A grandmother is a mother who has a second chance

Friday, April 10, 2009

Portugal - Episode 4

When we got back to mainland Portugal, we headed for the Algarve area (which is the southern coast) and the town of Vilamoura. Our room was on the 8th floor and this is the view we had. Those little dots are thatched umbrellas - I even took a cool shot on the beach. It was totally NOT beach weather most of the time we were here. Very windy and pretty chilly.

We rented a car for most of our time on the mainland. Ed wanted this cute little number, but I insisted on something more practical. I know, I'm such a nag.

We took a couple of really cool side trips. First one was to Selema which is in the western corner of the country. In fact, there is a cliff there which is the furtherst western point in Europe. There are castle ruins in this area. Apparently this is where Prince Henry the Navigator would send his men to find the edge of the earth! May of them never came back so he assumed they simply fell off. This is also where Christopher Columbus started on one of his journeys. By the way, for those of you who might be members of the Flat Earth Society this would probably be some kind of shrine!

Selema is a quaint little fishing village. Fishing time was over for the day so there were mostly upturned boats, empty crab cages, and empty octopus pots. They put these pots in the water and the octopus climbs in planning to jump (!!) out and ambush his prey. Imagine the octopi's surprise when he (I have to assume it's a he for obvious reasons...) lunges out and finds himself flailing on the bottom of some old fisherman's boat. I'm sure it's a totaly octopus WTF moment - right before he becomes stew or sushi. I also loves these three chairs just sitting along the wall by the ocean waiting for a little fishermen chatter.

We walked through the town before having lunch at a cafe recommended by Rick Steves. The water was beautiful. One of the pathways led to a cliff filled with flowers and these little houses right on the cliff.

While walking around we came across a house with a garden in the back. Ed took this photo because he said it reminded him of his grandmother's garden. Loquat tree, fava beans, tomatoes, kale. Funny thing is, my Italian grandmother had the exact garden! Although, in Arizona she couldn't see the ocean from her yard.

The ocean around this area was so beautiful. And it was very windy. Here we are with me having another bad hair day. Ed, of course, didn't have to worry quite as much as I did.

Later on at the castle we were able to take another photo without the hurricane. This is a little better, don'tcha think?!?

We also found another lava rock beach. The waves were incredible. I found the continuous shot on my camera and took a zillion photos trying to catch some waves. Here are a couple of pretty good ones.

While I was taking these photos, Ed was busy climbing on the rocks. Before we left the beach, he wrote "I Love Sandi" in the sand. He's such a sweetie.

The next day we decided to drive to Spain - I mean it's only a 2 1/2 hour drive to Seville. The minute we hit the border of Spain it started raining and never stopped. We drove to Seville, then up to a small town about 5 miles north of it. Had lunch, and drove back. Pouring rain the whole way.

But, as soon as we reached Portugal it stopped raining! So we went to another little town called Tavira. Things got pretty exciting there. We were trying to find a place to park. Found one spot on the street, but it was a bit close to the corner so Ed wanted to move. We went down the narrow street and suddenly noticed an ambulance in front of us picking someone up! We stopped to wait, not having a clue how the ambulance was going to get past us to get out. I took the photo below before we realized what was going on. There were a lot of cafes and people were watching us. Suddenly an old man walked by the car, looked in the window and said, "Problema!" That was it. Ed decided to back out up the whole street. As we were reversing our way back to the first corner, we noticed a sign (I swear it wasn't there before!!!) indicating no cars except emergency vehicles. We had driven on a pedestrian walkway. Problema, indeed!

We managed to recover what was left of our dignity, find a spot further up the street, and stroll down the promenade where we had recently driven. No one seemed to recognize us which is a good thing. I even made friends with one of the locals.

Next stop, Obidos.


ba and the boys said...

every photo is more beautiful than the last (well, maybe not the one w/the 2 of you in the wind storm!)! i had no idea portugal was as beautiful as it is! and you are a master photo taker!

It's Me said...

Sandi, Happy Easter! I'm gonna say it again, "The ocean would have made me never want to come back!"

Jenni said...

That bit about the octopus cracked me up!