Silves : storks galore, and other stories!

So, how was the birthday? A day of sunshine and smiles. Silves was as beautiful by night as I had anticipated. Earlier that day I had gone walking with friends, in the hills high above the Guadiana at the Spanish border. After a toastie and glass of wine down by the river, we said our farewells and drove to Silves, an hour and a half away. In total contrast, this town is situated in a tidal plain, on the River Arade. Our hotel was chosen because it looked directly across at the lovely red castle on the hill.

Scarcely had we left the hotel car park than we were admiring storks, perched precarioulsy in none too sturdy trees. With complete abandon, these creatures build their nests wherever they choose, and return to them year on year. We had seen few of late, in and around Tavira, and were happy to find them congregating here.

As we walked around the town, stretching our legs, we found more and more of them. The family high on the metal canisters seemed determined to stay, despite the best efforts of a bulldozer clearing the building site below. ‘Derelict is best’ must be the motto of one pair, whose pals seemed to have abandoned nests and hope, for another, better year?

But proudly, in the centre of town, a longstanding chimney plays the genial host. Having exerted ourselves in the morning we felt due a rest, and had arranged to talk to our son, who is slowly recovering from Covid. Whose idea was it to walk to the windmill on the outskirts of town? Don’t look at me! Restless doesn’t always have to be taken literally.

It was quite decrepit too, when we got there, but along the way we managed to talk to James. Cooped up, but coping. I felt much better for talking to him. By the time we’d made the ascent evening was starting to fall. Wearily back in town, we sat a while, admiring the rosy hues glinting off the pink tiled building. Time to make our way through the dusk, to our hotel and the pleasures of evening.

Which included a wonderful tiramisu. Next day dawned bright and beautiful and after breakfast we completed a levada walk before returning to Silves, just to sit in the sun. It wouldn’t be Silves without a bit more street art, would it?

All in all a highly satisfactory weekend, until we came to sit for one last glass of wine before heading home. As my gaze fell on my ring finger I realised that the amethyst in the middle of my engagement ring was no longer there. A gaping hole looked back at me. Of course, I retraced my steps as far as I was able, but without much hope.

I guess a trip to the jeweller’s is on the cards this week. Thank you for all your good wishes, and for always being such good company. See you again soon!

86 thoughts on “Silves : storks galore, and other stories!

  1. Hi Jo I’m coming by for a long overdue catch up! November seems to have been hectic to say the least – also have been trying to get as much done before the mad rush of December (we have end of school year and Christmas coinciding here which I always find way too much at once). Anyway looks like you had a lovely birthday trip to Silves apart from the ring – do hope a suitable amethlyst can be found it is such a beautiful colour. Hope you son and family are doing well – it must have been a stressful time and hope he hasn’t been too badly affected. Will just head up to read your other posts sorry for being late to the party. Take care xx πŸ™‚

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      • Managed to get back on the blog today Jo yay! Getting ahead of myself for Christmas was a good idea – still have to do my cards though (never seem to do them in time). Mlle’s birthday “do” is next weekend so it is always a busy time. We also did a lot of work in the garden this morning so feeling virtuous! Hope you’ve had a lovely weekend though obviously you are in an opposite weather pattern to us now (my dad said it was snowing and blowing a northerly gale in Yorkshire yesterday but am sure it won’t be like that in the Algarve!) xx

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  2. A lovely place Jo, thanks for taking us along with you. The pink building is something else! Bad luck about the ring. On the bright side the newly set one will take on new meaning now- memories of Silves and storks and the year we all managed to stick together despite being forced apart. Roll on a return to normality eh? Hoping your son and his partner haven’t had too bad a time of it.

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  3. Hope you had a productive visit to the jewellers, Initially I’d thought it was to get a birthday pressie – but I realised after re-reading that it wasn’t the case.
    Thank you for sharing more of the painted electric boxes – I am so amazed by variety and how well they are done! My favourite is the fishing scene painted with a van Gogh vibe.

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    • I always love to find a newly painted electric box. Sometimes it’s not new but in a street I haven’t walked down. So happy that someone takes the trouble to do them.
      The jeweller said it would take a few weeks so I’m getting used to not having that ring on my finger.

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  4. Happy Birthday, dear Jo.
    We are happy to read that your son is much better now.
    Amazing where the storks build their nests.
    Thanks for taking us on this tour
    The Fab Four of Cley
    πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚

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  5. I so enjoyed this Silves adventure, Jo, thanks for taking us along. Great seeing the abundance of nesting storks, and fun to see so many places they nest in your array of photos. Sorry to hear about your son and his partner, and the tenacious virus that haunts us for all this time; and too bad about losing your amethyst. But how wonderful that you have continued mobility and can explore these beautiful places. Cheers to you, Jo, and best wishes.

