I have always loved writing, and now that I am retired I thought I would be able to find time to write, but it seems that I still manage to fill my days with activities. I have however found that while I travel, I enjoy writing about some of the interesting things we do. I hope you enjoy reading of our adventures as much as I like writing about them.
Monday, May 6, 2013
Monday in Faro
Faro's Walled City
When we flew to Portugal, Faro was
where we landed, but we were picked up by a taxi arranged by Colin &
Suzanne, and he was an efficient driver, but not exactly a tour
guide, and his english was not really even good enough to ask simple
questions. We therefore zoomed through Faro without seeing much. We
were also too tired to really pay attention to much.
Today we went back to Faro on the train
to actually have a look at the city.
Faro is the major transport hub on the
Algarve. It has a rail hub where Linda and Pete arrive from Lisbon,
and the airport in Faro has a constant stream of planes arriving from
all over Europe. From the apartment, we see planes all day flying
into Faro bringing people to the Algarve to enjoy a Portuguese
The train only takes about 20 minutes
to go from Olhao to Faro, so it is a simple trip. Although the train
station is bit out of way, the walk to the centre of Faro is a
pleasant one along the waterfront through to the old city centre, and
it is easy to find your way to the major attractions in Faro.
Do not however expect to find a Tourist
Information Centre if you go on Monday like we did – it is not
open. At least we were able to find the place following the signs,
but as has been our general experience, we were not able to actually
get any information.
Beautiful Pipe Organ filling Cathedral with sound
There is a walled fortress which the
old city seems to revolve around, but it is not really an attraction.
It seems that the actual city has taken over the fortress. You can
see the walls from the outside, but if you enter through one of the
gates, you find yourself just in the inner city with restaurants,
shops, art galleries and a beautiful cathedral, but no actual fort
or castle. This may actually have been a walled city rather than a
military fortress, which would make sense. We might have been able to
find out if we could have visited the Information centre. . . . . .
The visit to the Cathedral was nice.
You could climb the bell tower for a view over the city, and we were
told by another tourist couple there that you could have pressed a
button to actually ring the bells but I had my doubts since the
church bells tell the time in Olhao. I could imagine the poor
citizens of Faro being constantly confused about what time it was.
“Is it two o'clock, the bells chimed twice? Oh no, it's just those
damned tourists ringing the cathedral bells again . . . .” we could
visit the main cathedral , the gardens and the museum. The highlight
was the actual church, because there was a beautiful old pipe organ,
and someone was actually playing it. The museum was a bit
disappointing, and I hope that some of our 3 E entry fee might be
used to restore the paintings in the museum with holes in them –
they could use some work.
The Bell Tower
Following our tour of the cathedral, we
wandered down through the old city to find a place to stop for lunch.
Here we discovered another advantage to living in Olhao. Food was
generally at least 20% higher here than back in Olhao. For example
the Cataplana Regis has wanted to try was 45 E compared to 29 E in
Olhao. We decided to stick with the “Menu of the Day”.