With Laurie heading back to Canada soon, we are trying to do a few things from her list so she can “check them off”!! Today there was a threat of rain, thankfully it did not manifest and so we headed off, umbrellas and rain jackets in tow, to Castro Marim. Pat and Marc opted to stay at home and enjoy a tranquil Sunday and Dawn, who is staying with Pat and Gary, decided to accompany us. Turned out to be perfect.
Castro Marim, on the top of one hill stands a castle, on the other a star-shaped fort. Between them the houses of the town, with their white walls, brightly-painted chimneys and cascading bougainvillea. We practically had the town to ourselves on this very quiet sleepy Sunday.
This old doorway, looking tired and in need of tender loving care, must have been quite beautiful before the paint faded and the owner moved out.
Many of the chimneys were slightly different from others we have seen.
Tiny statues flanked both ends of a lovely marble balustrade.
And the other end.
In between both states stood a couple of chimenys……just as decorative as the statues.
I love this tiny trumpet vine.
Laurie and Dawn on the top of the castle wall.
Laurie and I enjoying the afternoon wanderings.
Loads of poppies inside the walls of the castle
Took these for Patricia.
Laurie, all dressed for any possible rain showers……which never came.
The proud Portugal flag flapping in the breeze at the entrance to the castle
Wandering around the castle was lots of fun. We climbed the walls to enjoy the views across the Guadiana River, over to Ayamonte, Spain and off to Monto Gordo and the mighty Atlantic then back into the hills, over the salt flats and up into the many-tiered orchards. Quite the beautiful location, you can understand why there is a castle and a fortress!
Yes, I know we aren’t the first to do this but it was fun.
All good sports to play along
I couldn’t say no after the others were so gracious!!
The view of the church from thee castle wall
And the fortress of in the distance. We eventually hiked to the top and all around the grounds.
This beautiful tile work is inset inside a grilled enclosure beside the church.
We decided to wander and explore a bit more of the village before stopping for lunch. Honestly, the streets were empty and it truly felt as if we were all alone.
This entire street, which flowed downward, was lined with bougainvillea of various shades of red and purple.
Look at the detail in these tiny leaves.
I thought the colour of the bougainvillea and the paint outlining the doors and windows was a good match.
This old place is getting a facelift.
Another lovely chimney
This blue always appeals to my senses.
I’ve visited this park many times and was sad today to see that it’s been a bit neglected and in need of some love. Almost all the rose bushes have died and normally right now, it’s cascading in colour.
My very favourite lantana.
A pomegranate flower.
The oleander is staring to bloom.
An old windmill at top of the hillside where a military fortress once stood.
This lovely old chapel to St. Antonio
This was quite high but it seemed to be made of hammered metal.
Recessed in a wall and obviously there for some time but still in perfect form.
Lunch options seemed to be limited and because of that we opted to stop at a small snack bar on the main street. Lunch was simple but tasty. We smiled at Laurie’s heart shaped tostas!
Our final bit of Castro Marim was to climb the hillside and explore around the fortress. It’s never been open to the public but the hike up and back is enjoyable in it’s own right.
A view up the main street as we looked for the route up to the fortress.
Dawn enjoying the hike along the fortress property.
Laurie taking her time and photographs along the route.
From an old outer building near the fortress.
The arch at the top of the fortress.
A beautiful house on the main square as we came down the hill
I don’t know who he is but, he looks quite jaunty as he sits stately in the square on a recently painted electrical box!!
And a final unique chimney that caught my eye.
Truly a great day and we headed for home quite satisfied with our Castro Marim visit. We decided onroute to stop for a quick walk in Cacela Velha as neither Laurie nor Dawn had visited previously. We enjoy a lovely walk on the beach to check out the fiddler crabs and to simply enjoy the sunshine.
Boats resting calmly on the water.
These sprout up all over the beaches in Portugal
Lantana…..comes in so many colours.
And as we walked back to the car we saw a lovely plum tree, covered in fruit. A perfect end to our perfect day.