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  • Day627

    Friday in Faro

    February 22 in Portugal ⋅ ⛅ 16 °C

    From our new base at Campsite Ria Formosa, near Tavira in the eastern Algarve, we jumped on the bike to visit Faro, the capital of the Algarve and a place that is sometimes overlooked by visitors who just pass through heading to and from the airport.

    We spent our time wandering around the cobbled streets of the old town and around the marina. Within the medieval walls the centrepiece is the cathedral, completed in 1251 but, like everything else down here, it was badly damaged in the 1755 earthquake and todays version is a mixture of gothic, renaissance and baroque architecture. The interior was beautifully decorated with tiles, painted wood and a gilded alter. The baroque organ was being played and added atmosphere to our visit. We think all churches and cathedrals should have music playing or choirs singing in between masses. It really makes a difference! The cathedral also houses a small museum of priestly vestments, chalices and grisly relics of St. Bonifaces forearms. However, more macabre was to come outside with a shrine built of monks skulls and bones! We climbed the tower and came out onto a terrace housing the bells with magnificent views across the city and the Rio Formosa Nature Reserve, where the sand banks would make for tricky navigation.

    The square in front of the cathedral was lined with orange trees that were in full blossom and their fragrance filled the air as bees and insects gorged on the nectar.

    We had lunch outside on the upper floor of a restaurant overlooking the marina and enjoyed the sun shine while watching the world go by below.

    A lovely day.
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