days of national mourning.

A wonderful live performance

A wonderful live performance

Nowadays Fado can be heard throughout Portugal, usually in an atmospheric bar or restaurant. “Fado com História” is a small venue, featuring a trio of live artists.  They include Virgilio Lanca, who plays guitar and makes most of the explanations in a soft voice.  He describes fado as “a song that gives you goosebumps”.  Miguel Drago plays Portuguese guitar, which has 12 metallic strings in groups of 2.  You could hear a pin drop as the two begin a guitarrada, demonstrating the ebb and flow of their art.

They are joined by a fadista, Teresa Viola, a lovely young woman with a beautiful voice.  She closes her eyes, takes a deep breath, and leans into the performance.  Accompanied by the guitarists she sings 4 or 5 fados, explaining the stories behind them.  The backdrop is a wall-sized photograph of a 1942 performance at Cafe Luso, in Lisbon, featuring the great Amalia.

The passion of the performers for their project is clearly evident, and at the end of the show they are happy to talk about it.  They are working in conjunction with the Fado Museum in Lisbon but have found a different way to present fado, and the live performances are key.

The museum is open from 10am to 5pm every day except Sundays, and a new show begins each hour.  Details are at http://www.fadocomhistoria.wix.com/fado .  I can only suggest that if you have the opportunity at any time you should go along.  You will be warmly welcomed.  This video is in Portuguese but is quite easy to follow.

Jo’s Monday walk : as promised, Portimão

The fishing community of Portimao revere the Virgin

The fishing community of Portimao are mostly religious

Portimão is that intriguing mix of shabby and chique that, for me, typifies the Algarve.  Always assuming you can find it, that is!  Portimão is a big city by Algarve standards, but still I struggled to locate it. Fortunately for me, my driver has a much better sense of direction.

Heading for the city centre, we managed to end up at the beach, at neighbouring Praia da Rocha. That was fine and produced a highly enjoyable Monday walk last week.  In theory, we then just needed to follow the mouth of the River Arade inland till we came to the waterfront at Portimão. ‘Oops- I think it’s back that way’ sound familiar to you?  I think my advice to strangers would be to catch the bus!  The bus station is, conveniently, right alongside the waterfront.  But if you do manage to find it by car, there’s a generous parking area.

Deep in thought!

Deep in thought!

So what will you find, and does it repay the effort?  Well, boats, of course, and fish (Portimão boasts an impressive selection of fish restaurants).  Come stroll with me along the Manuel Bivar gardens at the waterfront.  Then we can delve a little into the history of this town.

Did somebody mention boats?

Did somebody mention boats?

Aside from the fishing industry the city hosts numerous sailing events, and the Portuguese Gran Prix of the Sea, for those who like noisy powerboats.  In Summer you can catch a boat all the way up the river to beautiful Silves.  At this time of year, the waterfront is peaceful, peopled simply with a series of sculptures.

But I do like this sad face

I rather like this mournful face

The promenade continues to Largo de Barca, the home of many of the simple fish restaurants. Sizzling sardines are the staple diet in these parts.  A bridge spans the enormous width of the river at this point.  On the far shore, pretty Ferragudo.  For many years access was by ferry only.

With its excellent situation, in the natural shelter of the River Arade, Portimão began to develop into an important trading centre from the time of the Phoenicians. In 1435 it was awarded town status and walls were constructed to protect growing prosperity, and prevent pirate raids.  Two forts were built at the river mouth- Santa Catarina, featured in last week’s Praia da Rocha walk and, across the river in Ferragudo, the picturesque Castelo de São João. The earthquake of 1755 did major damage to the town walls.  Santa Catarina fort was damaged too, but was later reconstructed.

Turn in on Rua Professore Jose Buisel, from Largo de Barco, and you are in a neighbourhood of slightly down-at-heel fishermen’s homes.  Many still have original azulejo tiles, with religious images above the door.  The road leads toward the pedestrianised shopping area.  The spire of the mother church, Igreja Matriz, provides a good landmark in its elevated position above Praca da Republica.  A huge Jesuit college dominates the Praca.  You are very welcome to look inside.

