Jo’s Monday walk : Tavira at Christmas

Last week’s post in Santa Rita was a hard act to follow. For me it embodied all the joy of an Algarve Christmas, but it doesn’t seem right to say goodbye to an old, dog-eared year without first taking you for a stroll around Tavira, in all her sparkly finery.

From our house, it’s a short walk into town, passing the Fonte Salgada roundabout. Most years this is lit quite simply with a ‘Boas Festas’ sign- ‘good parties!’ The crib scene was a nice surprise. Over the level crossing I vary my route, seeking out lighted windows, balconies draped with fairy lights and Christmas window displays. I think the wedding gown might need a warm bolero!

Across the river all eyes are drawn to the tree, standing proud in Praca da Liberdade. As we watch, a ripple of colour spreads upwards and the tree changes from electric blue, through turquoise, green and red. Behind the arches of the council buildings, solemn, slightly spooky kings carry their presents to the holy infant. I play hide and seek with the kings, watching the light sparkle on the fountains.

We wait for our turn and then take a twirl inside the tree, looking up as the colours flow all around us. Christmas magic!

Eventually we tear ourselves away and walk through the riverside gardens to the twinkling bandstand. I wonder if the terrapins who live there mind the unaccustomed night light. A very low key Christmas market is being set up and, for the first time ever, a small ice skating rink. Santa sits in a riverside cabin, bemused at being ignored by the tots, who laboriously push a penguin and a polar bear across the ice. I can’t help but think that padded suits might be more use. It’s a good thing that little ones bounce!

Inside the old market, a more traditional scene, with camels and traders, occupies one corner. Back on the quayside, we walk towards the shiny bow outside the new market. The lights of home beckon, from across the water.

walking logo

Can you see the conflict? Homespun or manufactured? Heartfelt or adopted? Traditional or modern? None of it really matters. The important thing is to give and receive love, and to make this a time of peace in our turbulent, worrisome world.

‘Imagine all the people living life in peace, You may say I’m a dreamer, but I’m not the only one…’ I’m singing along with Lennon again.


Sharing the Christmas theme, here’s what Melbourne has to offer. Thanks, Teresa!

I Chose to Visit the City last Weekend

And from the warmth of her beloved Philippines :


A bit strenuous for me these days, but what a terrific reward! Christie could certainly lead me here :

White River suspension bridge Trail – Pukaskwa National Park

And by way of complete contrast, stroll with Rupali :

Gaudi’s Work: Nature, Religion and Geometry

The word Fashion always has me thinking of Bowie. Sing along, Drake!

Fashion and fascinating

Sarah takes us to Plovdiv, to see some wonderful street art :

Gallery: a walk in colourful Kapana

And just to round it all off, Jude is sharing another garden with me. One day, in real life, hon?

Garden Portrait: Barrington Court Garden

And so I see out a year in which I’ve changed blogs, but not really left the old Restlessjo behind. I’m doing a quick sprint to the UK for Christmas, and won’t be posting a Monday walk next week. Wish me luck! Much love to you all. I’m so happy to share our world.

104 thoughts on “Jo’s Monday walk : Tavira at Christmas

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  2. thank you for sharing Christmas lights at Tavira, Jo! truly magical. hope you and yours had a wonderful and happy Christmas! wishing you both a happy and healthy New Year! πŸ’–


  3. What wonderful Christmas decorations Jo. Love the nativity scene. I have yet to visit the city centre to see the Christmas lights, which I’m hoping will happen before the end of the year, but been just too busy.
    Hope you had a wonderful Christmas and wishing you a great 2022!


    • I hope it was good busy, Sami. We don’t have far to go to see our lights, but will probably pop to Faro and Olhao to check theirs out while it still feels Christmassy./ Very best wishes to you and yours. Hope 2022 is all you could wish for.


      • Yes thanks Jo we had a lovely Christmas though it’s rather too hot! It seems there is trough sitting just off shore which is preventing the normal cooling south westerlies coming in during the afternoons. No relief till Wednesday afternoon 😦 So glad you managed to get over to the UK, take care xx πŸ™‚

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Another magical, festive walk – thank you for the dose of lovely lovely lights (especially right now when it’s grey & raining hard in Singapore).
    I love your reflection which I embrace 100%: “The important thing is to give and receive love, and to make this a time of peace in our turbulent, worrisome world.”


  5. Thanks for spreading so much seasonal joy with your festive walks. Wishing you all a wonderful Christmas and New Year and a safe and happy trip. My sweetheart and I are snuggled up on the settee as I write, so all’s well here.


  6. That tree is fabulous, especially being able to go inside it. Fun! I love this phrase: old, dog-eared year. That just about sums it up.
    Happy Holidays Jo. Wishing you all the best for 2022. May it be better!


