Marc had an appointment in Olhão at 10h30 and it didn’t make any sense for me to drive home then go back to collect him later which made me decide the best option was to park near his rendezvous, explore a part of town that I hadn’t previously, and get a good walk in. I love this sort of activity as it allows me to see things I would not otherwise and frequently I stumble on some little treasure.
This part of town is very authentic to the locals, not at all touristy, and in some circles might be considered “the wrong side of the tracks”. What I enjoyed about it was the feeling of being in a place that is “lived in”, accentuated by the number of Olás e bom dias I received. People were washing their windows, sweeping the sidewalk, returning from shopping, working, etc.. Many things about it simply “tickled me” and here are a few of them.
I had decided to walk about a km south from where I deposited Marc then I wandered about four blocks west, till the next major street and from there I zigzagged west to east, then east to west covering an area of roughly 12 streets.
As I was walking I noticed on the rooftop of a house a metal flamingo and so, I took a photo……
When I finished taking the photo I noticed that the people a door or so away were watching me as I called out a bom dia and waved. They waved back and starting chatting to me, “do you like our town?, (I love it) “where are you from”? (Canada), “do you want to take our photo”?
What fun I was having. As I headed back towards the parked car, it had been about an hour of walking, I recalled a beautiful old abandoned house from a few years ago that was close to where we were so I continued in that direction just to have a closer look. I would love to know the story of it but have aske over the years and have yet to hit on somebody who knows the history.
Then just around the corner from it…….
Another trip back to the car and still no Marc but I noticed behind the building an old water tower that looked interesting and headed in that direction. Graffiti here is frequently quite artistic and I discovered that somebody had lovingly created a fish themed motif on and around the tower. (Each of these fish is somewhere between 3 to 6 feet in length)
I had also passed what I thought was an orphanage which was locked up behind a large stone wall with a solid metal gate. As I returned to the car the gate suddenly opened and I could see in part of the yard…..I took the following photo but suddenly there was a young woman beside me and she very gently touched my arm, smiled at me and told me that I was not permitted to take photographs as it was a private sanctuary. I of course apologized and she simply bowed to me and said bom dia.
I looked it up when I arrived home; A Santa Casa de Misericórdia de Olhão é uma Instituição Particular de Solidariedade Social. (The Holy House of Mercy of Olhão is a Private Institution of Social Solidarity.) It basically supplies “programs” for seniors and child care.
Wonderful wanderings and encounters that left me feeling full of well being and and energized. That combined with our 23 degree temperature motivated me to suggest lunch beside the sea, which Marc readily agreed to. What a grand life we live.