Yes, we had a pajama party here at the quinta!!!! A fabulous meal, a little t.v. to help keep us awake then just prior to midnight, up on the roof-top with a bottle of bubbly and the amazing 360 degree display of fireworks. They outdid themselves this year!!
Yesterday James and I headed off early morning for Alte and Silves while Marc decided to stay at home to get a head start on the menu we had planned for the evening. He needed a little solitude and some alone time. With us gone he could crank up his tunes and if I know Marc, probably danced a little in the kitchen!!
Our first stop was this gorgeous old cork forest. We wandered along the road and in and amongst the trees.
James paying homage to the mighty cork.
This road is usually quite isolated and yesterday, while we were wandering, two vehicles drove along. They were locals and they looked at us as if we were lost.
The day was exceptionally bright and lovely. A cloudless blue sky, perfect for our wanderings. We stopped at a couple of tiny villages along the route and wandered a little.
This lovely old place was right at the turn in a sleepy and seldom used road. It was quite beautiful.
The detail over the front door. I loved the 109……there were probably three houses in the vicinity. You had to wonder how they gave it that high a number!
On arrival in Alte we parked and headed out on foot. Our first stop, a bica and James enjoyed an almond tart then the meandering up and down tiny roads, staircases and partially up the mountain commenced. I love this village and in all of my visits I always manage to find something new. Today was no exception.
This fellow can be mean and ornery. Today he let me pet him but then started stomping his foot.
Cheesy I know but I thought it was fun.
This lovely creche was next to the town hall.
A fixer upper?
There are charcoal drawings throughout the village. A couple of new ones since my last visit.
This lovely creche was sitting on a table near a front door.
Roses simply everywhere in this town. As a matter of fact,more flowers and blooms of all sorts than I think I have seen since arrival in Portugal this year.
The top of the church.
We smelled this long before we saw it. An orange tree in full bloom. Intoxicating.
Two beautiful hand painted local scenes have been inserted in the wall of this house.
The second painting.
I LOVE this use of old tires to create the nativity scene.
This happy little sheep, there were three of them, was so cute.
All along the opposite wall from the river things were blooming in abundance.
This succulent was quite beautiful. A soft purple colour
His Majesty was simply sitting on the river bank and watching us.
Can you spot the thorn in the roses!!!!
One of my favourite local flowers.
Another creche on a persons patio.
These yellow roses right next to the creche….delicate scent.
This was fairly large and beautiful. The figures looked to be carved of marble but too far away to really tell.
I don’t recall seeing this one before but it may have been there before and I simply didn’t notice.
Orange trees are everywhere in this village.
This was very beautiful. Tucked away on a tiny passageway. I could hear the music as I stood admiring it.
Had a couple of wonderful encounters today, little things that simply remind me of the affection I feel for the Portuguese people. James and I were walking towards the old church and climbing up the steps when an elderly man on a scooter came around the bed going down the hill. I saw him when he looked at us and he smiled. Suddenly he stopped his scooter, pushed it back a little and called out to me to tell me that the entrance to the church was in fact on the other corner!! It touched me so much as this sort of kindness, or personal gesture is almost a daily occurrence here. The second, each time I have been here there is a tiny ceramic store that has never been open. I took James there as I wanted to show him a tile I like that is embedded in the steps. Low and behold, it was open and a young man was sweeping off the terrace. We went inside and enjoyed a lovely conversation. This man explained to me that he had literally closed shop a few years ago and headed off to live in England for a while and then Switzerland. He had just returned “home” to Portugal recently and was cleaning up the shop and staying here. He told me he realized he had to come home because…..he simply missed the Portugal sky. He said this with a mist in his eye. How beautiful.
Onward to Silves, about another half hour or so drive. Our first item of business was lunch before exploring.
The top of the old market building.
James pesto pizza
My chicken, pea and mushroom pizza
Fueled up we headed off, mostly upward as we had parked down by the Arade River and the old town sprawled above us. Here are a couple of shots of Silves to give you a tiny perspective.
The old castle and church on the hill-top
Taken from the old Roman Bridge
Winding our way up through the village. Always a splash of colour or two.
These large double hibiscus were rich in colour.
I took this from the top of the castle walls. It’s completely enclosed on all sides and not visable from in the town, only looking down on it. Very oriental.
Near the old castle walls
This stork was clacking away to try and attract his mate.
Took this for Marc as I knew he would love the textures of colour. I was right!
Couldn’t describe this garden if I tried. Oh my!! Talk about busy AND colourfull.
Stunning wall insert.
The old Roman Bridge over the Arade River, which is a tidal river. It was low tide.
I spotted this crane off in the distance as we walked along the promenade..
He didn’t seem perturbed by our presence
The ubiquitous stork searching for a snack.
I quite liked this old chimney.
A perfectly fabulous day, and tiring. We were certainly a bit quieter on the way home than on the drive out. Once home James headed to his place, going to arrive at ours around 20h00. Marc had prepared chicken empanadas, curried meatballs and had cleaned the shrimp for me. At the last minute, I made shrimp cakes, Marc wonderful guacamole and James showed up with wine, cheese, and chocolate. What a great end to 2018 and beginning for 2019.