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  6. I am glad you had a great day, and happy your son is better – but saw in the comments your daughter- in- law had tested positive. Wish them a speedy recovery. And i was happy to hear your ring is on the mend too.
    LOVE the stork nests – ooooo, wish I was there with you!

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  7. An eventful day, that’s for sure. On the whole it sounds like you had a grand time which is great. The storks are wonderful. I don’t think I’ve ever seen one, but their nest are sort of iconic, the way they plunk them on chimneys and poles and things. Too bad about the ring, but it sounds like that will be made good soon. I hope your son and his wife recover soon.

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  8. What an enchanting place. I particularly liked all the stork nests. Oh! that chimney nest was spectacular! But so sad you lost your amethyst. That’s my birthstone. It reminded me of a ring and earrings my mom brought back from Switzerland. I don’t wear jewelry anymore. I think I’ll have to give the set to the youngest grandchild. She’s born in February, too. Hope your son is all recovered! πŸ€—

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    • I’ve always liked Silves, Gunta. It’s got so much character! A bit too far from the sea to call home but a very special place. James is recovering well but it’s his turn to play nurse because his partner tested positive yesterday. So sorry for them!

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  9. Oh no, sorry to hear about your ring. But good news for the recovery of your son and wonderful street art. Sorry I am unable to go for a walk this week. Maybe next week will be better. After the lockdowns I haven’t fully organised myself with my daily activities. Have a good day Jo.

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  10. Ahhh, I was just going to congratulate you on the perfect birthday when the gaping hole rolled by. :p And yet – if this is the worst that happens this year, it won’t be too bad. I love the art, and the storks! (we have them on chimneys in the flat NE Pannonian plain part of Slovenia as well), the pink hues, and especially the good news from your son. My sister has more or less recovered, still without smell or taste, whereas one of my best friends is still in hospital but should be coming home soon. All well to you and cin cin!

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  11. Oh Jo! So sorry to hear about your ring. I know that sinking feeling. A few years ago now I realised the diamond was gone from my engagement ring but I was so fortunate to find it lying on the floor rug. Phew. I hope the jeweller can do a wonderful repair job for you. I wish you all the best for the coming year.

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  12. The storks are fascinating birds, Jo. I don’t think I ever pictured them nesting so high. I do see what a lovely birthday weekend you enjoyed and I’m glad for you. Also pleased, of course, to learn your son is doing okay. ❀️ The street art is beautiful and I’m so glad you shared your sunny day!

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  13. A stunningly beautiful walk and a belated happy birthday, Jo! Sorry to read about your ring! Stones are easy (if expensive) to replace, thank goodness. Sorry also about James, covid sucks, but if he eventually gets vaccinated, he can say he had the double-whammy and go out and about!

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  14. A belated happy birthday to you, Jo. I’m sorry to hear about the ring. What a pity.
    hanks for taking me with you on that wonderful walk, and have a great week,
    Pit

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    • Hiya, Lexie! I imagine James is climbing the walls of their apartment if he’s feeling anything like himself. He’s not much better than me at being cooped up. It was a wonderful weekend overall, and I’ve found a jeweller who can help. Always got to take the bad with the good.

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  15. Belated birthday wishes, Jo. It was definitely a memorable day. The enormous stork nests were especially eye catching. So many and right in the middle of human habitation. Unbelievable! Also sorry to read about your ring. I can imagine that putting a damper on the celebrations. Anyway, I hope the jeweller has sorted it out. Wishing a speedy recovery to your son too.

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  16. On the whole a pleasurable birthday, other than the ring issue. I don’t wear jewellery nowadays apart from a pendant if we are going somewhere nice. Rings are an issue as my joints swell and not the best of things to wear whilst gardening as I discovered to my cost when I lost my Nana’s pretty Garnet ring back in the Donny garden. One question: do those storks make an awful mess in the towns they live in? I’m thinking of the seagulls here which poop all over cars in the towns, not so bad up here, but still horrible stuff to remove.

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  17. It sounds like you had a good weekend Jo apart from the ring – I’m so sorry you lost the stone. I lost the tiny diamond out of my mum’s eternity ring a few years ago but as my favourite colour is red I had it replaced with a ruby. I love the street art especially the kingfisher, it’s stunning πŸ™‚

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    • Isn’t it beautiful? Have found a jeweller’s this morning so we’ll see what they can do. It was a horrible feeling but worst case scenario is an eternity ring for Christmas. I don’t have much jewellery πŸ€—πŸ’•

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  18. Sorry to hear about the engagement ring but good news that your son is recovering and you seem to have had as lovely a birthday as I did! I loved seeing the storks, bringing back memories of my own visit to Sitges when I saw plenty of them, and the street art, especially that kingfisher πŸ™‚

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