  7. This is so lovely and festive Jo πŸ™‚ It’s wonderful to see the effort Tavira goes to at Christmas! My favourite has to be that tree, I could watch it for ages, and photograph it too πŸŽ„ I hope your Christmas visit here goes off OK. I don’t think you’ll have any problems travelling over (apart from a load of extra paperwork and testing) but I hope you’re prepared to stay a while if Boris makes a last minute call to shut down after the big day?!

    My final Monday Walk of the year isn’t quite so festive but I wanted to share more of our Seville trip while still fresh in the memory:

    Have a wonderful Christmas and I’ll ‘see’ you in 2022 for more walks πŸŽ‰πŸŽπŸŽ…πŸ˜˜


    • Our flight home leaves at 9.35am on Sunday, Sarah. Keeping everything crossed but I’m so excited! I have warned my daughter that if all goes wrong I’ll turn up on her doorstep in Nottingham. She has space but always likes a private Christmas, just her and Leo. Wishing you a lovely festive season and thanks for all the great company. πŸŽ…πŸŽ„β˜ƒοΈβ­πŸ’•


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    • I knew you had family staying, Margaret, so I wasn’t really expecting you. Have they gone back to London? Mick has just battled through locater forms and check in. 1st test this afternoon and a PCR tomorrow when we arrive. Everything crossed it goes ok. Merry Christmas, hon πŸ€—πŸŽ…πŸŽ„β­πŸ’•


  9. Pingback: Have a Blessed Christmas – Journey with my Sketchbook

  10. Such a lovely walk Jo! So well said: The important thing is to give and receive love, and to make this a time of peace in our turbulent, worrisome world. If only we could do this the whole year aroundπŸ’•
    Thank you for including me on your walksπŸ™‚
    Merry Christmas to you and to your dear ones, and safe travels!!
    Christie, xx


  11. Jo, what a wonderful walk! Your commentary as usual was delightful and so were the photographs. My favourite turned out to be the spooky kings! They were really cool. Well, almost as cool as twirling inside that lighted tree.
    Merry Christmas, Jo. Happy holidays too. Have a great trip!


  12. Hahaha, an old dog-eared year, that’s funny Jo! Tavira is truly magical and would work for my Sunday Stills theme (Light the Night)! How I wish I could take a real walk here with you, but the virtual walk is awesome! And the combination of styles really does work. Enjoy your beautiful Christmas and a blessed (and safe!) 2022!


    • Thanks so much, Terri! We were supposed to have a Christmas jumpers croquet morning today, but it’s been cancelled due to the long-awaited rain arriving. As someone pointed out, that will be good for the shops. Always a bright side, hon, and I’m always happy to share it. Wishing you and yours a very happy Christmas and good health and fortune in the new year!

      Liked by 1 person

  13. They really do go all out, don’t they. Puts the UK villages to shame – well, it does in my area. you would hardly know it’s Christmas here! Still, in my house the candles are burning in every widow, the tree is well lit and hung with enough baubles to start a shop, and the booze is nicely arranged on the drinks trolley in the hopes that someone will call! I think there may be one or two visitors but some have called off as they are a bit scared. I’m spending Christmas with my god daughter and her family (Italian) and I know it will be good. Have a great time in the UK and I’m keeping my fingers crossed that nothing disrupts your travel plans.


  14. Good choice, the Lennon classic – next to another classic “Do they know it’s Christmas time at all”.
    Why do we not treat each other the other 11 months as we treat each other in the last month of the year.? πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚

    Wonderful captures, really adores rhe modern christmas trees – look like the stars are spotlights. πŸ˜€


    • It’s a good question, Drake. Could we manage it for 6 months or more, do you think? Christmas comes but once a year, and when it does it brings good cheer. I’m always happy to share it with you πŸ€—πŸŽ„β˜ƒοΈβ­πŸ’•

      Liked by 1 person

  15. How utterly lovely!
    In case I don’t get back to blogging this next week, I’d like to wish you and your friends and family a very warm, safe, happy and healthy holiday!!! πŸŽ„πŸ’•


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  17. That is a very modern tree, but impressive nonetheless and fits perfectly into my December month of kaleidoscopic colours! I’m sitting here watching literally thousands of starlings flying by, they are by far the biggest flocks I have seen, but very difficult to photograph as they appear suddenly and fly so fast! I hope your Christmas visit goes off OK. Could even be some snow on Thursday or Friday in your area! Safe travels Jo πŸ€ΆπŸ»πŸŽ„βœ¨


  18. That tree may be a modern representation, but it is stunning and fitting for the season. However, you stole the show with this comment: “The important thing is to give and receive love, and to make this a time of peace in our turbulent, worrisome world.” Cheers to that, Jo!


  19. Great photos as always Jo, I love the little village scene and the colours of the Christmas tree but my favourite is the bandstand. I hope you have a good trip back here and manage it without too much hassle – have a good one πŸ™‚


    • Starting to get butterflies thinking about it all, Eunice, but I really am looking forward to a couple of days in Leeds. You won’t recognise me under all the jumpers and scarves! Merry Christmsa, hon!


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