Classic Cars in the Algarve

As is often the way in the Algarve, you happen to stumble upon something that you haven’t seen advertised anywhere! This was the case for us last Thursday when we went up to Monchique for an afternoon stroll and found ourselves surrounded by old 2CV cars!

Classic cars Algarve Blog

The posters suggested that something was happening! The event was organised by ‘The Marafados’ club which brings together 2CV lovers all over the Algarve – and reports suggest that over 100 cars from Portugal, Spain, France and the UK were at the event, which included talks, live music and lots of food over 3 days!  Continue reading

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Organic Produce in the Park

Organic produce market Portimão

Following on from our recent blog post about Yarn Bombing in Portimão in the small but pretty Largo December 1 gardens in Portimão, we were contacted about an organic produce market that takes place there every Saturday from 9.30 to 2pm. We were intrigued, and so the next free Saturday morning that we had, we went over to Portimão to have a look.  Continue reading

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Keeping cool on a hot day in the Monchique

The temperature here has been soaring lately – it’s regularly 32 – 34 degrees – and it’s only the beginning of May!

Sometimes it can be nice to go and lie on a beach and enjoy the sun – but equally it can be a real treat to find somewhere cooler to go and relax for while. When the temperature starts to soar, you can usually find us in our car driving up to Monchique to cool off a bit! I’ve previously blogged about the town of Monchique before – you can read about it here Spotlight on Monchique

Algarve Blog Caldas de Monchique

This time we decided to drop off at Caldas de Monchique on the way, and avoiding the usual tourist venues, we walked up to the peaceful and tranquil wooded picnic area above the main square.  Continue reading

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Yarn Bombing in Portimão

We’ve been meaning to head over to the garden ‘Largo December 1′ in Portimão – it’s the one in front of the municipal theatre – to have  better look at the ‘Yarn-bombing’ that took place on the 21st March to herald spring.

Yarn Bombing in Portimão, Algarve Blog

The pretty gardens have been transformed by the most amazingly colourful and vibrant display of crochet and sewing, wrapped beautifully around the trees.  Continue reading

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Gordon Ramsay wants to Help Brits in The Algarve!

An exciting new TV programme is being launched – and restaurants in the Algarve could benefit!

The BAFTA-winning producers of Channel 4’s Ramsay’s Kitchen Nightmares, is producing a brand new series to help struggling British owned-restaurants, hotels and B&Bs throughout Europe.

They contacted us and asked if we could share their promotion with our readers – anything that can help promote the Algarve has to be a good thing! So – are you a British restaurant owner here on the Algarve – or do you know one?

Could your restaurant benefit with help from the world’s most famous chef?

Has setting up a restaurant abroad not been the dream you’d hoped it would be?

Gordon Ramsey

Photograph of Gordon Ramsay © One Potato Two Potato Limited 2013. All rights reserved

Are you struggling to make ends meet? Are you barely breaking even or on the brink of bankruptcy?

If so – then maybe this programme could be for you!

You can check out the link here for more information and if you’d like some help from multi-Michelin-starred chef Gordon Ramsay then you can email restaurants@onepotatotwopotato.tv 

or call +44(0)203 227 5867

We will look forward to finding out more about this programme as production develops and will keep you informed on the blog.

 

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Faro Old Town

We have previously blogged about the delights of Faro, with its many churches, museums, monuments and shops – which you can read about here – Don’t rush away from Faro This time, after dropping off a friend at the airport, we thought we’d take a leisurely stroll around the old town area, and just enjoy the sights. Sometimes it’s easy to get caught up in the guide book and feel like you have to visit every church listed in the book – with our cameras in hand we often just enjoy wandering and exploring the back streets and corners of Faro … and apart from the obligatory coffee and cake, our afternoon was completely free – and totally wonderful!

There are so many iconic views of Faro, particularly the old 9th century Roman walls, although it is still possible to find a different angle if you explore a little – spot the White Stork nesting on the top!

Faro Old Town Algarve Blog Dave Sheldrake Alyson Sheldrake

Some of the buildings in Faro have been beautifully restored – yet still retain the charm of the old alongside the modern:

Faro Old Town Algarve Blog Dave Sheldrake Alyson Sheldrake

Other buildings are unashamedly old – and yet hold a certain charm of their own – the colours on this wall and door are fabulous:

Faro Old Town Algarve Blog Dave Sheldrake Alyson Sheldrake The cathedral is one of the most visited buildings – and yet a free scamper around the outside can yield some great shots – like this beautiful window captured in the sunlight:

Faro Old Town Algarve Blog Dave Sheldrake Alyson Sheldrake

I love spotting a winding old street with crumbling walls and old windows – it must be the artist in me!

Faro Old Town Algarve Blog Dave Sheldrake Alyson Sheldrake

And yet – another corner unveils a restored street – so similar to the one above that you can begin to imagine what a renovation project can do:

Faro Old Town Algarve Blog Dave Sheldrake Alyson Sheldrake

Love the tiled waiter – he makes me smile every time I see him in all his Elizabethan-style finery!

You can pay to visit the Cathedral – which if you haven’t been before – is worth a visit – but once you have been there – next time you can just wander round the square and admire the buildings – and if you sneak a peek through the railings – you can see so much more!

Faro Old Town Algarve Blog Dave Sheldrake Alyson Sheldrake A close-up will also reveal the local residents basking in the afternoon sunshine beside their private pool!!