From the Praca, turn right down Rua Diogo Tome and you are heading back towards the river. The shops in this area are smart, so it comes as a bit of a surprise to come upon some wall art.

Fishermen, of course, plying their trade

Fishermen, of course, plying their trade

Plying their trade

And a gull or two

I was heading towards Largo 1st de Dezembro because I’d read about some azulejo tiled benches there.  If you saw my Six word Saturday this week you’ll know that I’ve been collecting bench photos lately.  The benches commemorate famous dates in Portuguese history.

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The benches are a little shabby these days, and slightly incongruous in a busy city square, but you can still admire the artistry.  I imagine on a fine day in Summer that the benches would all be taken with office workers on their lunch break. I stole a longing look at the most elegant of cake shops, but it was time to return to the waterfront, just ahead of me. I reflected as I did how foolish that I had been unable to find this vast river in a city which orients itself totally to the sea.

Returning to the river

Main square at the riverfront

Had it been worth it?  I think so.  I thoroughly enjoyed getting to know Portimão a little better.  I hope you did too.  If you prefer to see it bustling with people, a huge market wraps around Largo de Barco at the beginning of each month.

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Lots of walks to share this week!  You’ll need plenty of stamina.  And a cuppa or two!  If you’re new to my walks just click on the logo to find out how to join in.  To everybody else, thank you for your fantastic contributions and for making Jo’s Monday walk a success.

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As always, Drake is here, waiting, to make me smile.  Isn’t he the nicest guy?

Step on Stones

Paula always has something beautiful to share, and this week is no exception  :

Summer Bloom 

Tobias is in the woods this week.  My favourite is number two.  How about you?

A Walk in the Forest 

If anyone you know can have fun with symmetry, it has to be Yvette!

Symmetry

Anabel takes us walking by Loch Lomond.  The islands are beautiful!

Balmaha and Conic Hill

Jude’s taking us to sunny Australia.  Form an orderly line, please!

The Manly Eastern Hill Heritage Trail

Please welcome newcomer (to my blog) Geoff!  As the song goes…

You’ll never walk alone!

Or you could venture into the Polish capital, with Meg.  Please do!  She’d love your company  :

Walking through the heart of Warsaw 

And there’s the cutest squirrel in this one!

A walk in Lazienki

Esther charmingly rhymes as she walks  :

Walk on the Beach

Elizabeth revives some beautiful memories  :

Walking in the Mountains above Interlaken

And Minou takes us canal rambling in Holland (or you could grab a bike!)

Following the footsteps of pilgrims in Leiden

And then climbing the most beautiful windmill.  You can just watch if you’re tired.

Climbing Leiden’s Windmill

Pauline is posting a storm warning.  By the time you read this it will have passed over, with not too much damage, I very much hope.

Storm Warning 

If temple ruins in Laos appeal, this is the post for you!

Vat Phou, the Angkor-style temple in Laos 

So many fantastic places to visit in this world, aren’t there?  Thanks again everybody.  Have a happy week, and keep walking!

 

Six word Saturday

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Home again, with just my memories!

Flying into Faro

Flying into Faro

Can it be 3 weeks since I took this shot?  I love flying in, across the offshore islands, and looking out for landmarks. Planning what we’re going to do with all that time!  The friends we’ll meet, the walks we’ll take, nice meals and restaurants to enjoy…  Then, all too quickly, it’s gone, and I’m home again.  But at least I have the blog to share a few of my memories.

First day there, I always stroll around Tavira, looking for changes and familiarising myself with ‘old friends’.  This year I found myself fixated on benches!  They were everywhere I looked.  Jude has a lot to answer for!

The perfect place to look at my favourite bridge

The perfect place to look at my favourite bridge

Did I hear you cry ‘enough benches!’  You have to be joking.  Loads still to come.  But for the sake of variety, I did spot a few other things, en route.

