Post Camino R&R Day 11 – Faro

Well, I didn’t find Faro to be an interesting town. So I decided to do a day trip today. By train. To another town along the Algarve coast called Tavira.

You see, I had even found the below opinion in a book about Portugal and the Algarve coast. Yes, Faro fits into the “worst of Algarve” while Tavira is “better”.

On the train with my Faro to Tavira return ticket.

The views from the train were not that exciting. It looked pretty much like the below all the time apart from the train stations in villages and small towns.

Arriving at Tavira train station, there was an interesting military themed statue outside. Who is this soldier waving to?

The soldier is waving goodbye to his loved one, presumably to go somewhere to fight.

Next to Tavira train station is a good ol’ Lidl. Yet to find its way to Australia as Aldi has done so well there. I had to go in.

Lidl had a large bakery section, not so surprising. However, how you get your chosen bread or pastry was quite innovative.

At Aldi in Australia, you just grab your bakery item with a tong.

Here you scope it to the side where you can grab it without touching anything else. Seemed to work apart from that some earlier customer had left their items there and walked away.

Time to explore Tavira. I walked down to its centro and to its river Rio Gilao. The old bridge is Ponte Romana.

There was a newer “temporary” bridge nearby. Ponte Romano got destroyed during flooding some 20 odd years ago. So, the military built this temporary bridge. Could be “temporary” for some time…

Views from Ponte Romana.

On the north side of Ponte Romana is a big square filled with tourist restaurants (behind me). But down from that hill comes a… Tuk Tuk.

Down the other way. The tourist restaurants on the left side towards the river.

There is a Swedish / Scandinavian connection here. Real estate agents seem to target them as well as the Germans, British and Dutch. Presumed to have money to invest, perhaps…

Love these knockers…

Time for a cuppa. At this square and at the cafe on the left…

…where I sat for a while relaxing and listening to nearby Portuguese coffee drinkers all talking and nobody listening.

This was a fun tourist attraction that I stumbled upon. In this old converted water tower, there is a Camera Obscura as they called it.

For a 3€ fee, you enter and take the lift to the top for the “show”.

Up there is one lense and two mirrors. And lights of course.

An operator controls the positioning of the lense / mirrors (not sure which, didn’t ask).  Hence you can move the apparatus around for a 360 degrees view of Tavira.

The lady operator thought this was a fun trick. She had pieces of folded paper that she put where the cars on the bridge would pass. Yes, that worked. Yes, looked fun.

One more “fun” photo.

Almost opposite the water tower is the “old castle” and the stone walls. Well, what remained of them both. Which was almost no castle and little wall.

The interesting thing about the castle though was that you could wander up the stairs and up to the top of the wall. But you do it at your own risk. Nothing to hold on to. Still…

I tried it of course. Not as scary as it looked.

I then passed this place celebrating fado and its history. For the uninitiated, fado is Portuguese blues. Sentimental music and still popular, not just with the tourists.

Unfortunately, a show had just started and the next one was not until almost 3 hours later. So I passed.

Another Tuk Tuk. I’m not sure if you can see it but name of the company providing the service is “Happytuktours”. Should that not be “Happy Happy”?

I wandered around a bit more to find a place for lunch. Nothing exciting along the Rio Gilao but plenty of vessels. Both fishing boats and tourist vessels.

More Swedish and Scandinavian connections. The sign under the German flag and the number 104 says “Nordic Club”… In Swedish.

I noticed 3 traditional Swedish dishes on the menu. Written in Swedish. Not for my lunch. I went here. Indian for me. That’s my glass of Vino Tinto to the left.

I chose the daily meal of chicken tikka misala, a bit hotter than normal.  “Indian bread” for condiment as described on the Dutch and Spanish menus. On the English menu it was just naan.

The Indian waiter spoke good English. And when he found out that I came from Australia, he had to talk cricket. Yet another Indian cricket tragic.

Live entertainment arrived. These guys were sort of singing karaoke,  accompanied by a tambourine. Absolute crap.

I passed this church and heard beautiful piano music from therein. So in I went. This guy was brilliant. I sat there for a while and listened to him playing different classical pieces.

The church had this, in my view, somewhat macabre portrayal of Jesus. Assuming that was him there inside.

The Church of Santiago (I didn’t pick up its Portuguese name). And…

…what was outside, if not something familiar… Yet again…

I arrived back in Faro by train just before 5pm and took the opportunity to settle my hotel bill the night before. Then some packing while enjoying a beer and some wine that I still had.

Off to Lisboa tomorrow. Train leaves 8.24am.

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