An idyllic day

One of those days when it all comes together. A daughter by your side, the sun in the sky, a sparkle on the water and everyone feeling good. ‘Where shall we go?’ I have a favourite place or two. Quiet, sleepy places in the main. The madding crowd seldom venture this way. East towards the River Guadiana and the Spanish border. Late morning and the heat is rising.

Hardly a soul on the streets of Castro Marim, we just have time to inspect the castle before it closes for lunch. The views from the walls are mighty. Past the salt pans and over the bridge, all the way to Spain.

Beyond the rusty gate a surprise awaits. The perfect setting for a Crusader knight and his lady, they indulge in a little courtship, while the cameraman looks on. We hover, in case they need extras, but no. The knight has won his lady and filming is complete.

Below us, the imposing mother church, Igreja Matriz, with candles still flickering in their sconces, and the innovative sculpture of Carlos de Oliveira Correia. Chain metal links reinforce his message all across the Algarve.

We find a corner cafe and linger a while over toasties, as the local school children spill outdoors for their lunch hour. Skips and whoops and best friends. Finally we stir ourselves to carry on, up the river in search of more castles.

Alcoutim is almost as quiet, the restaurants busy with lunch in a desultory way. It’s hot but we need to stretch our legs, and follow the trail to the river beach. Shade invites a longer gaze at our surroundings. Equally mighty, the twin castles here, but we are content to gaze up at them, and then take up a familiar perch, in a cafe high above the river. And yes, there’s cake!

My daughter has gone, but I’m still full of excitement. My son has reached the airport and it’s his turn now. My responses may be a little haphazard for a day or two. Take care till then!

86 thoughts on “An idyllic day

  1. I somehow missed this when you first posted. How wonderful that you could enjoy this special day with your daughter AND then look forward to your son visiting πŸ™‚ Exciting too to see the filming in the castle!


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  3. I’m finally catching up with you! So glad you’re enjoying time with your family. Such a nice follow up to your summer visit to the old country. Love the photos and the tour too, though I definitely think you should have muscled into the crusader movie.


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  5. So wonderful to have visits from your children Joanne.
    I’m looking forward to the day we will be able to travel to Europe, which right now looks like our borders in Western Australia will only open up to the world in April next year!!


    • There are times I deeply regret the move over here, Alison, beautiful though it is. One of them will be returning our son to the airport. At least under current circumstances there aren’t too many restrictions to seeing him again, but the uncertainty is always there. For now, I’m just enjoying. Thanks a lot!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Oh no that’s no good Jo. Do you mean from UK to Portugal, that’s not too far though and you probably have more quality time than quantity when they come to visit


      • Yes, I do, Alison, but at the same time I treasure my quality of life now and how lucky I am to be here. Covid obviously coloured my views, and you’re right- I doubt I’d see a lot more of them if I still lived in the UK. But I could if I needed to. I guess that’s the bottom line. Thanks, darlin!


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  7. Lovely views and great photos as always but toasties AND cake? Sounds like the best day out. How wonderful to see your daughter and then your son. Must be wonderful to have them over to stay.


  8. I can see why you’re excited, Jo, and I hope you have a wonderful time with your son. Looks like a lovely day with your daughter as well. Enjoy! I’m also excited as I finally saw this post in my Reader. πŸ™‚


  9. Looks so lovely and peaceful, no hordes of tourists. Sitting at a cafΓ©, enjoying good food and drink and company is the best way to spend time I think. Enjoy your time with James πŸ’•


  10. Having family at one’s side and squiring them around your charming environs can make any day idyllic (assuming everyone is in good spirits – haha)! We always hear that we should settle somewhere that our kids want to come and visit, and I think you have chosen very wisely in that regard!


  11. Jo, this is such a lovely post with so many gorgeous photos. I am glad you had a great time with your daughter and how lovely that your son is now also visiting. I like your new website πŸ™‚


  12. I’m so glad you had such a wonderful time with your daughter – and now your son again, what more can a mother ask for.
    The photos are lovely, such a beautiful place to live.


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