I always like to check out any new shops, too.  Casa da Bli on Rua da Liberdade was full of goodies- toiletries, wine and lots of pretty things.

I always check out new shops too

Aren’t these lovely?

And just across the street, this handsome fellow

And just across the street, this handsome fellow

We listened to some excellent Fado too, at newly opened Fado com Historia.  A post will follow.

A wonderful performance, given daily

A wonderful performance, at Fado com Historia

Naturally, we got out and about walking in the beautiful countryside, and I hope to entertain you with some of that in my Monday walks.  But I can’t resist a snippet or two, while I’m daydreaming.

And how about this for a view?

And how about this for a view?

And a place to just sit and stare!

And a place to just sit and stare!

Of course, what Jude really wanted to see this month was black and white benches, so I have no choice but to conform.  But not before I share a sunset seat.

But not before I share a sunset seat, for lovers

For lovers

Will this do, Jude?

Will this do, Jude?

For those of you not familiar with the Bench Challenge, please follow my link and all will be explained.  Please conform a little more than me though.  I don’t want to make Jude cross.

Meantime, have a lovely weekend.  It’s a glorious Spring day here in the north east of England so it’s not so bad to be home.  Please do find time to visit Cate at Show My Face and share your six words, won’t you?

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All set to Shimmy!

Seriously?

Seriously?

It’s not every year that Valentine’s Day coincides with Carnaval, but there was definitely something in the air at Loule this year.  As the band ratcheted up the volume, toes tapped, hips swayed and a full-blooded shimmy was just a heartbeat away.

It was my second visit to the Algarve’s biggest Carnaval event, so I had a good idea what to expect.  The Portuguese have a healthy disrespect for politicians and celebrities, and this year’s theme of Sport poked gentle fun at heroes and villains alike. The floats are beautifully constructed labours of love, and there’s an infectious atmosphere of gaiety and excitement. The children have their own mini Carnaval in the schools, and often wear their costumes to the grand parade.  Here are just a few of the scenes that made me smile.

Let the show begin!

Let the show begin!

Recognise anyone?

Recognise anyone?

Most sports were represented

Most sports were represented

It's all downhill for some!

It’s all downhill for some!

For others it's one big smile

For others it’s one big smile

And a hat full of feathers

And a head full of feathers!

Costume malfunction?

Costume malfunction?

There’s a delightful whimsicality to it all, but what really stands out for me is the pure artistry of the paper flowers.  Just look at these!

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Nobody is left out, from the largest to the smallest.  The oversized sunshine men reach down to the crowd, then touch foreheads together in a slow smooch.  A stern looking lady, with a splendid costume, ‘high fives’ youngsters at the roadside, between shimmies.  The littlest ones can bounce along on the back of a caterpillar or a panda. Everyone is intended to have the time of their lives, and if they don’t, they’re really not trying!

"Dance with me"

“Dance with me”

"High five!"

“High five!”

The skirt!

The skirt!

Nobody is left out!

“Bounce with me!”

Where's Mum gone?

“Where’s Mum gone?”

And the spectators are part of the show

And the spectators are part of the show

Isn’t he adorable?  The littlest Yoda!  Me and Michael were at one point on opposite sides of the parade.  A brief cloud burst had crowds and performers alike scattering for cover, and when they resumed we were grinning across at each other. He took this wonderful shot.  Mine was ‘side on’ to the little fellow and not nearly so good.

I have so many photos and I feel quite guilty leaving anyone out.  But I shall end with the ‘dancing girls’.  If anyone can shimmy, it’s them!

It goes like this!

It goes like this!

What more can I say?  If you’re ever in the Algarve at Carnaval time, you’re in for a treat.  I’m off to practise my shimmy, in celebration of my 500th post.

