You could be forgiven for thinking that I don’t really like living in Portugal at all! Here I am, hopping on a ferry and crossing the border to Spain, yet again. Actually, I was trying to salvage a day that was rapidly turning into a disaster.
Not for the youngsters, and Spanish families, though. Owing to my bad timing I managed to completely miss the traditional Three Kings procession at Vila Real de Santo Antonio in the Algarve last week. They had already ferried across to Ayamonte when I got there and not a trace of them was to be found in the sleepy streets. Portuguese families were quietly strolling, sipping coffee in the cafés and contemplating lunch. In a vain effort to catch up with the action, I persuaded the other half that we too should ferry across the Guadiana.
The atmosphere couldn’t have been more different in Spain! It felt like the whole world was on the streets, out for a thoroughly good time. A party was brewing and each and every plaza resounded with lively Spanish chatter. But still no sign of the Kings! Taking a breather from the hubbub, we climbed steps through the old side of town to look down on the river.
Back at ground level, everyone seemed to be walking in the same direction, the noise level constantly rising. Tempting to take refuge for a while in the tranquility of the marina, overlooked by a faded sunset drama.
From across the street another mural smiles at me, inviting despite her tattered appearance. As people settle into bars and reach for another beer, I begin to realise that I am not destined to see the parade. The sun is already sinking low in the sky and the last ferry will be leaving soon. It’s a short ride across the river but a long walk back by road!
Time to make the best of the situation and simply enjoy a beautiful sunset ride home, on a warm and lovely January evening.
Next year I promise to be better organised. Did you notice, we didn’t even stop for cake? (though I did pick some up to nibble on the ferry ). If you’d like to know more about the celebration, this link gives a little background. Right now I have walks to share. Join me next time on Jo’s Monday walk? You’ll be more than welcome.
Say hello to Natalie! She’s doing her best to get us all fit this year :
Suzanne’s not trying quite so hard. Coffee and cake, anyone? And beautiful scenery too, of course :
There’s no doubt that Carol’s right! The waterfront at Vancouver is the place to be :
Is it Winter somewhere in the world? Apparently so! Drake’s tracked it down for us :
No such problems at Alice’s place!
While Geoff launches a series of fond memories with his Dad :
Jackie always seems to have a plan or two up her sleeve :
And Anabel has always just been somewhere interesting and beautiful :
More amazing architectural explorations with Cathy, this week :
You may not wander far but, if you look, you can always find something interesting. Pauline and Jack set a fine example :
Next week I shall be sharing purely Portuguese almond blossom. For now my attention is seriously distracted by Australian Open tennis and the return to play of Rafael Nadal and Andy Murray. Have a great week, won’t you?