Faro Old Town Algarve Blog Dave Sheldrake Alyson Sheldrake

The smell of the orange blossom from the trees lining the square of the Cathedral at this time of year is so heady – and the orange trees are laden too:

Faro Old Town Algarve Blog Dave Sheldrake Alyson Sheldrake

But if you walk past too quickly – sometimes you miss the most bizarre sights – like these oranges speared onto the street lamp:

Faro Old Town Algarve Blog Dave Sheldrake Alyson Sheldrake

If you need a rest from walking round – head down to the harbour – find a bench – and watch the boats bobbing in the sun – I love the symmetry of these three benches mirroring the steps down to the water:

Faro Old Town Algarve Blog Dave Sheldrake Alyson Sheldrake The locals are quite friendly too – and happy to pose for a shot:

Faro Old Town Algarve Blog Dave Sheldrake Alyson Sheldrake

Until they spot some dinner that is!

Faro Old Town Algarve Blog Dave Sheldrake Alyson Sheldrake And if watching them eat is making you a little peckish – well no self-respecting camera trip is complete without ‘uma bica’ and a ‘pastel-de-nata’

Faro Old Town Algarve Blog Dave Sheldrake Alyson Sheldrake

And then it’s back to more exploring – there are so many intriguing streets and corners to explore:

Faro Old Town Algarve Blog Dave Sheldrake Alyson Sheldrake

And sometimes the light is just perfect on the cobbles:

Faro Old Town Algarve Blog Dave Sheldrake Alyson Sheldrake

Every time we visit Faro, we find another archway to entice us – or name to investigate – who was or is Professor Norberto da Silva? Good old Google gave me a link to this site  – he was both a Sergeant in the Army and a prestigious schoolmaster – but if anyone knows anything else about him – do let us know.

Faro Old Town Algarve Blog Dave Sheldrake Alyson Sheldrake

We usually pop into the Galeria Trem near the Cathedral and see what they have on display – often they have very unusual exhibitions by local modern artists – this time it’s a series of installations called ‘Mapland’ by Mariana Medeira:

Faro Old Town Algarve Blog Dave Sheldrake Alyson Sheldrake

The room has been turned into a series of table-top cities based on the four elements of water, earth, air and fire. Machines are linked to maps on the wall:

Faro Old Town Algarve Blog Dave Sheldrake Alyson Sheldrake

It’s a bit weird, but intriguing at the same time and the dark interior of the room seems to set it all off really well – it’s worth a look – and free entry too. The inscription on the wall is quite thought-provoking:

Faro Old Town Algarve Blog Dave Sheldrake Alyson Sheldrake

Next time we visit Faro we have decided that we are going to have a meal at this little restaurant near the back of the Cathedral – we stopped for a drink and the waitress was very attentive and the food inside looked great!

Faro Old Town Algarve Blog Dave Sheldrake Alyson Sheldrake

Then we just had time for a few more shots before the sun disappeared – we love the raking light of this shot:

Faro Old Town Algarve Blog Dave Sheldrake Alyson Sheldrake And to end – a favourite of mine – one of the fabulous old doors that can be found throughout the old town – and the inspiration for a whole new series of paintings that I am working on at the moment:

Faro Old Town Algarve Blog Dave Sheldrake Alyson Sheldrake

If you are interested in finding out more about my art, and our upcoming exhibition over Easter in Carvoeiro – then head over to my website via the link here:

Art by Alyson Sheldrake website

Hope that you have enjoyed exploring a little of Faro with us.

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Charity Fruit

The Algarve has been busy collecting fruit! The supermarket chain Lidl’s have been offering stickers in return for shopping – which can then be exchanged for some rather charming and cuddly fruit toys. The offer ends today Wednesday 26th February and the fruit can be collected until Wednesday 5th March

 Lidl ad

One enterprising and selfless person here on the Algarve has been busy collecting the stickers and fruit for a different reason –  to give them to children with a rare disease called EB.

I was intrigued – and we had been collecting the stickers with no real intention of doing anything with them – at best we’d have collected a free fruit (probably the banana – it made me smile the most!) and then just stuck it on a shelf

Banana

So we contacted the lady in question – Cat Almeida – and asked her a little more about why she was collecting the fruit. She directed us to the UK website DEBRA which is the national charity working on behalf of people in the UK with the genetic skin blistering condition Epidermolysis Bullosa (EB).

Understanding EB

Epidermolysis Bullosa (EB) is a group of genetic disorders that result in fragility of the skin and, in some cases, other internal membranes and organs. Blisters, open wounds and sores form as a result of the slightest touch, rub or trauma. *information taken from the Debra UK website.

She also gave me the link to the equivalent site in Portugal – debra.pt

debra-logo

The Portugal group was formed in September 2010 by a group of patients and parents of children with EB. Their aims appear simple – to generate more awareness of the condition and to find improved treatments.

Tomorrow – 28th February – is World Rare Disease Day – which is timely for this initiative. If you would like to know more about this – then why not click this logo which links to a video explaining more about the day

rare-disease-dayThe theme of World Rare Disease Day this year is “Care” – which is a trait embodied by Cat as she collects the Lidl stickers and fruit. Her initial message onto a Facebook group summed it up for me so well:

Do you have unwanted toy stickers for me to swop for soft toys for Butterfly children? … These kids have skin as fragile as butterfly wings hence the name. The fruit and veg toys are bright, smiley and soft, ideal gifts to try to tempt our kids to eat after esophagus dilation and other awful problems they have to live with every day. Can you help me provoke a smile from a kid that sometimes needs a reason to smile?

 TOYS 2 There is still time to join in – if you have enough stickers to exchange for a fruit …

STICKERS 1

then why not send your fruit to Cat? Alternatively if you can drop stickers off directly at her office before the 5th March I am sure she would be surprised and grateful to receive them. And the children she will be giving them too would be delighted.

Her office address in Almancil is:

HiFX PLC. Rua 5 de Outubro Nº 170. Almancil 8135-101

TOYS 1

~

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