Jo’s Monday walk : Praia da Rocha

Winter in the Algarve- the deserted beach at Praia da Rocha

Winter in the Algarve- the deserted beach at Praia da Rocha

Despite the high rise, I’m sure you can see the attraction?  Praia da Rocha was the Algarve’s earliest resort, and it still makes a pleasant place for a winter stroll.  I don’t have much time to create a walk post, having just arrived home, so I’ll be starting you off very gently.

Praia da Rocha and the city of Portimão meld into one where the River Arade empties into the Atlantic Ocean, on Portugal’s southern coast.  Next week we can wander the river bank at leisure, but let’s start simply, with the beach, shall we?

Smart hotels line the promenade

Smart hotels line the promenade

In contrast, the remains of the 17th century Fortress of Santa Catarina de Ribamar come as something of a surprise. Testimony to the days when pirate corsairs raided these shores.

Pirates beware!

Pirates beware!

But these days it's more of a look out

But these days it’s more of a look out

And isn’t that the most inviting causeway stretching out into the sea?  I think I can spy a lighthouse at the end.  Zip your jacket up!  A windsurfer or two is testing the breeze.

The empty beach tells it's own story!

The empty beach tells it’s own story

And playing with the shadows

And playing with the shadows

Collar huddled against that bracing wind, it’s a brisk stride back to the shelter of the cliffs.  You can feel yourself relax then, as the warmth tickles your shoulder blades.

Near perfect weather for sailing

Near perfect weather for sailing

But it’s the boardwalk that beckons, and those mysterious stacks at the end of the beach.

You can walk back along the beach, admiring the cliff face in detail, or return to the cliff top. There are several sets of steps.  Most of the available parking is around the marina, at the east end of the resort.  Let’s just pop our noses in there first, then go looking for something to eat.

Take your pick!

Take your pick!

If you’re not too hungry, you can wander out around the marina.  There are plenty of restaurants to choose from, even though many close in the winter.  I’m moving on to Portimão, and I hope you’ll join me there, next Monday.

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I had a wonderful two weeks ‘away from it all’, and I have so many of you to catch up with! Thank you for your patience.  I’ll stop by as soon as I can.  Meantime, there are some wonderful walks to share.  Some of you have been very diligent.  For anyone new to my walks, the logo or my Monday walks page will give you more details.  Goodness- I’m on to my second cuppa already!

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Any of you know Warsaw?  That’s where my lovely friend Meg is right now, visiting family   :

Shopping in Praga

Paula has been checking out ‘restless fliers’ in Zagreb.  No, nothing to do with me!

Shooting birds on the lake

I can’t ski but I’m always game for a chair lift or two!  Thanks, Drake  :

Off-white or rough white

Two Megs this week, just to confuse you!  This one’s in Virginia  :

A Winter walk

Lucy often stays in Paris, lucky lady!  Share a beautiful walk with her in St. Germain  :

The streets of St. Germain

What about a little poetry next?  And a classic from Dionne Warwick- thanks, Esther  :

Walk on By

Amy really does take wonderful photos.  Just check these out!  :

Architecture walking tour of downtown Fort Worth

Welcome to Anabel, who introduces us to a beautiful light show in Glasgow Botanic Gardens.  Jude- you’ll like this!

Electric Gardens

And you can rely on Elena for quirky!

Hundertwasser House in Vienna

I’ve always wanted to visit the Far East, so I’m very happy to tour Vientiane with Colibrist  :

Experimental travel in Vientiane, Laos

Who wouldn’t want to eat with Yvette, and share music with Frizz?  What a combination!

Pasto Italiano (and Belichick quote)

Or maybe try beachcombing with Tobias  :

A Walcheren walk

The Eternal Traveler has joined us this week with some stunning views of Japan.  I’m so jealous!

Unusual, unexpected, unbelievable

I’m delighted to end with lovely Sherri Matthews.  You can’t help but enjoy her stories  :

Virginia Woolf’s Round House and Lewes Priory

That’s it for this week, folks.  I didn’t think I’d make it!  Thank you for all your brilliant contributions, and I can’t wait to see what next week brings.  Have a good one!